Q&A with new College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving franchisee Scarlett Dornbrook
While taking a few years off from the business world to try her hand at being a stay-at-home mom, Scarlett Dornbrook developed a love for restoring antique furniture and took special joy in saving these items from the landfill by giving them a second life. So, the concept of recycling and second chances played a huge part in her decision to join College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving and embrace a new life as a business owner.
As the first College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving franchise in Wisconsin, Scarlett is aggressively marketing the brand to make sure that everyone in the state will have heard of College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving in the very near future, if they haven’t already. Dornbrook recently shared her story and her vision to become the premiere junk removal and moving franchise in the state of Wisconsin.
How long have you been open?
We’ve been open since late June. We have a really solid team working with us. Everyone’s having fun doing it. It’s amazing to see how these young people get so excited over what we do. I never envisioned having such great employees. So, things are going well. We have jobs booked well into the future.
So you’re off to a strong start!
Yeah, it’s been a great start. They say our numbers are looking good. We are out there aggressively marketing and networking and trying hard to get our name out there since we’re new to the state of Wisconsin. People here have never heard of College Hunks. They think the name is great. Everybody wants to talk about it and find out where we came from. A lot of people say “Hey, we saw your trucks” or “We saw your guys.”
Are people surprised when they find out that the Head Hunk is not a guy?
A lot of people don’t know, because they actually have not met me. The people I tend to come face-to-face with are more on the networking side, going to other businesses and speaking with Realtors and business owners. I have only been on one job, so I’ve only ever met one client.
A College Hunk doing one of their signature ‘truck waves,’ parking in a high-traffic area and waving to passersby. The bright orange truck is an attention grabber, as are the uniformed Hunks and Hunkettes.
What sorts of things are your guys getting enthusiastic about?
I think a lot of it is that they’re rewarded for the truck waves that they do and their marketing activities. I tell them every day, “See? All that footwork we make you do every day in the 90-degree heat is paying off!” Because two days after they put out 400 door hangers, they are getting jobs booked from those houses and think, “Oh, that was me that did that.” Also, they can keep the money from picking up scrap metal. That is a huge bonus some days. If they can keep our dump costs down, it helps us, too. Stuff like that gets them excited to be here every day.
What were you doing before you decided to open the business?
I was in the service industry for many years and was in management. I gave that up one day and tried the stay-at-home mom thing, but it was not for me. For about 8 years now I’ve had a hobby where I buy and sell antique items and restore furniture. So, I started my own little business that I still have to this day. I have customers who will bring me their old furniture to restore. It partners nicely with College Hunks because I really like to see things get a second chance at life.
What lead you to College Hunks?
I researched many different business models. What led me to College Hunks was the fact that they had a great business model and are a young, energetic company. I wanted something that is very much customer-facing. I didn’t think I would be happy if I wasn’t out interacting with customers every day. I have a lot of energy and have always been in customer service. I enjoy that. Also, College Hunks has great core values, and I can see this company five years from now being one of the biggest moving and junk removal companies out there. I guarantee you that everyone is going to know the name soon.
What are you hoping to accomplish with the business?
As of right now, I want to get this business up and running smoothly. I feel very confident in the team I have. My goal is to open more College Hunks in different cities. I feel this company has a lot of opportunity, and opening one or two locations every year sounds like a great idea to me!
Describe the support you’ve received thus far working with the Brand Central team.
It’s been great. I went down to Hunk University, and it was a one-week crash course. I came back and it took about 3 weeks to get the store open, and I felt like I’d lost a lot of the information that I had gained. So, I was on the phone with my coach, Beth, every single day, and she was great. Beth literally got me going in Madison. I was doing a lot of the work by myself because I wasn’t staffed up yet. After opening, Laura Butcaris has been more than helpful. She lets me know that if I have a question, I can text or call any time. I do that several times a week. This is a learning process, for me and I have had no problems getting my questions answered and getting the help I need from Brand Central. They have the recipe, and I am not going to go outside of that box. It is a great business, a great business model and a great franchise.
As you go out and spread the word about your College Hunks business, what are you telling people and what are they responding to?
Coming somewhat from a picker background, with my love for restoring furniture and giving things a second life, I find that keeping things as green and eco-friendly as possible resonates with people. Our team knows how important it is to go above and beyond. We want our team to leave customers in awe by going the extra mile. If we picked up old furniture and there was dust or wood chips underneath, we’ll sweep it up and throw it in the truck. That extra stuff is recognized.
Also, a lot of people are more environmentally conscious these days. I tell clients that we will recycle or donate anything we can. We try to donate 60%-70% of the items we pick up. I hear customers tell me that because I said that, they use us.
Ready to learn more?
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