A Plant City native and recent college graduate is bringing his new business to his hometown.
Trent Lott is used to being on a team.
The fourth-generation Plant City resident played soccer for the University of Tampa until his graduation last December. Now, he’s taking his teamwork skills back to his hometown.
In early March, Lott opened a franchise of College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving on Collins Street. As a UT student, Lott worked for the moving company while earning his degree in entrepreneurship. The company’s culture and atmosphere appealed to him, and he decided to open his own location.
“I’ve always wanted my own company and to follow in my father’s footsteps,” Lott said. His father, Plant City Mayor Rick Lott, has a similar background in business. “This is my full-time gig.”
Since his graduation in December, Lott’s venture into the world of entrepreneurship has been anything but boring.
“I started planning last summer,” Lott said.
As a College Hunks employee who worked on moving and junk trucks in Tampa, his mentors and fellow employees prepared him for opening his own franchise.
“You learn as you go. One second you’re creating partnerships with Goodwill; the next second you’re cleaning bathrooms. I had the best mentors you could possibly have. They’re champions of the industry.”
As Lott’s learned, it’s not just the moving and hauling services that make College Hunks a successful franchise: it’s about preparing the next generation of business leaders.
As a College Hunks employee, Lott heard from clients who were pleased with the company’s service. He also heard from clients who regretted choosing other companies over College Hunks. Some of them hired cheaper moving companies only to find that their belongings were broken or damaged by the time a move was complete.
“You get what you pay for,” Lott said. “We unpacked pods that other people did and saw the lack of care. We’re kind of like your one-stop shop. It’s an industry changer it’s almost like it’s two businesses in one. Mostly everyone focuses on junk or moving.”
A lot of College Hunks’ success is from the pride the employees have in the company. Now a franchise owner, Lott has a handful of part-time employees who are either students, recent graduates or thinking about going
back to school.
“We make sure the guys are as professional as possible and that nothing gets broken or damaged,” Lott said. “Moving is one of the most stressful things a person does, and we want to make it as stress-free as possible.”
Hiring current and future students, Lott added, is one of the company’s points of pride.
“There are millennials out there who do hard labor so they can go on and have the life that they dream of,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of millennials who aren’t lazy. (College Hunks) is helping students get to the next step.”
As a franchise owner, Lott can speak to the success of the training program.
“One of our core values is building leaders,” he said. “We’re just a great example of how people can move up and become their own bosses. I kind of see it more like a team. It’s a group of guys coming together, trying to achieve a common goal.”
Contact Emily Topper at [email protected].