As part of my series about the “How Business Leaders Plan To Rebuild In The Post COVID Economy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael McAlhany
He serves as Founder and President of UNITS® Moving and Portable Storage, Inc., a National Moving and Portable Storage Corporation servicing over 500 cities throughout North America. A self-made entrepreneur Michael has successfully launched and operated multiple businesses over the past 25 years. Mr. McAlhany’s development and management of fixed self-storage facilities has positioned UNITS® to become the industry leader in the Moving and Portable Storage Industry. Mr. McAlhany’s vision to take the Self-Storage Industry to a new level by creating and implementing a simple, seamless operation for the Moving and Portable Storage industry has led to the success of their franchise owners. His passion remains helping others learn from his success and the success of his franchise owners, and showing others how their investment into UNITS® equals profits.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I started my first business when I graduated from high school. That business was successful and diversified five years after entering the Self Storage business.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
The School of Kneeology (on my knees and praying!) is how I referred to my early experiences and that often received a laugh. I didn’t have a coach. It was all trial and error and learning from my mistakes by not repeating them.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to, that really helped you in you career? Can you explain?
“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek along with other business books. I believe readers are leaders and am constantly reading business management books as well as books on how people are wired and how to work with them.
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?
Units Moving and Portable Storage was simple. We set out to help enough other people get what they want. This group consists of our customers, our staff, vendors, and Units franchisees.
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
“Code of Values” is our business bible, coupled with always wanting to improve on all aspects of our business. The one word that guides us is “Integrity.”
Thank you for all that. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. For the benefit of empowering our readers, can you share with our readers a few of the personal and family related challenges you faced during this crisis? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Having many franchisees throughout the United States has created different scenarios. We set up a weekly Covid call that has allowed communication leading to success.
Can you share a few of the biggest work related challenges you are facing during this pandemic? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Ensuring all invested within Units Moving and Portable Storage stay healthy and safe- to date we have succeeded. The weekly Covid calls have helped with this challenge.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the corona virus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. What are a few ideas that you have used to offer support to your family and loved ones who were feeling anxious? Can you explain?
Remain positive at all times, sending daily positive affirmations. Yes… Emails, text messages, and sticky notes.
Obviously we can’t know for certain what the Post-Covid economy will look like. But we can of course try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the Post-Covid economy will be a trying time for many people across the globe. Yet at the same time the Post-Covid growth can be a time of opportunity. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the Post-Covid economy?
We believe that more people will want to become their own boss as a small business owner. We are also seeing more people move from north to south.
How do you think the COVID pandemic might permanently change the way we behave, act, or live?
It will be like 9/11. Never the same and always on our mind.
Considering the potential challenges and opportunities in the Post-Covid economy, what do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in the Post-Covid economy?
We never stopped as Units Moving and Portable Storage is an essential business. We believe more people will move and store due to downsizing.
Similarly, what would you encourage others to do?
Exercise optimism and positivity at all times.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
When you help enough other people in life get what they want you will get what you want. This has played to be true 100% in my life.
How can our readers further follow your work?