The idea of starting a business and working for yourself is extremely exciting for anyone. There is a plethora of industries to get into that will help creat the life you want. Two ways to start your business are either completely on your own with a novel business idea or to buy into an established franchise concept. There are many franchise concepts that you may frequent on a regular basis. These include, McDonalds, Dunkin, Ace Hardware, Planet Fitness and buying a Moving U & Junk U franchise! Even so, many don’t fully understand the details of a franchise arrangement and all the perks that come with it. By explaining what a franchise entails and comparing that to starting on your own. We hope this article helps you decide on which business model you feel is a best fit for your goals!
What is a Franchise
A franchise business in its purest form is a business mentorship between a franchisor and a franchisee. This is done using an already proven business model that was created by the franchisor. We like to use the phrase that you go into business for yourself but not by yourself. Using the example of McDonalds, the original burger flipping fast food restaurant started as a one-off food establishment. After finding success in the original location, the infamous Ray Kroc realized that almost all aspects of the business could be systematized to the point where virtually anyone who followed the system could find success. By breaking down the hundreds of daily duties and protocols into step by step guides, he created a full blown ‘business in a box’. Then others could purchase the rights to use and find success on their own.
It is possible for anyone to find a location, purchase similar ingredients, and start their own burger joint. I mean how hard can it be? They’re just selling burgers, right? Well, let’s think about this; how would they know how much product to buy so it did not go to waste? How would they know the location they decided on would get enough foot traffic to thrive? And what’s the protocol when the main grill goes down right before the lunch rush, preventing any sales?
As you can see, starting a completely new business can seem simple but the true challenge comes in navigating the unfortunately, yet unavoidable and unforeseen issues. Being able to handle them in real time prevents the business from failing. With a franchise concept these ‘normal’ problems, as well as many not-so-common ones have already been experienced and solved by the franchisor. This allows a new franchisee to inherit the wisdom and experience of the established franchisor from day 1. This is also backed up by numbers. A study done by FranNet found that 20% of independent businesses fail after their first year. Then over 38% don’t make it after the first four years. In comparison, franchises have a 92% success rate after their first year and over 85% after their first four years.
For the sake of knowing the moving and junk removal industry personally, the rest of this article will use that as the example.
If you were to start your own moving and junk removal business instead of buying a Moving U & Junk U franchise, some of the first steps will be finding a warehouse, buying your first truck(s), knowing how to hire and train your first movers, and figuring out how to get jobs on the schedule with accurate estimates.
What kind/size of warehouse and where you decide to post up shop are majorly important when starting your moving and junk removal business. If you get a warehouse that’s too large, you will immediately incur a fixed expense that may drain your bottom line. A large lease cant be easily fixed, especially if you are locked into a 5 or 10 year lease. If you get a warehouse that’s too small, you run the risk of out growing your location very quickly. This will limit your top line growth.
This relates to both the actual warehouse itself and your parking situation. Something to take into consideration is the openness of your facility’s parking. You may find the perfect warehouse location, but if you have a shared parking lot with another company that dispatches their crews at the same time as you, it can cause daily mayhem coming every morning. Picking an ideal location is an important detail that should be thought through.
On your own, you will have to rely on *hopefully* getting sound advice from other people in the industry. Or making a pure guess and hoping it was the right call. If you were to be a franchisee of Moving U & Junk U, we would do market research to help find prime locations. Then you can pick one to set you up with the best suited warehouse for your needs and future goals. In addition, we will make sure the cost of the warehouse makes sense for you and your bottom line. This prevents it from becoming a financial burden to your business.
Deciding on moving trucks seems simple, right? Just get a couple big ol’ trucks that can fit as much as possible. Definitely an option, yes. But what if you’re right next to a major metropolitan area where a good amount of business will be done in the city (like Philly, where we’re from). Those big ol’ trucks may not fit down the majority of the residential streets you will frequently be working on. Or say you decide on diesel trucks cause they are workhorses that can run for hundreds of thousands of miles. Then your first cold winter day the seller of those trucks forgot to mention that the diesels you bought don’t have a block heater. Now they cant start up unless it’s above 30 degrees…
This renders your trucks useless until you buy and have installed a block heater. This could be thousands of dollars on top of days or weeks until the install can be completed. The size and type of truck you purchase could cause major headaches! You need equipment that is a best fit for your service area. On your own, you will base your decisions on gut instincts and what the salesman at the dealer decides is the ‘best fit’ for you (and CERTAINLY not thinking of their commission check…).
