Michael Lally was nominated for a 2022 Rock Star Award by the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK leadership team under the Multi-Unit category. He was chosen by Franchise Business Review from among 200+ nominations for his outstanding achievements as a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchise owner in Prospect, KY.
What advice do you have for someone considering investing in a franchise?
First and foremost, make sure you like the work itself. That must sustain you over the long haul. Second, trust your gut when it comes to the franchise system leadership. If you get a good vibe, the system is probably in good hands and you’ll end up having a good relationship with the people making strategy and policy decisions.
If you could start all over again, which mistake(s) would you avoid? What were your best decisions?
Early on, I was sometimes overwhelmed by fear of failure. It drove me to work countless hours and do whatever it took to succeed. But that kind of approach can take a toll on personal relationships and health. If I could turn back time, I would enjoy the ride more from the very start! Life is short; believe in yourself, and know that you’ll face every challenge head-on.
My best decisions were all based on the people who joined our team and became who we are today. You cannot place too much emphasis on character and chemistry. Get rid of bad apples as soon as you discover them, and promote those who yearn for greatness. They will naturally lead the way.
What is the biggest challenge you've had to overcome as a business owner?
Myself. For the first several years, I wanted to make all key decisions. Because of that, I didn’t devote enough time and attention to the professional development of our most talented people. Time and opportunities were squandered. It’s so important to recognize in others those character traits that represent the core values of your franchise system and to hand over responsibility in a timely way. If you hold them accountable for desired results, they will thrive.
Is there a book or podcast that has helped you in starting or building your business?
Several. And each instrumental in its own way.
What is your proudest achievement in your franchising career so far?
Far and away, helping other people achieve more in their careers than they thought possible. We have several people on our team who have only begun to scratch the surface of success. They will be the ones to lead our franchise system in years to come. And we’ll be in great hands.
What was your work history like before you entered franchising? How did you apply those skills to your franchise?
I was all over the place, by choice, by drive, by ambition. For the first five to six years out of college, I worked for two successful chemical companies. One was a national distributor, the other a manufacturer. I couldn’t have been more fortunate to learn from some of the best sales and management leaders that I have ever met. They taught me so much, and I have never forgotten them. Following that, I spent several years in the securities business, renovating homes, and writing a novel. In 2004, I found a permanent home when I discovered Two Men and A Truck. To succeed in a business as competitive as ours, and in a system that expects excellence in every way possible, required the tenacity and determination that I had developed throughout my preceding professional years. We are an outstanding franchise system that was founded and still thrives on grittiness.
Did the pandemic and recession impact your business and, if so, what were the lessons learned from the experience?
The 08/09 recession punched us in the gut. Our system and my team came out of it better than before due to courageous leadership, but it wasn’t much fun getting there. The pandemic scared us, certainly, and affected our business in several ways that we, like the rest of society, are only now getting beyond. But the housing market exploded immediately following the pandemic outbreak and led to record months and years following.
For me, the most important lesson learned has been to acknowledge the challenge, face it head-on, and work as a team to get through it. There’s no use in imagining your worst fears. Confidence in yourself and your team will make you so much stronger and able to overcome the worst that life throws your way.
What do you like most about your franchise organization today?
We are cohesive with our people, our vision, and our mission. We communicate well, and we have built a trust that is based on years of having fought battles together. We are at our best right now.
How did you build a winning team for your business?
This is nearly an impossible question to answer without writing a book. The short and sweet answer? One day and one person at a time. Lose the bad apples immediately; realize that their home is simply elsewhere. And build around those that yearn for achievement, excellence, team, chemistry, and goodness. The ride becomes a lot of fun and very gratifying.
How did you build and maintain a solid relationship with your franchisor?
I took every opportunity to visit our home office, attend training sessions, and participate actively in our annual meetings. Throughout it all, I got to know them, and they got to know me. And that has made all the difference.
For more information on TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchise opportunities, visit https://franchise.twomenandatruck.com/.
With more than 60 nationwide locations currently operating or in various stages of development, East Coast Wings + Grill recently secured a top spot on Restaurant Business Magazine’s “Future 50” list of fastest-growing, U.