Eric Myers, CEO at Junk Junk Baby.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Eric started his career at telecom sales in Boston, MA. “Best business learning experience of my life. Pure boiler room culture. 150 cold calls a day. Crush quota or be crushed”. For the next fifteen years, he meandered in and out of tech sales at various companies.
In search of trying to find purpose, Eric went to law school, where he met his future wife. “We didn’t need two unemployed lawyers in the house,” so Eric took a job selling insurance. It wasn’t a job. It was a sentence…but, I gutted it out as long as I could.” Knowing there’s no perfect time to take a chance, one week after the birth of their first child, Eric quit. “I told my wife, we have three months of living expenses. I bought an old truck. I’m going to make something happen, and I’m gonna hustle.”
Over time freebies and favors turned into paying jobs, moves, and hauls. Eric expressed to all his clients, “For the first time in my life, I love what I do. I actually make a positive impact on people’s lives.” Inspired by his growing family, he named the company Junk Junk Baby! Since then, he has been building the business and brand. A decade strong, Eric is ready to help others realize their dreams through the Junk Junk Baby family.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- The difference from other junk removal companies
- Target markets and overall franchise development strategy
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:05] Coming to you live from the Business RadioX studio. It’s Franchise Marketing Radio brought to you by IDs, an award winning digital marketing agency that delivers integrated marketing solutions for franchisors, franchisees and franchise development teams. Learn why over 75 brands depend on ID’s team of dedicated marketers and client service professionals to deliver a strong ROI on their marketing investment. Go to Ides franchise marketing for a complimentary digital audit and consultation Lee Kantor.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:43] Here, another episode of Franchise Marketing Radio and this is going to be a fun one. Today on the show, we have Eric Myers with Junk Junk Baby. Welcome, Eric.
Eric Myers: [00:00:53] Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:55] Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us a little bit about junk. Junk, baby. How are you serving, folks?
Eric Myers: [00:01:00] Yeah, junk. Junk Baby was established about 12 years ago. We’re a full service residential and commercial hauling company. We’ve been doing it for quite a while and we like to think we got it down pat. We decided, why not franchise?
Lee Kantor: [00:01:13] So what was that thought process like? Like, was it run initially as just a, you know, kind of your own thing and you were doing it locally. And then at some point you’re like, hey, there’s an opportunity here to kind of replicate this in other markets.
Eric Myers: [00:01:27] Yes, it started very organically. It was part time to start. It was just a pickup truck in myself. And over time, it just gained momentum. And I said, you know what? I love this. I really love what I’m doing right now. So I hired somebody, got a bigger truck, and then things start to get get rolling.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:47] And then when did you realize, like, you had enough of an operation that can be replicated? Did you. Were you kind of documenting things all along or was this something you’re like, once you decided to franchise, you’re like, Hey, I better start building out all those manuals and getting all this kind of written down so I can share this with others.
Eric Myers: [00:02:06] Yeah, for the first handful of years was kind of controlled chaos, you know, trying to learn our way in and out of how to run the business. But to your point, as we got more into it, we knew we had to systematize. So we started documenting our processes and systematizing the business so that it could be put down on paper. We call it the book and it can be replicated with other people.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:30] So were you did you hire an outside firm or did you just handle that internally?
Eric Myers: [00:02:35] Well, we started to handle it internally, and then we did hire an outside firm.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:41] When what was that moment where you’re like, this is too much of a pain. I’ve got to get somebody else to do this.
Eric Myers: [00:02:46] Yeah, well, that’s a great question. And I’m I’m not that guy, right? The type of guy that do that systems and processes beyond what we were doing in our own backyard. But as we realized, if we were going to grow within the company and to replicate what we’re doing to hand it off to other people, we figured we better do it the right way.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:09] And that’s an important lesson for other emerging franchises, right? Like you got to know what your lane is and lean into that rather than try to, you know, be that ops guy. If there’s somebody better that can do it faster and with a lot less headache.
Eric Myers: [00:03:22] Absolutely. I mean, I consider myself if I were to pick a fictitious business for myself, it’d be more like a mayor. You know, I like to get out there, hang with the people. I’m not that cross the T’s, dot the I’s type guy when it comes to making a system. But, you know, once you see it on paper, it’s just reading it and running with it.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:42] And then so once you started doing that and you had a documented, what was it like kind of going out to the market and saying, hey, this is available? Were you getting kind of organic interest at the beginning where that was kind of an easy transition? Or was it like starting from scratch and going out and let me find that first guy?
Eric Myers: [00:04:00] Yeah, there’s a little bit of growing pains with everything. When you make a transition, when you try and grow, you try and do something different. You’re going to learn and there’ll be a couple mistakes along the way. And we learned from those. But it helps. It helps when you have an offering like this to be able to say, hey, listen, this is what we’ve been doing. This is what works. A lot of it is just we call it common sense training in the office or CST, rather. It’s just common sense stuff, you know. I mean, you’re dealing with people, it’s a people oriented business. And at the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to, just working with people and making the making the right decisions.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:35] Now, do you have a feel for that ideal franchisee yet, or are you still learning around that?
Eric Myers: [00:04:41] Anybody that’s driven, anybody that thrives on variety, people that have a passion for caring for people, that’s where we’re looking for that’s what we’re looking for in terms of a candidate. If you’re driven, if you have a positive attitude, if you know you like different. Things day in and day out. I mean, in our industry, no jobs the same. Even if you have the same repeat client, the job’s going to be different. They’ll be different challenges, you know, whether it’s staircases or you might have to have tight fits in certain areas. But as a whole, if you’re driven, you care for people and you’re excited about what the next day will bring, that that’s the ideal candidate for us.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:26] Now, as you’re kind of growing now, is there a certain areas you’re focusing in on or are you starting around where you started and then kind of expand out from there? What is kind of the strategy when it comes to growth?
