Becoming a Bin There Dump That franchise operator is a big decision, and you’ll no doubt want to spend a lot of time researching our services, our business model and the way our current operators feel about us before making your choice.
But how will you spend your time after making that decision? To find out, we spoke with Ben Bosch, the owner of Bin There Dump That – Grand Rapids. Here’s what he had to say about running a successful franchise:
Start Your Week On A Productive Note
When Monday morning rolls around, Ben is ready to get rolling. He closely reviews the prior week’s receipts to make sure that the customers were charged for exactly what they used in terms of the number of bins rented, the duration of time they were in use, and the amount of weight they amassed.
Most of the time, the invoices are completely accurate, but occasionally he has to reach out to customers to provide corrections. Ben also does some market research.
“It’s about maintaining profitability,” he said. “For example, I’ll look at reports and receipts to track average bin by size, if the size is going up or down, and why it’s going up or why it’s going down. I’ll also see if more of our bins are being rented by contractors or homeowners.”
This insight will help Ben tailor his marketing efforts to meet the evolving needs of his community and his customer base.
Franchise Marketing, Monday Through Friday
Speaking of marketing efforts, Ben explained that it is a huge part of his business – and of his schedule.
“Your business is not going to grow unless you tell people about you,” he said. “You’ve got to get your word out.”
While all Bin There Dump That operators get to leverage the company’s international marketing efforts, individual operators need to market on a local level as well.
That’s why Ben is frequently posting on Facebook, and at the beginning of the week he pre-writes his posts for the entire week in order to make sure he has the content ready to go. He has also become an expert on Google Adwords, “…making sure that when someone types in ‘Grand Rapids dumpsters,’ I am coming up in the first one, two or three results.”
He encourages customers to leave a review on Angie’s List, where Bin There Dump That has a national partnership. These reviews give current customers the chance to share their experience while giving potential customers confidence in Ben and his team.
Another component of franchise marketing is networking, and to that end Ben is actively involved in his local Chamber of Commerce, as well as groups and organizations for re-modelers and property owners. He is always on the lookout for meetings and events, as they offer a great forum for connecting with new customers.
Every New Day Is A Chance To Gain A New Customer
You never know where, or when, you’ll meet a new customer. That’s why Ben keeps a notebook handy at all times. He makes sure to record the names of every person he meets during the course of the week – new contractors in the neighborhood, homeowner groups, etc. He’ll even jot down names and numbers on the side of commercial trucks that he passes on the road. When he gets back to the office, he’ll research these contacts so that he can send them personalized postcards.
“I’ll try to do at least 10 [postcards] a week for three days a week – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday,” he said. Sometimes, Ben will send out as many as 30 communications per week.
Postcards are just one way Ben uses franchise marketing to connect with potential customers; he also makes direct calls, sends emails, communicates with them on social media, and even stops by the office armed with a business card and a box of fresh-baked cookies.
Creating as many of these interactions, or “touches,” as Ben calls them, is essential to success.
“You’ve got to find ways to keep hitting those people,” he said. “[But you have to] keep it fresh, keep it simple, so you are not annoying.”
Give Yourself Time To Give Back
As the head of a local franchise, Ben is interested in giving back to his local community, and he thinks social responsibility and charity efforts should be a priority for all franchisees.
“Everyone should find some way to give back to their community,” he said. Ben and Bin There Dump That support many local organizations and initiatives, but he is particularly proud of the work the Grand Rapids team has done for Habitat For Humanity.
Building houses for those in need fits in naturally with what we do as a dumpster rental company, and it’s been an extremely fulfilling partnership.
“It’s truly a rewarding experience to see everything come together, to see all of the volunteers who put in all the sweat equity, and the homeowner who, through Habitat For Humanity, will get a better quality of life,” he said.
Winding Down The Week
As the week comes to an end, Ben turns his attention toward getting ready for the next one. He’ll check his trucks to make sure there are no issues with tires, oil levels, hoses, etc.
“You can’t let that stuff go,” he cautioned. His truck, he explained, is the lifeblood of his business. If it is out of commission, Ben could be missing out on a different kind of commission – sales.
You Can Schedule Some You Time
Though the first 12 months as a franchisee can be very demanding, after you build your team and your customer base, you can achieve a work-life balance.
“When you are the owner-operator, the first 12 months will be intense as you grow the business within your market,” Ben said. “As you grow within your own business while learning its ins and outs, you learn what’s important in driving business, and your focus and time improve.” Today, Ben works fewer hours than he did in his corporate job.
How Should New Franchise Operators Spend Their Days?
Ben has been a Bin There Dump That owner-operator for 18 months, and in that time he has already doubled his number of bins and trucks while establishing a strong customer base in the Michigan area. This tremendous success has also given Ben great perspective into what it takes for all franchisees to get the most out of their time – and their operations. Here is his advice to new operators:
Build a great culture and find people who fit it. Ben doesn’t spend much time managing his team, which includes four drivers and his wife, Suzanne. That’s because he took the time to hire great people who would be able to work independently and who really grasped the company’s culture of Delivering The Friendly. He turned away a lot of candidates, he interviewed many others, and he spent a full week training the people who he eventually did end up hiring. The effort was well worth it, as he doesn’t have to put much effort into overseeing the team today; he is confident that everything – and everyone – is operating optimally.
Have a passion for the business. You are going to put a lot of time and effort into your business, so you need to be confident in yourself and the business model.
“You’ve got to believe in what you do; you’ve got to bleed green, you’ve got to talk the talk and you’ve got to walk the walk,” Ben said.
Know that every week will be different. While this post may give you a glimpse into Ben’s week as a Bin There Dump That franchise owner-operator, your week will likely be different – and that’s great. As the head of your team, you can focus on the aspects of your business that really matter and that you really enjoy. You set the schedule, and your path for success.
“It’s not the normal 9-5, behind-the-computer job,” Ben said. “There’s so much flexibility.”
In fact, Ben said that’s one of the best parts about being a franchisee.
“If I have my phone (and laptop at night), then I have my office. I can be anywhere,” he said. “For example, I went over the New Year’s week this year to Tampa to watch my youngest son in a lacrosse tournament. Though I was 1,200 miles away, nothing changed in the management of the day-to-day tasks for Bin There Dump That – Grand Rapids. My drivers had their schedules, we took sales orders and emailed invoices. We took an order while sitting in the sand at Clearwater Beach. Nice!”
Get Another Look At Life As A Bin There Dump That Owner-Operator
Ben is just one of our awesome franchisees, but there are many more across Canada and the United States, and all of their experiences – and schedules – are a little different. Check out what our franchise operator in Indianapolis had to say for more insight into what it’s like running a successful franchise.