By Melissa Abramovitz San Luis Obispo County Journal November 30, 2001
Most 21 and 19 year olds can’t even imagine having the designations CEO and CFO in their job titles, but Aaron and Evan Steed aren’t most 21 and 19 year olds. As Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, respectively, of Meathead Movers, the ambitious brothers have expanded their formerly part-time moving business into a thriving and rapidly growing corporation in just four short years.
When Aaron was a junior and Evan a freshman at San Luis Obispo High School, the two were having trouble finding part-time jobs that fit around their busy school and athletic schedules. Aaron, an outstanding wrestler who made the national wrestling team, and Evan, a top player on the SLOHS football team, decided to post a local ad offering their services as household goods movers, and Meathead Movers was launched on a part-time basis. The name Meathead started off as a joke, based on the nickname bestowed on athletes working out in the high school weight room, but, says Aaron, “we’ve worked past the stereotype, and people have come to identify Meatheads as young, energetic individuals rather than as muscular guys with no brains.”
For the first six months, the brothers did 2-3 jobs per month, but gradually their reputation as hard workers oriented towards customer service spread, and soon they were fielding as many jobs as they could possibly handle. After graduating from high school in 1998, Aaron went to Cuesta College where he wrestled and studied business, but as the moving enterprise grew, he decided to make it a full-time endeavor. Since Evan graduated from SLOHS in 2000, the brothers have built Meathead Movers into a full-service commercial and residential moving business that employs over 50 people, mostly student-aged athletes, and they now complete around 150 moves each month.
The Steeds believe their success derives from their unique commitment to superior customer service. “We try to give our customers a good reason to choose Meathead Movers over other companies,” explains Aaron. “Our industry was lacking a business that emphasized the customer’s needs. We provide that, and the number one reason we’ve been so successful is we focus our energy on our service, not our profit margins.”
Each employee is trained intensively in-house to fulfill OSHA safety requirements and is certified, bonded, and paid to observe other Meathead workers on the job before being allowed to perform any moving services. The training emphasizes teamwork and meticulous attention to each customer’s needs. Each Meathead is also taught to be as efficient as possible in an attempt to save the client time and money. When not carrying items, for example, Meathead Movers jog to move a job along as quickly as possible. Such qualities have enhanced their reputation throughout San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties; indeed they were voted the #1 moving company in SLO County in the 15th annual New Times survey.
In addition to providing full-service packing and moving services to commercial and residential customers, Meathead Movers also sells packing supplies and company hats, T-shirts, shorts, and sweatshirts from their facility on Orcutt Road in San Luis Obispo and are launching an online sales capability. They are also opening a new corporate administrative office which will allow them to use the Orcutt Road building strictly for supplies and training, and they are expanding their services to include a “Meathead Concierge Service” that changes over people’s utilities when they move. “We realized that utilities are a major hassle for our customers, so we’re offering this service to make sure their move is as easy as possible,” Aaron says.