How Franchising Helped Matt Loving Come Full Circle

Matt Loving has a story to tell and it’s all about coming full circle at the intersection of both life and career. Matt is proud of the fact that he grew up in the heartland, working on his family’s Kansas farm. No doubt he learned a lot about work ethic with the dawn to dusk maintenance and upkeep of crops, livestock, and equipment. He chose to attend Kansas State University and graduated with a degree in finance, intending on a career in banking and finance. 


Fresh out of college, he landed a job with Halliburton, the global O&G giant, and speaks fondly of how his on-the-job training started on the lowest rung. “They had an intense onboarding and training program that had recruits like me doing everything from driving trucks to sales and operations,” says Loving. “But I loved it. I was being prepared for management and logistics, sales, and operations.” He was initially posted in Liberal, Kansas—close to home—but eventually wound up with a district management position in the Texas Panhandle region of Amarillo and Pampa. He functioned in the role of operations, managing P&L statements with oversight of over 500 employees.


He did, however, always want to travel the world. And Halliburton fulfilled that wish—sending him overseas to Jakarta, Indonesia in 2014. “I was doing a lot of sales management activities, focusing primarily on international oil service contracts worth millions of dollars,” says Loving. Following a promotion, he was about to expand his global horizon even further. “I was transferred to Saudi Arabia, working in the big leagues,” remembers Loving. “I eventually rose to the position of a global asset manager in Houston.”


But even with all of this responsibility and prestige, Loving still felt that something was missing. “I guess you could say that I wasn’t feeling happy about my career and the achievements,” says Loving. “I had a lot of responsibility and oversight, but never felt like the decisions I made were actually doing much to steer the overall ship.”


Loving had been through the cyclical nature of the O&G industry, so when it took another downturn in 2018, he decided it was time to move on. “I decided to go the franchising route because I wanted to find a company or brand with established procedures to follow,” says Loving. “I had also moved nine times in my career and, having two young children, I much preferred to settle down and have something more stable.”


Loving met Diana Trondsen, Market President for FranNet Houston, through a former vendor of his and—though skeptical at first—he made an appointment for an assessment. “We got things narrowed down to three franchise concepts,” says Loving. “I was looking for a business model suitable for a management executive, a stable environment, and not cyclical in nature. When we scrutinized the UNITS Mobile Storage opportunity, it lined up with my preferences pretty well.” A big part of the closing argument ended up being the sales and growth potential for the franchise. And Loving appreciated the strong validation from management and other franchisees in the system.


Loving is quite the newbie on the scene, having opened the doors for business in Aug. 2020, but he already sees a lot of possibilities in the precarious environment of the pandemic economy. “There seems to be a lot of big opportunities out there—a lot of movement—which is good for the storage industry,” says Loving. “Here in Houston, there’s a lot of O&G turnover and others having to work remotely for the first time. It’s pretty clear that a lot of people are taking a look around and realizing they have a lot of clutter to either store or remodel!”


With a lot of outcomes in flux due to the pandemic, Loving is seeing a lot of up-sizings, downsizing, and people moving out of the downtown area itself. The future for his UNITS Mobile Storage looks strong and he feels like he’s come full circle, career-wise. “Growing up on the farm, I was responsible for the work I put in each day—every decision, every action,” says Loving. “It wasn’t like that during my corporate life, but with my new franchise, it feels like I have that responsibility back once again.” And that’s a full circle.


What’s the biggest change in his life so far? “Every day, I walk through the house with a smile on my face,” says Loving. “I know that the decisions I’m making affect me. I’m the one steering the ship now.”


For more information, please visit Matt Loving’s UNITS Moving and Portable Storage location on the web.


Sep 29, 2020