is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. This week, in celebration of spring, we're profiling down-to-earth franchisees in the "spring cleaning" business. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email .
After working for big corporations including Cintas, Nestle Waters and FedEx, Scott Zane wanted a job that had more of a local impact. Zane was drawn to Junkluggers, a junk removal business, due to its eco-friendly message and commitment to the local community. Over a year after Hurricane Sandy hit, Junkluggers is still donating to those who need it most in their Long Island community. Here's what Zane has learned about franchising and community on a local level.
Name: Scott Zane
Franchise owned (location): The Junkluggers, Suffolk County, N.Y.
How long have you owned the franchise?
We wanted a “turnkey” business with a proven system that, if followed correctly, would have a higher likelihood of success. It’s nice to have the ongoing support from corporate along with the image and brand awareness.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I worked in operations for big corporations such as Cintas Corp, Nestle Waters and Fed Ex.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
We liked that they were a young and hungry company looking to grow fast. We liked the whole “Eco-Friendly” part of their mission statement involved in giving back to the community and the less fortunate.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
$25,000 Franchise Fee
$1,000 Software Fee
$6,117 Insurance Pre-Pay
$750 Promotional Items
$10,000 Truck Deposit
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
A family member owns a franchise and I was able to speak in detail with him. Also, the franchise attorney we used provided advice as he reviewed the agreement. I also researched the market from a competitive perspective and spoke to other franchisees of The Junkluggers.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
I would have to say the marketing side of the business is the most challenging. How to convey a message to get the commercial prospects to use our services.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Even though you might get support from your franchisor, make sure you are hitting the pavement everyday to build that local awareness. It takes time to build up your customer base.
What’s next for you and your business?
Grow revenue by building those commercial contacts and getting more repeat business. Continue to get involved in the community to build local brand awareness that will lead to more revenue.