Mark Crossett knows a thing or two about building things. In fact, for most of his professional life, he was in the home renovation business, constructing, reinforcing and improving residential properties throughout the Toronto area.
While working on a project in a multimillion dollar house in a beautiful neighborhood, he noticed something that stuck out — the old, heavy, rusty and ugly dumpster that sat crushing the cobblestone driveway.
Seeking a cleaner, lighter and more residential-friendly alternative, he began researching other options, only to find that there really weren’t any available. That’s when he decided to build something entirely new — Bin There Dump That.
Mark founded the company in 2001 and, since then, he has seen it flourish. There are now more than 60 franchise operators throughout North America, with 100 trucks on the road.
However, as the head of three franchise territories and a member of our leadership team, he wants to see his own business, and the franchise itself, continue to build on its success. To do so, he recognizes the importance of building relationships with local contractors.
Strong Relationships Fuel Strong Results
Since starting Bin There Dump That, Mark has experienced the business benefits of building relationships firsthand. He receives about 50 orders every year directly from contractor referrals, which translates to 50 additional chances to improve his bottom line.
Occasionally, these orders prove especially lucrative. For example, Mark has developed a great relationship with a custom home builder who rips down existing properties before constructing new ones. Last summer, the contractor was approached by an elderly couple who wanted to sell their home.
However, after entering the property, he found that they were hoarders, and the house was filled with junk from floor to ceiling and front door to back door. Before he could begin working on the property, he needed to remove all of the items — and he needed to do it quickly. He picked up the phone and called Mark.
“It turned out that they needed to remove a lot of stuff, and they ended up ordering 14 20-yard containers, which is our largest container,” Mark explained. “We rent them for $400 a pop, so we made $8,000 in just 2-3 days.” Without Mark’s strong connection with the contractor, the referral — and subsequent revenue — never would have materialized.
Indirect Benefits From Your Relationships With Contractors
Along with direct referrals, there are also indirect advantages to building great relationships with contractors.
“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.”
Of course, the benefits should flow both ways.
“It needs to be a two-way street,” Mark said. “I have some core contractors that I work with, and I give their names out all the time, which gives them some extra work. They appreciate that.”
How To Connect With Contractors
While Mark’s initial connections came from working as a contractor himself, he says there are ample opportunities for franchisees of all backgrounds and industries to build their own networks. For example, he recommends checking to see if there is an active chapter of the National Association of Remodelers in your area and joining local chambers of commerce or professional groups.
“There’s no shortage of those types of associations, it’s just a matter of how much money and how much time you are willing to put into it,” he said.
In order to get a return on that investment of money and time, you not only need to create connections; you need to nurture them as well. To do that, Mark suggests maintaining a consistent dialogue and taking part in causes and events that are important and relevant to contractors and your local community, such as contractor appreciation days and charitable causes.
Connections Are The Foundation On Which Our Business Is Built
According to Mark, creating great connections isn’t just a best practice; it is an essential part of business — and life. If you want to be a successful leader, it’s something you will need to know how to do intrinsically.
“For me, relationships are an important part of everything, of life even outside of the business,” he said. “So I always knew that it was important, and I naturally took the time to do that when I started the company. Looking back, that’s a big part of the business and how it’s grown.”
An ability to build these relationships gives Bin There Dump That franchisees a distinct competitive advantage in the dumpster rental industry.
“In our industry, there are not a lot of likable companies. When you call them, they don’t make you feel welcome over the phone, and their customer service ranges from nonexistent to crappy,” he said.
At Bin There Dump That, on the other hand, being likable, approachable and customer focused is built into the core of our company. We call it “delivering the friendly,” and it’s something every franchisee takes very seriously.
Start Building A Relationship With Us!
If you share Mark’s passion for building relationships, connections and a successful business, we invite you to learn more about joining our franchise team. Download a free franchise kit today to get started.