Chris Turner (Modern Moving)

Chris Turner is a Director at Modern Moving & Storage, a moving company in the Twin Cities.

Born in Mankato but raised in the Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove, as a kid Turner enjoyed playing basketball and hanging out with friends.

“My childhood was dope,” the soft-spoken Turner says, his adjectives few but the conviction attached to his words palpable.  

After graduating from high school, Turner played college basketball in the Midwest.

An extremely athletic big with a penchant for collecting rebounds and wowing crowds with authoritative dunks, Turner’s dream of making it to the NBA never materialized, but the game of basketball still afforded him many experiences.  

“I got to travel to places like Canada, Montana, and other places that I never would have been able to visit if it weren’t for college basketball,” Turner shares.

Once his playing career ended, Turner needed to secure employment.

He dabbled in an array of different industries, but it wasn’t until tragedy entered his life did his career outlook change.

“My aunt was on her deathbed, and when I went to say my goodbyes, that’s when a close family friend offered me a job with his moving company,” Turner recalls.

“Ten years later, here I am, still in the same business, albeit in a different role.”

While working for a moving company may not sound like a glamorous job, Turner says that there is actually much to like about working in that industry.

“No two days are the same,” Turner mentions.

“You’re not waiting to punch a clock. It’s a fast-paced environment and it’s fun because you know that you are giving back to the community and providing a service that people really need.”

Early in his career, Turner primarily was moving items from home to home, but over the years, he has developed a litany of other skills, namely:

Emotional intelligence, how to deliver exceptional customer service, and how to turn current jobs into future sales.

“People think that movers are just a bunch of grunts, that they are muscle-heads who work on trucks,” Turner says.

“But movers are so much more than that. A lot of the skills that I learned as a mover is why I am a successful businessman today.”

In addition to the skills mentioned above, Turner has also learned about systems and processes, how to read and interpret profit-and-loss statements, and how to effectively market a business.

Learning and implementing these skills has put money in his pocket, but what’s even more important is that Turner has accumulated knowledge he can leverage for the rest of his life, and not just in the moving industry.

“The nuances of business will always change, depending on the industry, but the principles and pillars of business are fairly standard, no matter what industry you’re in,” Turner remarks.  

“Things like taking care of customers and looking for ways to be innovative and creative in order to attract new customers, those are skills that are transferable, and I just happened to learn all those in the moving industry.”

All this helps explains how Turner became a Director at Modern Moving, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

For many years, Turner benefitted from working under his mentor Jeremy Neybert, who taught him the finer points of the moving business.

“A lot of what I know today is a byproduct of Jeremy’s guidance,” Turner says.

“Thanks to him, I learned a lot about industry best practices, but also how to look at aspects of a business that may be losing money or struggling, and then develop strategies to turn those losses into profits.”  

For context, Turner used to work for AAA Movers, a rival Twin Cities company.

It was there that Turner devised a system that allowed the moving company to save a substantial amount of money by not purchasing tools, and instead having drivers purchase their own tools.

“We were wasting $6,000 every six months on tools because guys were losing them, and so instead of us having $1,000 in overhead every month just for tools, I found a way for us to make money instead,” Turner explains.

By having drivers purchase their own tools, Turner was able to eliminate unnecessary overhead, and also empower drivers to buy their own equipment that they could use and take responsibility for.

“I looked at it like this: a grown man should have his own tools, and so if one of our drivers didn’t have their own tools, we would sell them tools and then charge them a convenience fee,” Turner notes.

“So instead of losing money on something as simple as tools, we were able to turn that around, and actually make money. It’s little things like this that ultimately allow companies to succeed because we no longer were investing money into a lost cause. Rather, with that extra $6,000 we saved, we were able to reinvest it into more lucrative aspects of the business.”

Based on his past performance, Turner frequently gets calls from other local moving companies who would like to add him to their team, but at present Turner is satisfied with his role at Modern Moving.

In fact, five years from now Turner aspires to advance and become president of Modern Moving, his aim being to continuously offer quality moving services to Twin Cities homeowners and businesses.   

“I want to continue impacting the lives of both our customers and employees,” Turner maintains.

“Obviously with our customer base we want to continue to provide them with an excellent service, but I also want the people who are working for us to accomplish their own financial goals. I want our guys to make $100,000 a year, not just so they can go buy a new car, but so that they can learn what it feels like to be stable and not constantly fretting over money.”

As a man who was once struggling to comprehend how his own future was going to play out, Turner recognizes that a lot of people don’t possess the inherent tenacity that is required to thrive in the moving industry, but he also is quick to mention that no matter who you are, working hard and genuinely caring about your job can have a profound impact on one’s future.

It’s these types of characteristics that Turner looks for when he makes key hires, and it’s a major reason why success has become synonymous with his surname.

“I get a lot of compliments from people for how I’m able to train employees, but I’m only able to do that because our organization attracts and brings in people who care about their job,” Turner says.

“I can be a great trainer, but if my audience doesn’t care, then our organization won’t get better. So again, I am proud of the growth that I’ve had and the reputation I’ve built over the last decade, but I also wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the many people along the way who have passed along their knowledge and showed me how to be a consummate professional.” QS


Today’s post is sponsored by:

Graham Riley and his team at Maverrik North America help entrepreneurs and business owners increase their reach on LinkedIn, which in turn generates more revenue.  

If you’re looking to expand your presence on LinkedIn, then get in touch with Graham today by clicking the link above, or by scanning the QR code in the accompanying image! 


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