The Colorado Springs Gazette recently published a great article about our Junk King franchise:
Clint Hailey is taking a green approach in clearing out clutter.
Hailey is owner of the Colorado Springs Junk King, part of a junk-removal franchise operation that prides itself on recycling up to 60 percent of what it collects from customers.
That environmentally friendly approach is one way Junk King seeks to stand out from the competition, which ranges from individual handymen with trucks to larger rival franchise operations such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
Hailey opened the local Junk King, which serves El Paso, Teller and Pueblo counties, in August. He and his wife, Renee, turned to Junk King after Hailey lost his job with a Pueblo steel company and they began looking for business opportunities.
His wife was instantly taken by the Junk King concept, but he had doubts at first, Hailey said.
“I looked at it from a personal perspective, which is, would I use this service? I’m a healthy, young adult male. I don’t have any problems getting a couple of friends and hauling a couch out to my pickup.”
But in looking deeper, and considering factors such as our mobile society and an aging population, he saw the need for such a service, he said.
Junk King was founded in 2005 in San Carlos, Calif. Franchising began last year. There are now 16 locations nationwide, with plans for at least 17 more in the next year.
“Our focus now is these large metro areas — the Denvers of the world, the Minneapolises — to get a foothold in those markets,” said Peter Gilfillan, who as a “master area developer” is responsible for developing the Junk King brand throughout Colorado, Minnesota and Ohio. “We could be sold out in major markets in two or three years.”
Hailey said he had no concerns about joining such a new franchise operation, focusing instead on the years the owners spent building the business in San Carlos.
“They waited to the point where they felt they had honed the process,” he said.
An investment of about $100,000 is typically required to get started with Junk King. Hailey acknowledged he could have started a junk-removal business on his own, but being able to rely on Junk King’s experience and systems “really shortens the learning curve,” he said.
Hailey has one full-time employee helping him on junk runs; his wife handles the books.
Junk King customers schedule appointments through a central Junk King call center or online, Gilfillan pointed out. That saves the franchisees from needing someone to manage the phones and set up appointments.
Franchisees use 18-cubic-yard trucks from Junk King. A full truckload will cost a customer about $470; that’s about the same as some rival companies, Gilfillan said, but since Junk King’s trucks are bigger, the customer gets a better deal.
Gilfillan believes there’s also a competitive advantage in being green. Instead of hauling everything to the landfill, Junk King operators look for materials that can be recycled and items that could find a new life. The only thing Junk King won’t accept is hazardous materials such as paint and chemicals.
“We have donated 10 couches and futons to Goodwill, along with monitors and computers,” Renee Hailey said. They’ve also donated building materials to the Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which sells recycled, gently used building and home improvement supplies.
It’s a mission Clint Hailey agrees with — and a job that he’s enjoying.
“Every day is a different day, every job is a different job. I’m not sitting in an office.”