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In 2005, Michael Andreacchi, an entrepreneur at his core, co-founded Junk King out of his two-car garage in San Carlos. Since 2009, Michael and his team have franchised more than 100 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
He has helped build a strong team of dedicated and innovative individuals who continue to find ways to enhance the junk removal experience.
Michael remains a business leader in the junk removal industry with a strong focus on high growth business expansion and operational excellence – this means making sure that Junk King remains an environmentally conscious, customer-focused service for residences and businesses.
For Michael, being a good leader means, making decisions on the fly, taking calculated risks, hiring people smarter than you, allowing your team to do their job, setting the ego aside and focusing on growth and efficiencies every second of the day.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- The history behind Junk King
- Junk King franchise opportunity
- Ideal candidate
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:07] Welcome to Franchise Marketing Radio, brought to you by SEO Samba Comprehensive high performing marketing solutions for mature and emerging franchise brands to supercharge your franchise marketing. Go to SeoSamba.com. That’s SEOsamba.com.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:32] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Franchise Marketing Radio, and this is going to be a good one. Today we have with us Michael Andreassi with Junk King. Welcome, Michael.
Michael Andreacchi: [00:00:43] Well, thank you. How are you this morning?
Lee Kantor: [00:00:45] I am doing great. I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us about John King. How you serving, folks?
Michael Andreacchi: [00:00:51] Well, John King’s been around since two thousand five, which started to offer the opportunity to offer franchises in 2010 and have scaled across the country since 2010 and improbably, every major MSA across the country. We offer a great opportunity for consumers and businesses to get their junk removal hauled away. There’s different ways to go about doing that. We either do full service junk removal or we’ll drop off a dumpster or bean, and customers can load them on their own. And we’ll come back a few days later and pick those beans up. So we feel like we’ve kind of that’s been very attractive in the last two years as it’s one hundred percent touchless junk removal from a Covid perspective. And so full service junk removal with a focus on recycling.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:44] Now, tell me about the back story. Did you start this as a with a being a franchise in mind, or was this something that you were like, hey, this is a good idea? Let’s see if anybody buys this?
Michael Andreacchi: [00:01:55] Yeah, no long story. I’ll try to make it short and sweet. I worked in the industry for one of our currently one of our major competitors and looked at joining one of their opportunities from a franchise perspective and then decided with the business partner to do it on our own sense. The franchise opportunity was already out there and our competitors and franchise certainly that was the dream. And the goal was what if we could franchise this business one day and not just be a local San Francisco Bay area junk removal company. So the focus was always there. Whether that was going to come to fruition or not was not our immediate goals. And then when we saw the success that we had, we wanted to give that opportunity to other individuals and entrepreneurs throughout the country.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:45] So now, if you were going to give advice to other emerging franchise owners, what are kind of some do’s and don’ts when it comes to taking the idea from, you know, that single location, that one, you know, the dream, the kind of the catalyst for the idea to saying, OK, this is something, you know, we’ve seen other people do this. Let’s do these, you know, A, B and C, and let’s not do all these. This was not good and this was good like. So what’s some advice you can give that emerging franchiser?
Michael Andreacchi: [00:03:17] Well, first and foremost, hire professionals, i.e., accountants, attorneys, consultants in that particular space, franchising as a whole. We made an early on mistake of not hiring a franchise attorney to help us with the some of our documents, which delayed us about 12 months and wrong documents were dining in was an expensive mistake. So I would say surround yourself with a mentor. That’s Ben enfranchising who can put you in touch with franchise attorneys, accountants that have done some franchising stuff as it’s a little bit different than standard law and practices. You know, when we first franchise, we also our first franchisee, which is still one of our great franchisees today. So I don’t know that I would change that, but was in the Midwest and I would say try to keep your geography close. So if you’re in California, stick to the West Coast and then gradually move to the Midwest and then the East Coast. It adds a lot of expense, too. We run a national call center. So opening somebody in the Midwest means we had to have the phone phone call center open a couple of hours earlier to accommodate very few jobs when they’re launching their overall business. And then just stay the course, stick to what your goals are. Try not to make them, too, I guess, too many systems or offer too many opportunities. Just do one thing really well and focus on that mission, whether that’s junk removal. With the focus on customer service, which was our focus many years ago and now has been junk removal focused as we’re bigger on customer service and recycling, as we have a bigger team overall here at corporate and great franchise partners.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:08] So now, once you kind of started getting momentum with John King and you got some people to the early kind of adopters to get it going, did you kind of crack the code pretty quickly of, OK, this is what an ideal candidate looks like, we want more of these and we want less of these?
