Between improving your work-life balance, building something for your family and earning a lot of money, starting a franchise is a great way to enhance your future. However, once you start out, there may be some unexpected roadblocks that get in your way.
To help you steer clear, we took this popular franchising FAQ to our franchisees from throughout the United States and Canada and asked them to take a look back into their pasts and tell us what they would do differently if they could start over.
Here are their top franchising tips:
Make Sure You Have The Funds To Fuel Growth
You want to put money in your pockets. However, when it’s time to grow the franchise, you’ll need to put money back into the business in order to continue to scale. Make sure you are ready.
Tony Alarcon, owner of Bin There Dump That – El Paso, Texas, grew faster than expected and found himself with more demand than supply.
“In knowing now how quickly the demand for our service grew within the first year and not having the funding to acquire additional equipment … I would have initially borrowed two times the amount of my original loan,” he said.
Patrick Daley, head of Bin There Dump That – Sarasota, found himself in a similar situation.
“I had some money saved for some growth, but not enough … A little extra capital tucked away when you need it would be nice, for sure,” he said.
“You have to come into it with a plan,” he said. “I didn’t foresee that I was going to grow as quick as I did, but you have to have your financing in place and make sure that you have room to expand in this business because you can grow really fast … Just make sure you have working capital to get you through.”
Build Relationships With Contractors
Though Bin There Dump That offers residential-friendly dumpsters, it’s important for franchise operators to become friendly not just with the people who live in those residences, but the contractors who service them as well.
According to Mark Crossett, a member of our Franchise Leadership Team and the original founder of Bin There Dump That, contractors can be a great source of referrals and repeat business.
“In our business, one of our sayings is ‘bins sell bins,’ and contractors are more likely to have our containers on site for longer than homeowners,” Mark explained. This added time gives more people a chance to see the bin, which helps build brand recognition and awareness — one of our five franchise marketing best practices.
“When a contractor has a bin, he may have it for two weeks,” Mark said. “Having that bin on a residential driveway for two weeks is great because, if you are driving by every day for two weeks and you see that dumpster, it’s going to stick in your head, so when you need to order a dumpster, you’ll probably call us.”
Go All In
When making the transition from the corporate world to franchise ownership, many people debate whether or not they need to quit their careers before starting their franchises.
Julie Paradise was one of those people.
Julie started Bin There Dump That – Wachusett with her husband, Mike, after the couple lost their corporate careers. At first, Mike was dedicated to the business on a full-time basis while Julie concentrated on getting a traditional full-time job. However, the combination just didn’t work.
“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 realized that this is going to run much better with two people in it full-time. 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.”
Alena Huntjens, owner of Bin There Dump That – Victoria British Columbia, echoed that sentiment.
When Alena and her husband, Mark, started the franchise, the plan was for both to continue working as correctional officers part-time while running the business on opposite shifts. However, Mark eventually realized he needed to dedicate himself full-time to the franchise and leave his correctional career behind.
“You can’t work two jobs and be successful; there has to be one person who is just strictly focusing on the business,” Alena said.
Start As Soon As You Can
If you are on the fence about starting your franchise, be prepared to make the jump in order to get the jump on your competition. That’s the advice given by Larry Williams, owner of Bin There Dump That – New York.
“I would definitely open the doors sooner than we did, as I believe having been out there doing sales calls and getting our branding started sooner would have given us a better advantage going into the busy peak season.”
Ready To Do Something Different?
If you are ready to make the move from employee to franchisee, or if you are already an experienced business owner looking to become part of a growing, successful franchise, we invite you to learn more about becoming a part of the growing Bin There Dump That family of franchise operators.