Eric Myers: [00:05:40] Yeah, we believe in responsible growth. We think starting in our backyard of New England and the Northeast is the best play. That said, we’re talking to candidates all across the country, but our focus at the moment is New England in the northeast.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:55] And then are you looking for kind of that individual person at this stage just to get more out there? Or are you going for that person who has a portfolio of services? And this would be complimentary in their portfolio?
Eric Myers: [00:06:10] Very flexible. Very flexible in that regard. We’re really looking for the right people. We want the right people and the right seats if they’re passionate, if they meet a lot of our avatar, which is rebel and caregiver, we’re not we’re not the same as everybody else in the industry. We’d love to talk to them.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:26] Can you talk about some of what makes you different? What is the kind of your point of differentiation?
Eric Myers: [00:06:32] One of the largest ones is we drive box trucks as opposed to dump trucks. It’s a commitment to us taking care of the items so we can get it back out there into circulation. We believe in giving back to the community. We have relationships with the local housing authorities in the area and a lot of people go into the housing authorities with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and it means a lot to us. It’s a it’s a great privilege to be able to take the items we get from jobs and to be able to make where they’re going into somewhat of a home, that the industry itself is booming. It’s only getting larger. We have new territories available where other territories from some of the major players might be sold out. At the moment we have all territories available. Low staffing. Low staffing is a big thing in our industry. You can run a business with one true leader and 1 to 2 laborers. We offer an absentee option for franchisee ownership. We offer flexible opportunities. We’re more of a lifestyle business. We don’t work seven days a week. We work Monday through Friday, typically 730 to 230. No nights, no weekends. We could step in and work weekends sometimes, but we believe in family. Family coming first. And I’m flexible because I have little kids. And if other candidates have family and kids, I mean, this is a great place for them.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:56] Now, is it something that they kind of need a space or is it not space kind of required or how.
Eric Myers: [00:08:05] Much do they need? It’s optional. You can work out of the home. The brick and mortar is not required as you grow within the business. It would be helpful to have some yard space, but we’re ready. If somebody has a two car garage, we can convert that to what we call the Alamo. They can have that as a fallback position and they can park their cars out in the driveway. But it’s very flexible.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:29] So it can flex to whatever the person and they can kind of grow into it. Right. Like they don’t have to kind of bite off too much right at the start.
Eric Myers: [00:08:37] Yes. Very organic, very organic approach.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:40] And then when it comes to kind of your franchisees acquiring clients, how do you help them in that regard?
Eric Myers: [00:08:49] Well, the first thing we recommend is if you have a local network, if you are on LinkedIn, they have a strong LinkedIn in your community. If you’re good on social, that’ll get you busy just to start getting the word out there. We have an excellent relationship with the real estate brokers. They’re tied to the junk removal industry because people need to sell their homes and they need to get rid of the junk in order to a show it be solid. So there are some organic measures to use when first coming on board. There’s all kinds of opportunity out there. The old saying is everyone has junk and of course, we’re going to recommend that you use and pay when it comes to SEO with PPC and Google ads in the basics there.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:41] And there’s no kind of getting around immersing yourself in the community. So if you’re like you, that people person that likes people, that wants to shake some hands and kiss some babies, that’s a good quality, right? You want somebody that is out there kind of evangelizing.
Eric Myers: [00:09:58] Shaking hands and kissing babies. Exactly. I mean, I was in sales for about 12 years before I started this, and it was most of it was cold call boiler room culture. This is a very soft, very, very referable, highly referable, business and business model. I can’t tell you how many times I went to a barbecue or a party and I meet somebody I didn’t know. And of course, hey, what do you do and what do you do? And nine times out of ten, I wish I had known that two weeks ago, you know, but it’s people have junk and people are in a lot of hot, I want to say hot water, but they’re in in a tough spot. And we come in and we take care of the people and we take care of the job and we take a lot of burden off our clients and they’re very appreciative of that now.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:49] So the person in the local market, they’re going to become buddies with all the real estate people, all the real estate firms, right? That’s part of it. Is there a commercial angle as well, or is it primarily like kind of people in residential environments? Or is there a play to go after business businesses?
Eric Myers: [00:11:05] Yes, there’s a few approaches. One of the probably the biggest ones, the assisted living facilities. We have multiple, multiple agreements with and contracts with senior living facilities. That’d be the big one to start with. Real estate owned banks is another one. The as I mentioned, the housing authorities as well. There’s plenty of just businesses in general law offices, I mean, lost law offices, turnover. There’s plenty of ways to market this organically, whether it’s just by mail or dropping off a card or joining a local networking group. There’s plenty of opportunity out there.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:48] And that’s part of the playbook that when a franchisee kind of becomes part of the family, that’s what they get. Is that kind of playbook on how to attack the market and how to kind of wring out the most value?
Eric Myers: [00:11:58] Correct.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:00] So if somebody wants to learn more, what’s the website? What’s the coordinates?
Eric Myers: [00:12:05] Yeah. Thank you. Junk. Junk, baby dot com. You can go on our franchising part of the website. Always available for a call. Love to talk to people. Love to talk to candidates and love to introduce this great opportunity. I mean, it’s almost like if I can do it, you can do it type thing. I love what I do. I’m passionate about what I do for the first time in my career. I’d love to share that with others.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:30] Good stuff. Well, Eric, thank you so much for sharing your story today. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Eric Myers: [00:12:36] Greatly appreciate you, Lou. Thank you very much.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:38] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you next time on Franchise Marketing Radio.