Michael Andreacchi: [00:05:28] Yeah, absolutely, and you’ll find that your system, if you’re if you’re good at what you’re doing, certainly in your brand and I think something that we did very well is listen to our franchisees. And our systems have been built by our franchise partners, of course, corporate staff. But over the last 10 years, we’ve just been blessed with having the franchise partners that have come from different walks of life, whether that’s marketing, background, sales, background, finance, operations, backgrounds have really helped us to improve our systems and KPIs across the board and what we should be looking at as far as an ideal franchise partner. Early on, we used to think it was a sales oriented person that’s not that is willing to go out and network their business and talk throughout the community. But we’ve had some very successful franchisees that are introverts, but they are very focused on their numbers, very focused on the plan, can train their team members very well. So I just think if those are dedicated to the craft, our systems are pretty strong, that if you follow the system, we’re not I mean, we are picky as to who we bring on. We certainly want, I guess, individuals that have managed people before maybe run a small business or a bigger team, not afraid to get in front of individuals and network and talk. It’s certainly a plus, but not something that is imperative to have. I don’t know if that answers your question. Yeah.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:06] So I’m just want to get clear on this ideal candidate. Are they kind of all in with John King or is this are you OK with them having John King as part of a portfolio of other franchises? Because it seems like there’s more and more what I call the professional franchisee who is kind of building their own empire around a similar customer.
Michael Andreacchi: [00:07:28] Yes. I mean, you want to the the it is you’re right. It’s common now that individuals are looking for passive income to to build a business that can kind of run itself. We would like you to be more involved in the business, certainly for the first six to 12 months, so that you want to understand the business and can help to create that foundation, to have that passive income. And you can run it a little bit more remotely if you are going to take that route. We just look at the financials a little bit differently, because you are going to hire a manager from from day one to help you run the business. So we’re OK either way. But it just needs to be structured right from the beginning. If that makes sense. Sure.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:15] Now, is there something that your high performers are doing more of that kind of the middle of the road performers you wish they would do more of?
Michael Andreacchi: [00:08:25] Not afraid to scale. You can’t scale our business without adding trucks and training new team members. And sometimes franchisees can be hesitant to they want to maximize. Let’s say they have four trucks. They want to maximize all four trucks before they buy the fifth. And sometimes it’s most of the time you’ve got to buy that fifth truck when the fourth trucks at twenty five percent capacity. The more trucks you have on the road, the more branding you have. And you create this snowball effect of brand awareness of marketing customers, employees and jobs. And so I think that would be one of the things. Also, a lot of franchisees, the bigger ones and the ones that are doing really well, are not afraid to do a little bit more than just the standard cost per click marketing programs. I think that with all the social and the Google efforts and AdWords, you can create a cost per click program where you can really control your budget and understand every click where if you do a media, i.e. radio or TV or something on, this is much harder to track. And so franchisees are a little more hesitant to do that. The ones that do do that or spend money on home, local home and garden shows and networking and employees handing out fliers, you can’t see that immediate ROI. But without a doubt, our top franchises are doing those things. And I think that’s what’s helping to separate them.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:00] Now, is the service primarily for that residential home that has staff that they want to get rid of the staff, or do you also have a commercial kind of version of this?
Michael Andreacchi: [00:10:11] Absolutely, a commercial version. We’re about 65 percent consumer oriented. Our commercial side is with realtors, property managers, contractors, estate, liquidators, home organizers, et cetera. We do a lot. That’s what we call our B2B side. Doesn’t mean that they’re always at commercial buildings or locations. They can still be at residential locations. But there was a B2B relationship built through either networking overall. And then we have a pretty strong national accounts program where we have accounts that use us throughout the country for, you know, all kinds of different locations.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:54] So is that where you were kind of referring to earlier when that maybe a high performer is networking with these B2B opportunities? You’re getting into a world that might be more lucrative over time, more predictable over time, but it might be hard to see the ROI for that initial kind of effort.