As a franchisee of Moving U & Junk U, we will take into consideration your primary service area and help you make the best decision. In addition to this, we also have a business relationship with Bergey’s Truck Sales and have already spec’d out trucks. These can be ordered and produced more streamline, getting them to you faster than if you purchased them on your own.
- The Call Center and Estimating/Booking Jobs
If you were to start your own moving and junk removal company, you will have to break your way through the market. This would be done by an excessive amount of work of marketing and relationship building just to get your first jobs booked in. In addition, all your estimates will be a ‘trial by fire’. Think about it- you may have never had to estimate a job before! By joining the Moving U & Junk U franchise, you will be trained on how to estimate jobs accurately as well as how to efficiently build your brand in the local market.
However, especially in the beginning you may need a little extra help filling that schedule! Buying a Moving U & Junk U franchise helps solve this by operating a full call center! We have sales reps who are educated in both estimating as accurately as possible and booking the customer. They will help to field all inquiries, dismiss the tire kickers, and ultimately book in those jobs. This way you can focus all your time in the beginning on the things that matter most which is moving and junk removal! The beginning days of your business should be spent on learning how to own and operate the business efficiently. While you focus on completing jobs, the call center is hard at work getting that scheduled filled for you.
- Hiring and Training New Employees
Whether it’s on the mover level, administrative, or manager level employee, you will need to effectively hire and train new employees to get them up to par with their required skill set. While many new franchisees may have hiring and training experience, the moving and junk removal industry has its own unique aspects. There will be a heavy learning curve if taken on all on your own as well as unforeseen blindspots. The Moving U & Junk U training system will teach you exactly where to recruit, what questions to ask in the interviews, and then how to train each employee to do their job to the best of their ability. Our training system was designed to replace yourself in all areas of the business. The ultimate goal is for you to create a turn key, autonomous operation.
We utilize the learning management software (LMS) called Trainual to systematically train employees. No matter what the job is there is no aspect of the position that is forgotten about!
Franchisor Mentorship and the Franchisee Network
If you were to start your own moving and junk removal franchise you will ultimately have to experience and solve every problem that arises on your own. It is pragmatic to utilize the internet to connect with other business owners via online forums and Facebook groups. However, their problems may not be the same. Each unique business has their own procedures, business ethics, and overall goals. What works for one company may not translate well to another. In addition to this, these connections do not have a vested interest in your success. Plus, they wont be accessible on a whim when you need it most. A major benefit to buying a Moving U & Junk U franchise model is the franchisor (such as ourselves) will have an active role in helping solve the problems that you may face.
Having already paved the way, we have already experienced more obstacles than you can imagine. We’ve taken those punches on the chin, and paid for them accordingly. These issues are some of the exact same issues you may face. We can help you efficiently solve them in real time. In addition to this, the franchisor has a vested interest in your business. They cant be successful unless you are!
On a similar note, one overlooked aspect of joining a franchise is the collaboration of all other franchisees. All franchisees have the same business model as well as policies and procedures. This allows for franchisees to connect and help one another better each other’s business. By helping strengthen a neighboring franchisee, the strength of the overall brand increases which is beneficial for everyone. When one franchisee figures out a novel improvement to their branch, that information can be shared with the entire organization. Take McDonalds for example; items such as the Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, and the McMuffin are just a few examples of improvements that were thought of by individual franchisees. These were later implemented throughout the entire McDonalds network, benefiting all franchisees!
Ultimately there is nothing wrong with starting a moving and junk removal company on your own! There’s pros of both starting a one off as well as joining a franchise network. However, we can speak from experience of the plentiful pitfalls that exist in the industry. Having the guidance from a few people who have already experienced a great deal of mishaps will help ensure that your business starts up quickly with as few obstacles as possible. We’re here to help you along the way as you grow your business to align with whatever life goals you have! If you have any questions or would like more information buying a Moving U & Junk U franchise, click the button below and we’ll be happy to talk!