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He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

By Amanda Breen Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • At 24, Popovic bought a single moving truck for $20,000 to start his company, Piece of Cake.
  • He used hot pink and purple in Piece of Cake's branding to help its trucks stand out from the many in New York City.
  • These days, Piece of Cake does more than 100,000 moves a year across all 50 states and has 800 employees.
Courtesy of Piece of Cake Moving & Storage
Voyo Popovic

At 20 years old, Voyo Popovic, now the founder and CEO of Piece of Cake Moving & Storage, immigrated to the U.S. from Montenegro and took a job at a McDonald's to make ends meet.

However, just a few months in, Popovic was already looking for his next opportunity, one that would allow him to work longer hours, have more control and earn more money. But he was still improving his English and had "no specific skill set" at the time, so his options were limited, he says — until a friend and fellow countryman told him moving companies were always in need of extra help.

So Popovic began working as a mover in New York City. "I fell in love with the job right away," Popovic tells Entrepreneur. "It was just so active, and from the perspective of a mover, you could see all these different lifestyles in New York City, which for someone coming from abroad, and I think for anyone really, is fascinating."

Related: How to Start Your Own Business as an Immigrant in the United States

After a year on the job, Popovic became a driver and crew leader; he enjoyed taking care of his team and the position overall. But, eventually, he grew "too comfortable" and wanted another challenge. So Popovic moved into the company's sales division. He read books, watched YouTube videos and worked on his English to succeed in the role, which he also enjoyed.

"I loved the fact that I was able to really push myself. There was no limit."

"I loved the fact that I was able to really push myself," Popovic says. "There was no limit. There were no specific hours. It wasn't like an eight-hour shift, and you're done. Pretty much it was like you work as long as you need, and you're responsible for results."

Still, after a couple of years in sales, Popovic felt a familiar restlessness; it was time to set another goal. By that point, Popovic's years of experience in the moving industry had given him an inside look into some of its inefficiencies. He knew he could do it better. "The industry was very outdated, from communication to emails, customer service experience, operations — everything," Popovic explains. "There was so much room for improvement. I saw my chance there."

So in 2018, at 24 years old, Popovic bought a single moving truck for $20,000 and got to work developing a brand that would stand out from the competition — in more ways than one. That began with the company's name and branding: "Piece of Cake" alongside hot pink and purple. The name "was unlike anything else in the market at the time," Popovic recalls, and the bright colors would ensure the business's trucks captured attention "in a line of a hundred trucks."

Image Credit: Courtesy of Piece of Cake Moving & Storage

Related: Creating a Brand: How To Build a Brand From Scratch

"Having every single customer happy has always been at the core of our business."

Popovic was also committed to doing things differently when it came to customer service, well aware that happy clients were key to word-of-mouth referrals and new business. "So every touch point is thoughtfully done," Popovic says, "from the first time a client calls to the email correspondence, to the moving day, to the actual follow-up after the move, having every single customer happy has always been at the core of our business."

Piece of Cake also leverages data, like customer feedback, to improve its operations and help with decision-making. For example, if customers report more damaged TVs than usual, Piece of Cake schedules further training for crew members. Additionally, the company pays close attention to which zip codes see the most clients, analyzing why some might have lower numbers so it can address the discrepancy.

Related: Leverage the Power of Data to Boost Your Sales — and Your Customer Connections

The innovative approach has paid off. Today, Piece of Cake is a rapidly growing company with headquarters in New York and hubs in Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas. The company does more than 100,000 moves every year across all 50 states and boasts 800 employees and 350 trucks — and it still hasn't taken any outside investment.

"Seeing that something that we started so small with one truck and few employees [now] living and supporting hundreds and seeing that brand that we sketched in a notebook in every major city of the U.S. — that's definitely something that excites me and inspires me to wake up every day and to serve the company the best I can," Popovic says.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Piece of Cake Moving & Storage

"How do we have enough knowledge to handle the next phase of the company?"

However, Piece of Cake's flourishing success hasn't been without some challenges, Popovic says, namely, finding enough employees to support its expansion and fast-tracking their growth within the company, as most leaders in the industry work their way into senior roles from the ground up. "How do we speed up the process?" Popovic says. "How do we have enough knowledge to handle the next phase of the company? Including me, how do I learn and grow to be able to do my position of CEO the best I can?"

The key is to give people plenty of opportunities to learn and level up, Popovic says — and to make sure they have those chances early on.

"So not not waiting until someone says, 'Hey, I've been in this position. I feel stuck. I'm looking for improvement,'" Popovic explains. "We approach the person and say, 'Hey, you're doing a really good job. Why don't we tackle another challenge?' [We're] constantly pushing people out of their comfort zone, and people [are] proving us right."

Related: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone, Take Risks and Run With the Big Dogs

Repeatedly getting out of his own comfort zone is what allowed Popovic to transform his dream into a reality — and he suggests all aspiring entrepreneurs do the same.

"Think big and don't put any limitations on your dream because it's possible if you have a good product and a good service," Popovic says. "If you have some value that you're providing to consumers, it's [just] a matter of time [before] it's going to pick up. It's going to get to the right people, and then when it all gets rolling, it can become really big. So think big. Dream big."

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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