Description: A Junkluggers franchise is ideal if you are looking for a business opportunity with low start up costs and a quick timeline. Join a hot industry that will never go out of style with a franchisor dedicated to your success! Opportunities: Single unit, multi-unit, and area developer opportunities available in the US. Master franchise opportunities available worldwide. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Cash Required: $75,000. Financing Assistance: Yes, through a third party. Training Provided: Yes. Home-based: Yes. SBA-Approved: Yes.
$5,000 off initial franchise fee for veterans
Interview with Josh Cohen: Founder of The Junkluggers
Since 2004, The Junkluggers has provided an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional junk removal for homes and businesses. They save millions of tons of junk from the landfill each year by donating usable items to local charities and recycling centers. The Junkluggers franchise doesn't require prior junk hauling experience, but simply a passion for helping your community, building a team, and being part of the Junkluggers family.
In this Success Story Interview, The Junkluggers founder Josh Cohen tells us about the franchise's environmental efforts, incredible support system, and more. Read on to find out if The Junkluggers franchise is right for you!
Can you tell us a little about the history of The Junkluggers and the part you play in the franchise?
Most successful businesses begin with a great idea, and The Junkluggers is no different. As a college student studying abroad in Australia, I worked during the day but spent nights gathered around a bonfire on the beach with friends. We'd talk for hours about life and our hopes and dreams for the future. The biggest question on my mind back then was, "What am I going to do after college?" Like many twenty-somethings, I had no idea.
One night around the fire, a buddy casually mentioned h'’d made $100 hauling a refrigerator away for a neighbor. That seemingly offhanded remark got my wheels spinning; as a young, broke college student, $100 sounded like a lot of money, and I knew plenty of people back home who needed help hauling junk. When I arrived Stateside, I printed off flyers in my parents' basement announcing my new business and hit the streets, papering every mailbox in sight. Almost immediately, the phone was ringing off the hook. I hauled my first loads of junk with my mom's Dodge Durango and a trailer my dad helped me fix up from Lowe's.
After a few years of working alone, hauling junk before and after my day job, I saved up enough to buy my first truck, a beast we affectionately refer to as Old Rusty and hired a few friends to help. To make sure no one could miss us, I painted the truck bright green, and Old Rusty and the crew slowly but surely expanded from a single neighborhood to surrounding counties. With hard work and the help of my family and friends, the business took off. Although today's Junkuggers looks a lot different than it did when I was a college kid driving a beat up truck, I hold the energy and passion of the early days as a core value as The Junkluggers expands. Although we're a much bigger company, our team keeps the imagination and spirit of fun, camaraderie, and innovation that drove the brand in its earliest days. I work closely with every franchisee and want to make sure they have the same passion and drive I felt in the earliest days of the business.
Why should prospective franchisees be excited about a Junkluggers franchise?
First and foremost: our eco-friendly business model. As a Millennial, it's important to me that my business operates in an environmentally responsible manner. I vowed to recycle or donate as much of the material we haul as possible from the get-go. I knew this was mission critical for me, but I didn't realize how important it would be to my customers. It's a lot easier for them to part with old memories or unused items when they know they're not filling up their local landfills.
Our eco-friendly vision transforms our work from hauling trash to literally changing the world — it's irresponsible to throw away items that can be recycled or re-homed, and knowing we're making a measurable difference for the environment energizes everyone who works with The Junkluggers, franchisees and clients alike.
And again, because I'm a Millennial, I play as hard as I work. But working hard should never mean you can't stand to face another day at your job. I've known that feeling, and it's soul-crushing. That's another reason I'm passionate about helping people start their own businesses. I want them to have the same feeling of freedom and pride of ownership I have. Building a business is a huge commitment, but it's fun and rewarding when you're working with a like-minded, supportive team. At The Junkluggers, we know and like each other. Our teams have cookouts, know each other's families, and enjoy spending time together outside of work. It makes time spent on the job feel less like work when you like and appreciate the people you work with and know they're rooting for you and are there to help in any way they can.
What does the training look like for a Junkluggers franchisee?
It's easy to learn the nuts and bolts of the job; picking up furniture and boxes and hauling them into a truck isn't difficult. But we'll help you learn even more than that. We offer training on every aspect of business ownership you need to make your business a success: how to interview and hire a great team, marketing, finance, and much more. Plus, any time you have questions or need advice, I'm available by phone or text. I pride myself on being accessible to my franchisees; I'm not a hands-off or absentee CEO who's out of touch with what's going on with my franchisees. I know each and every one of them and am there to help them every step of the way.
