Mike and Julie Paradise had spent their entire careers — and most of their lives — in the corporate world. However, the Northern Massachusetts couple unexpectedly and abruptly found themselves out of that world and on the job market.
“My husband and I were both corporate,” Julie explained. “But, for one reason or another, we both found ourselves not corporate anymore.”
They explored all avenues in their job search, but one path in particular kept coming up time and time again.
“During the job hunt, Bin There Dump That kept coming up as an opportunity,” Julie said.
Intrigued by what they read online and in reviews, the couple began doing their homework, and Bin There Dump That quickly made their grade.
“We investigated, and it seemed like a good fit for us going forward in order to take control of our future and not be dependent on corporate anymore,” Julie said.
Establishing A Connection And A Comfort Level
Over the course of the next several months, Mike and Julie gathered as much information as they could about the franchise. Part of the franchise research process included numerous conversations with a franchise recruiter.
“He just explained everything really well, told us about the training we could expect, the types of tools that were available to new franchisees, what the investment was and what the possible turnaround might be,” Julie recalled. “With him explaining all that and being very personable, we thought, ‘Wow, this sounds almost too good to be true.’ It sounded like something we could definitely do.”
However, Mike and Julie didn’t want to rush into anything.
“We never looked into a franchise before, so we weren’t sure if it was good, bad; we didn’t have anything to compare it to,” Julie said. “We actually ended up investigating three other franchises before we made a decision.”
After investigating those other opportunities, the couple felt even more confident in joining Bin There Dump That.
“We kept coming back to BTDT for a wide number or reasons,” Julie said. “The initial investment was manageable, we didn’t have to have retail space, it didn’t involve any kind of food or inventory that could go bad over time if you couldn’t sell it. We could do it out of our home, we could expand as quickly or as slowly as we wanted to, and we could learn the business, and there was a lot of different training offered, so we knew we weren’t going to be in this by ourselves.”
That’s when Bin There Dump That – Wachusett was born.
When they first founded the franchise in 2012, Mike worked full-time in the business while Julie focused on getting back into the corporate world. However, they weren’t generating the sales, or the results, they expected.
Confused and frustrated, the couple attended Bincon 2013, our annual franchise conference, looking for answers.
They spoke with fellow franchisees and members of the franchise leadership team to uncover what they were doing wrong and what they needed to do in order to turn the business around. They got the guidance they needed.
“It was a slow start because, in the beginning, I was still job hunting,” Julie said. “I thought I needed to get a full-time job and Mike could run the business, so I wasn’t in it 100 percent.
“We weren’t doing any marketing or any networking, we were basically sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring and we weren’t active in it; we weren’t actively promoting it.”
Armed with this insight, and recognizing the pitfalls of not quitting your corporate career before starting a franchise, the couple changed course.
“We realized that this is going to run much better with two people in it full-time,” Julie said. “I completely quit my job search because I wasn’t effective with the job search and I wasn’t effective with the business when I was trying to do both, so we came back and decided we were both all in.”
Driving Results Together
With two people at the helm, the couple could concentrate on their strengths. Michael, who had experience in managing people and driving, focused on deliveries and customer service; Julie, a project manager, would be in charge of sales, marketing and networking.
While not a sales or marketing person by trade, Julie said that thinking of the sales process from a project management perspective proved to be a huge help, as it allowed her to leverage her knowledge and divide tasks into manageable milestones.
“As a project manager, setting goals is huge. I realized I could run this business like a project — set goals for making cold calls, for going to meetings, for just stopping in and introducing ourselves.”
Julie also recognized the importance of networking, joining her local Chamber of Commerce and Business Network International (BNI) chapter. However, just like the business itself, Julie realized that, when it comes to networking, you have to be all in.
“When you join, don’t just join and be a name on a mailing list,” she recommended. “Join and get active, meet people, use the membership list to make your phone calls; you can use [the membership] as a great jumping off point for an introduction, and that’s so much better than a cold call.”
Another strategy that Julie employs is to put herself in her client’s shoes. For example, when pitching to contractors, she concentrates on how using Bin That Dump There can benefit them and their businesses. While they may be comfortable using an old, rusty dumpster, their customers would prefer a Bin There Dump That bin that won’t damage their driveways or make an unsightly eyesore in the neighborhood.
“If a contractor wants to make himself look better, he’ll go with a Bin There Dump That dumpster. Maybe he’ll pay a little bit extra, but his customer will think he’s great, and he’ll be more likely to get repeat business,” she explained.
These tactics have worked wonders, as the business — and revenues — have grown tremendously.
“To put things in perspective, our first winter in business when we weren’t really all in, we rented out a total of 17 dumpsters over three months,” Julie said. “Now, a slow week is 17. We’re averaging about 25 dumpsters a week right now.”
Franchise Ownership Is More Than A Paycheck
While Mike and Julie have seen their hard work pay off in the form of more profitability, the couple recognizes that the benefits of owning their own business extend beyond making money.
“It’s taken me a while to figure this out myself, but it’s not all about the big paycheck,” Julie said. “You know, when you work corporate, you can make good money, you can make great money, but it is not all within your control.
“Having a small business. everything you do is for yourself, and everything you don’t do will affect the outcome as well. You have complete control over your future, you get out of it what you put into it, and that’s just really satisfying.”
For Julie, the biggest advantage of owning the business has been the work-life balance it affords, and the ability to spend more time with her two daughters.
“You can be there when your kids get home from school; you can make arrangements if you have to go to a sports game or if there is something happening at the school. You’re more involved in their life when you run your own business and have that control — if you do it right. You can’t sit back and say, ‘I’m a business owner, I’ve got all this free time.’ You have to put in the work.”
Looking To Turn Your Career Around?
If you are in the corporate world and are looking to make a change, franchise ownership could be for you. In addition to the great earning potential and flexibility that Julie described, at Bin There Dump That, we offer hands-on training, ongoing support, and generous franchise territories. To learn more, download your free franchise kit today.