“We are constantly trying to be better—whether it’s improving training, updating our technology, developing new hiring strategies . . . our to-do lists are always growing and evolving.”
Pete Horvath on the growth of Move-tastic!, and the benefits EO has brought to his business.
Full Name: Pete Horvath
Company Name: Move-tastic!
Title: Sultan of Sweat
Number of Years in Business: 10
What inspired you to start your current business?
When I bought my first home—a fixer-upper in Logan Square—my father gave me a pickup truck instead of down-payment money. I reached a new level of celebrity status, as I would pretty much help anyone move couches and Ikea purchases in my free time. At a certain point, I got enough requests to where I thought there was enough potential to build a moving business.
What problems are you solving through your business?
Moving can be super stressful, so we try to relieve stress through providing hassle-free moves. We solve the difficult booking process through an easy web interface; we solve the problem of finding good movers through rigorously screening and training our workforce; we solve the problem of having a boring work environment with the help of a game room that has a beer machine (after work only, of course).
What do you believe is the key ingredient to your business’s success?
There are two pillars on which our success has been built: our employees and our customers. We work to foster a culture built around teamwork, having fun, and getting work done. I think the simplicity of our values works well in an industry that often is full of a bunch of shady players. Additionally, my former professional experience was in hospitality. I was fortunate to work for some great managers who instilled in me the importance of the customer experience. In the world of moving, there will be tough days, broken elevators, inclement weather, etc. Our goal is to always provide a flawless move, but in those rare instances where we fall short of that objective, we recognize the importance of providing exceptional service in addressing any concerns or issues.
How do you keep your business from getting stagnant?
From an employee perspective, we celebrate as much as possible without turning our company into a block party. We have a weekly lunch office powwow, a monthly all-employee meeting with games, awards, and food and several employee outings (such as paintball or a White Sox game) to show our team that we appreciate everyone working hard. On the operations side, our weekly meetings and bi-weekly manager meetings provide every office employee with the opportunity to raise issues. In brainstorming together, we keep the business evolving and moving forward. We are constantly trying to be better—whether it’s improving training, updating our technology, developing new hiring strategies, etc. Bottom line: our to-do lists are always growing and evolving.
What area of your business are you hoping to grow and improve?
We recently launched storage and it’s been awesome! We are hoping to expand this side of the business as soon as we can find affordable warehouse space in proximity to our HQ. The other biggest focus is to try to streamline our recruiting and hiring process. We have a seasonal business so the size of our workforce changes significantly throughout the year. Managing the recruiting, onboarding, and training of new employees is an area that we’re always focused on improving.
What aspect of your company are you most excited about?
I’m excited about all of the information systems we have in place as well as the new systems we’re developing. Technology is my passion and we continue to figure out ways we can avoid using paper, streamline operations, limit human error, and improve the customer experience.
What inspires you outside of work?
My wife/BFF, our three little girls, friends, running, Karl, skateboarding, traveling, and whiskey (and the occasional cigar).
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I always do my best to shut off the work switch when I get home and over the weekends. Also, I’m not shy about taking vacations and making room for me time. Work will always be there—unless I tank the business.
How has EO contributed to your business’s growth and success?
EO provides me with the ultimate trifecta:
- The forum experience, which has helped me through some of my toughest times
- A vast network of awesome entrepreneurs and fantastic learning events
- An amazing mentor who keeps me accountable for my financials
Without EO, my business wouldn’t be where it is today and I couldn’t ask for much else.