Are there specific demographics a Junkluggers franchise is best suited for?
Obviously, our focus on eco-friendly operations will resonate with Millennials and anyone who wants to make a real difference in their communities. But The Junkluggers is also a great fit for franchisees of any background, age, or experience level. What I've found is if I bring in people with a great attitude and an eagerness to learn, they'll be successful even if they've never hauled a sofa in their life. I've worked with:
- Corporate middle managers or individual contributors who are tired of being stuck in a gray cubicle
- Veterans looking for a career with a good balance of structure and autonomy
- Young professionals early in their careers who aren't interested in driving a desk
- Retired professionals who built strong, trustworthy teams of employees to handle the heavy lifting
Tell us about the day-to-day experiences franchisees can expect while running a Junkluggers franchise.
The great thing about working with The Junkluggers is that no two days are alike. You never know what you'll be called out to haul. It's not always a glamorous job. But the appreciation of your clients definitely makes it fun and rewarding. People need help for so many reasons, and when you can be there for them no matter what they need, it's incredibly satisfying. People truly value what we do.
In the morning, you'll review the jobs scheduled for the day and make sure you've scheduled enough people to cover them. You may meet with a local housing charity looking for furniture donations over coffee before heading to lunch with the manager of a nearby hotel undergoing a major renovation — plenty of construction waste to haul away!
Later in the day, you might jump on a conference call with me and some other franchisees to discuss our latest social media marketing efforts. If you have to leave to pick up a sick kiddo from school, you'll adjust your schedule and work with your team. At the end of the day, your job is motivating your team and treating your clients like family.
What are some trends to keep an eye out for within your industry segment?
Many junk haulers are slowly moving towards an eco-friendly business model. I expect that trend to continue. Right now, lots of junk hauling companies say they're eco-friendly, but we see too much being dumped into the landfills. I'm proud that The Junkluggers are on the leading edge of the movement to recycle and upcycle and already have environmentally sound practices built solidly into our business model.
What are the most important traits The Junkluggers looks for in prospective franchisees?
My ideal franchisee:
- Is tenacious. I don't give up, so I want to work with people who don't give up. I look for people who find one reason to say "yes" when there are a dozen reasons to say "no."
- Champions a cause. I admire people who have a passion for a particular cause or mission. For me, it's the environment. And while that's an important part of our business, I find that people who have that passion for anything are the people I want to work with.
- Is adaptable. Every day is different, and that requires people to adjust quickly to new processes and demands. As a Junkluggers franchise owner, you will make decisions about your business, and that means you've got to have confidence and know how to think on your feet.
- Collaborates. Business owners must collaborate with their peers and team to be successful, and that means finding and hiring people you can trust, then allowing them the space and resources to do their job.
- Believes in the brand. The Junkluggers brand is at the heart of everything we do, and it's far more than a name and a green truck. We believe — and nobody can convince us otherwise — that we're providing a necessary service that leaves a positive mark on the world, and we work to keep the brand alive and growing every day.
How long does the startup process typically take?
It varies depending on the experience, background, and financial situation of the franchisee. If you need to find financing to get started, obviously that will stretch out the process a bit. We try to have new franchisees up and running within 8-12 weeks of beginning the process.
What's the biggest mistake you see from your incoming franchisees? How can it be avoided?
The biggest mistake I see — and I think this is true for any franchise and any industry — is when people haven't considered whether this franchise is the best fit for them and their lifestyle. Anyone would be miserable in a job where they don't mesh with the values and demands of the business. This is a fun, rewarding career, but if you're looking for something where you're never going to work hard or spend your days on a yacht while your team does all the work, you'll end up pretty miserable.
What's next for The Junkluggers in terms of expansion?
We're always adding new territories, and we're beginning to grow outside of the Northeast. We anticipate 10 new locations to open before the end of the year.
We've also added moving services with Luggers Moving. Much like The Junkluggers, our reliable, background-checked movers do all the heavy lifting for local residential moves and deliveries. We currently offer this service in three of our markets, including our corporate territories and hope to expand that to 5 by next year.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Junk removal is a $1.4 billion industry and projected to grow at about 5% year over year through 2020. As I mentioned earlier, with most of the industry moving towards eco-friendly junk disposal, The Junkluggers is already one step ahead of many competitors. It's a perfect time to get in on a lucrative and promising market with a team who cares and is committed to your continued growth and achievement.
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