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College Friends Team Up To Open College Hunks Franchise in Virginia Beach, VA

September 14, 2017

Moving company franchisees review their ramp-up experience with College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving

Can Millennials really have it all? With College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving, it’s definitely possible. Our company was founded by Nick Friedman and Omar Soliman during a summer break in college, so we’ve got a fresh take on how we do business.

We’re accessible to our franchise owners. We offer better support than similar franchises in every aspect of the business, which you can verify by reading our other moving company franchisee reviews. And we offer something different from the 9-to-5 corporate grind, which Millennials may find particularly appealing.

For Parke Atkinson and Tom Bakke, who were in the same fraternity at University of Virginia, College Hunks offered a chance for them to go into business together as co-owners of a service franchise that was perfect for the Virginia Beach, VA, area. This is their story.

What were you doing before you became College Hunks franchisees?
Bakke: I was living in Arlington, VA, and working as a project manager for a commercial construction company up in the D.C. area. I was managing some higher-end office interior build-outs and managing all the subcontractors, as well as interacting with the clients and architects. I ended up wanting to branch out and start a family business.

My dad and I were talking about that and it was something that really intrigued us. My dad is from the Virginia Beach area and has a beach house down here, and we know a lot about this region. One of my dad’s old co-workers had started a franchise in the moving industry, and that’s what got us thinking about how to start a moving company. With this region specifically, it’s very highly mobile with the military moving in and out. We felt that this moving and junk removal niche would resonate very well here.

How did you learn about College Hunks?
Bakke: My dad and I started looking online and stumbled across College Hunks Hauling Junk, and we even saw their “Shark Tank” episode as well. Really, I was able to connect with them through the show and envision myself following in their path as well. It was such a cool story that it hit home for me, and I ended up calling in and talking with a couple of the franchise representatives and getting more information, and then this is where Parke started getting involved.

Atkinson: I was working for a commercial real estate developer, and I knew Tommy was moving back to the area. He reached out to me and was telling me about this moving company idea. It was hilarious because I had actually seen College Hunks on “Shark Tank,” too. He and his dad recruited me pretty hard, and it took a lot for me to leave my last job, but essentially the opportunity to run a business with a buddy from college before the age of 30 was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I knew I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t at least see what we could do with it.

What drew you to this particular company?
Atkinson: I started talking to other people at the franchise as well. We went down to Tampa to visit for Discovery Day, and we were impressed by the core values, obviously. They’ve really raised the bar in this industry. When you think of a mover or junk hauler, you’re thinking you’re getting the bottom of the barrel or just a mediocre experience at best. But when you call up College Hunks, you’re getting so much more. That just really hit home with us and we felt this was just a great opportunity. Building a business with one of your best friends was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.


How did you know this was the right opportunity?
Atkinson: For me, it was very appealing. College Hunks offered a ton of support. They have a great coaching team, but they also had a very forward-thinking way of attacking the moving industry. Typically, when you think of a mover, you think of your guy in the Yellow Pages that you call and he shows up in a big beat-up truck versus College Hunks, which has this bright, vibrant brand and professional-looking movers. They put a lot of money and experience behind you.

Bakke: The way that they were able to leverage technology in one of the oldest industries was impressive to me. There’s a lot of youth and enthusiasm and just energy and positivity with the core values that we instill in our guys every day. We’re building leaders, which Parke and I take to heart and harp on with our guys all the time. We’re trying to make them the best young professionals they can be and help them out with their goals even beyond being a junk hauler or mover. We’ve created a fun and enthusiastic work environment. Parke and I love to have a good time, and we keep it light and fun around the office.

What’s the culture like at College Hunks?
Bakke: If you need to get in touch with one of the main ad executives or someone from IT or HR or anywhere, they’re always just an email or call away. They respond quickly, just wanting to help you out and see what they can do for you.

Atkinson: It’s just been such a warm and inviting team. I can’t stress enough how much everyone is focused on a team environment and trying to make this brand really take off to the next level. We’ve seen a lot of momentum in this brand just in the six months we’ve been open. I feel like I want to tell everyone to get in on this because I can really see it dominating the industry.

Would you recommend College Hunks to other folks?
Atkinson: Most definitely. I feel College Hunks does such a great job on-boarding new franchisees. They provide you with a ramp-up coach who is basically in contact with you the whole time during startup. Then when you’re up and running, she comes in and observes your operations. She sits in on all your meetings and shadows you at networking events and just really hones in on the day-to-day and looks at how the numbers are going. It was such a great experience, getting so much useful information and feeling like a part of the team. You really feel like a valued asset to the whole franchise.

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If you’d like to find out more about how College Hunks strives to be the best moving franchise to invest in, please fill out a form and start a conversation. We look forward to answering your questions.