A lot of people probably wouldn’t want to work for Dan Smythe.
It’s not that the Ahwatukee man’s a bad guy, mind you.
It’s just that just about every job in his Scottsdale-based company involves back-breaking work.
Smythe owns a moving company, called You Move Me, a franchise founded by entrepreneur Brian Scudamore, best known for building the world’s largest junk removal company, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, as well as two others, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING and Shack Shine.
His 2013 launch set franchise history with the roll-out of more than 25 individually-owned locations at one time, effectively opening for business to 60 million people throughout what are now 50 major metropolitan areas in Canada and the U.S.
Though he had a big job as director of corporate sales for a large international moving company – and at one point was a strategic advisor who provided insight and financial analysis of the competitive landscape in the transportation, freight and storage industries – Smythe had an itch from the same entrepreneurial spirit that Scudamore has demonstrated throughout his career.
“Like so many people, I’ve always dreamed of having my own business,” Smythe explained. “However, being in and having success in corporate America provides that feeling of security and comfort.”
Two things made him finally scratch that itch – discovering that You Move Me had the same people-first culture he wanted in his own business and the prospect of turning 40 in the not too distant future.
“I got to the point where if I don’t make the move to business ownership now, I never will, and I will always question what could have been,” he said. “I am finally living my dream.”
Besides, Smythe, 39, has moved around the country a lot in his career, before he settled in Ahwatukee with his fiancée, Jamie Nuzbach, who handles You Move Me’s marketing and other administrative duties on the weekend and works as creative director for a Scottsdale ad agency during the week.
She also pointed out she’s the one responsible for making sure Smythe’s employees have enough snacks when they’re on the job.
All his moving around taught Smythe one thing: The moving industry is fraught with hassles for the unwary customer.
“I always had a lot of interactions with local moving companies and unfortunately, I saw all the bad operators out there,” he explained. “I saw all the horrible things that some of these moving companies do to their customers; the movers are unkempt, they take a deposit and never show up, they quote you one price so you go with them and then they load up your stuff and hold your belongings hostage until you pay more, they break things, damage your home, it goes on and on.”
Moving into your new home should be a natural extension of this excitement. After seeing all the bad, I knew I could do a better job,” he added.
Smythe, who holds a business administration degree from the University of Colorado, says he brings a different ethic to his business, which handles in- and out-of-state, commercial and residential, large and small moves.
“We strive to make moving – almost – fun,” he said. “We want our customers to feel like we are extended family showing up to help them out.
“Your friends would bring you coffee, so that’s what we do, too. Also, we leave each customer with a houseplant as a gift thanking them for their business and welcoming them to their new home. We are serious about our goal to make moving as seamless and stress free as possible. We always keep our promises of up-front rates, on-time service, friendly, uniformed movers and exceptional customer care.”
His services include free estimates and free wardrobe packing, full packing and unpacking using specially designed boxes, and special kitchen packing – a service he’s already found to be in high demand.
And even though those five employees of his have to break a sweat, he said they’re happy to be working for him.
“We are building a culture that employees love being a part of,” he said. “It’s an environment that is fun but at the same time encourages their growth on a personal and professional level. We stand by the motto ‘Happy Employees = Happy Customers.’ I am always active on the job but believe in my team and what they are able to accomplish.”