Michael Andreacchi: [00:11:14] Yes, of course. And then, you know, we’re very we are seasonal business. Certainly spring cleaning is a real thing. And in summer, people are consumers are cleaning their garages and backyards and out doing more work than maybe they are in the winter. If you build a strong B2B network through your efforts of of networking and getting involved in the community, et cetera, then it can help you in those winter months because they certainly want their businesses to stay busy during the winter, that they’re using your services as well. And of course, increase this summer months as well. And there bigger jobs. You could do huge house cleaning outs where you’re taking out 10 or 15 trucks versus a consumer job. That may be a half of our truck
Lee Kantor: [00:12:05] Now for you. Is it more rewarding now when our franchisees killing it as opposed to when you first got started and you got, you know, a first big job or you had a bunch of trucks filled?
Michael Andreacchi: [00:12:18] Yeah, absolutely, I think it’s fun the reason we did this is that, ah, you know, when enfranchising is to give our franchise these kind of the same opportunity that I had in success and just being known as, oh, you’re the junk king in the big red trucks around your area, it is been very fulfilling. And so to see franchises do that throughout the country in major metropolitan areas is very, very exciting. And to see franchises have managers help to run their business and free up their time to get involved in the community or to coach their kids tee ball or baseball or soccer or whatever they’re interested in and spend more time with their family is very rewarding and exciting for our franchise system.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:07] So now I believe you’re at over 100 locations. Are there still areas available that you’d like to penetrate or are you kind of looking for certain areas or is is kind of the whole North America wide open at this point?
Michael Andreacchi: [00:13:21] No, there’s we have one hundred and forty five locations now, actually, maybe one or two shy of that. And there still are a lot of opportunities available out there. Certainly in Canada, we have lots and lots of opportunity. There are territories throughout the US that are available as well. I would say most of the major, major metros, we have a presence, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a second location, that maybe they don’t own all of Chicago. They own part of it as an example, or Seattle or whatever the case may be. So, yes, there’s still lots of opportunity for new franchise partners in the system.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:07] And then you target kind of major metros first and then go out from there.
Michael Andreacchi: [00:14:12] Yeah, that early on. That’s certainly what we did. And so now we’re getting a little more granular in our efforts. We like our our franchisees to have at least five hundred thousand population, give or take, maybe 50 K, something like that. And so initially, I think our franchise in Denver, who who is amazing and done a really good job, owns over two million population. So if there was a territory sold where we still have, you know, five hundred to seven hundred and fifty thousand available territory next to Major and a major MSA, then that would be a good place for someone else to come in and and utilize some of the current brand awareness and opportunity there.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:58] Good stuff. Well, congratulations on all the success. If somebody wants to learn more about the opportunity. What’s the website?
Michael Andreacchi: [00:15:05] W w w dot junk desking dot com. Is the website,
Lee Kantor: [00:15:11] And then they can go there, they can learn about it, and then there’s a tab for franchising opportunity.
Michael Andreacchi: [00:15:16] Yeah. Yes, there’s a franchise tab. You can see us on Instagram ad Chung King underscore corporate or Facebook at junketing franchise, LinkedIn at Junking Franchise Systems. Fortunately, they’re all a little bit different as it goes that way. But yeah, you can go to our main website. There’s a franchise tab there. We’ll get you in touch with our franchise development team and kind of walk you through that process. And during that process, you will talk to all of our staff members, either in marketing, finance operations. We have a very high level software that we run our systems on. So we’ll give you a walkthrough of how that works and kind of give you kind of a look under the hood as to what your opportunity will be when you join us. Obviously, with the big focus on how we separate ourselves from our competitors with really strong customer service and a main focus on on the recycling, which is what are we doing with the materials that we pick up? I think in the last year, we pride ourselves on on our efforts with Covid and being an essential company, which has made us very attractive for individuals to come into our system and want to be franchise partners as we are an essential company. And we have stayed open the last year and been able to accommodate all the consumers concerns around the pandemic and how we can help them feel a little bit more comfortable as they’re cleaning out their homes for their kids to work out of or their office spaces has made us very busy, but I think we’ve handled it well and accommodated the consumer.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:01] Well, congratulations on all of the success and thank you so much for sharing your story today.
Michael Andreacchi: [00:17:06] Yeah, thank you for your time. I appreciate it.
Lee Kantor: [00:17:08] All right. This is Lee Kantor rules here next time on Franchise Marketing Radio.