VOL. 129 | NO. 150 | Monday, August 04, 2014
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
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Local Movers Hit the Big Leagues
By Amos Maki
Steven Reed, Jeff Coletta and Jonathan Greer met as children while playing youth football at the Germantown Youth Athletic Association, igniting a life-long bond that remains to this day.
As they grew older and the three enrolled at the University of Memphis, their passion drifted toward competitive baseball.
After graduating from the University of Memphis in 2008, Reed and his friends began handling small moves around campus for friends and family members and students.
Steve Reed, center, owner of Big League Movers with staff (from left): Kelsey Smith, Lawyer Word, Jonathan Greer, Colter Adkins, Brandon Eddins, Jeoff Deleon, Kelly Jones, Daniel Gant and Ryan Dieck.
(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
Reed began to realize that the positive word of mouth he was receiving from his customers was the best and fastest ways to expand his clientele base.
He engaged friends, including many former University of Memphis baseball players, to become part of the company.
“I actually was friends with a lot of baseball players in college and they were our first employees at Big League Movers,” Greer said.
Today, Reed, Coletta and Greer are still focused on the team mindset as the principals behind Big League Movers, which can handle virtually every type of moving need from residential moves to corporate relocations, an area of the business the company would like to grow.
The company started with six employees and one truck and now has 67 employees and 19 trucks in two states. Big League Movers opened an office in Atlanta in 2011.
Reed said he discovered there was a need for an honest, transparent moving company in the Memphis market and set up his own operation.
“We saw there was a market for this because people found there weren’t a lot people they could trust in the Memphis market,” Reed said.
Part of the company’s mission is to reverse the negative stereotypes that linger over the moving industry like a dark cloud.
“I saw the opportunity,” Reed said. “The industry here in Memphis had a really bad reputation. Considering that people are letting us in their homes and trust us in their homes we take ethical standards seriously.”
“It’s an industry where not a lot of people bring nuance to it,” Greer said. “So I think focusing on that customer service aspect of it, beyond moving somebody’s furniture and not damaging things, really drove (Reed) and our company in general.”
Part of establishing that trust is by giving customers a firm estimate of the cost based in the number of items that will be moved and the conditions the employees will be working instead of the hourly rate most movers give customers.
“We really hold the customer’s hand throughout the entire process,” Reed said.
Reed said Big League Movers focuses on the company as being family oriented.
“We really invest in people,” said Reed. “People are hiring us and trusting us in their homes and we’re hiring people and trusting them to deliver the best customer service possible.”
Drivers go through a rigorous training and screening process to ensure Big League Movers is hiring the nest and the brightest.
After just three years in existence, Big League Movers opened a second branch in Atlanta, with Colette heading the new branch.
“We seized the opportunity there and now we’re one of top four movers in the Atlanta area,” Reed said.