College Hunks Hauling Junk New Franchisee
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New Franchisees Look Back on Their First Year in Business | College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving

May 9, 2022

My First Year as A Hunk: New Franchisees Look Back on Their First Year in Business

Recent changes in the economy and the world created a move to reexamine career paths for many. The pandemic not only changed how we lived, but it also changed how we viewed the job market. Highlighting the importance of security, finding more meaningful employment, and adopting a work-life balance caused many to look for other options. Reluctant to return to traditional job roles, many are betting on their own abilities by going into business for themselves. Leaders who were once loyal to the traditional 9 to 5 model have pivoted to business ownership. Attracted to the independence, structure, and support franchising provides, franchise ownership is on the rise. College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving is quickly emerging as a top franchise choice amongst new business owners. In 2021, franchise owners contributed to College HUNKS $200 million record-breaking year and earned the brand a spot on Inc. 5000’s list of 2021’s Fastest-Growing Consumer Products & Services Companies in America, among many other accolades.

Recently, we spoke to three College HUNKS franchise owners about their first year as part of the HUNKS family and we thought it important to share their experiences.

Franchise Owner: Bryan Saad

Franchise Location: Macomb County, MI

Franchise Owner Since August 2020

No stranger to business ownership, Bryan, a building company owner of 35 years, sought a new venture he could start while running his current business. He immediately zeroed in on franchising as being the best option to balance the two. Having already had his sights on the $10 billion junk removal industry, College HUNKS seemed like the ideal opportunity to explore.

  • Why did you decide to open a College HUNKS franchise? Did you consider other franchise or non-franchise options?

“I’ve always been enamored by the junk and waste business. It’s a service that’s always going to be needed.Initially hesitant about the moving portion of the College HUNKS dual business model Bryan added, “I wasn’t looking for the added portion of a College HUNKS franchise, a moving company. After doing my due diligence I was excited to take on the dual business. I was convinced that the systems, technology, and support that were in place would allow me to succeed with my plan. Now, after being open 1½ years, I can truly say most everything about College HUNKS has exceeded my expectations.” Just for a little background, moving services were added a few years after College HUNKS started and now this makes up 50% of College HUNKS revenue.

Emerging from 2020, when many businesses had closed. Starting a business in the second year of the pandemic proved promising, yet raised challenges many businesses including College HUNKS franchisees faced.

  • Did the pandemic impact your decision to open your College HUNKS franchise in any way?

No. I made no decisions based on the pandemic. It did push back my initial target date to open by 6 months due to delays for everything needed from truck availability to license procurement, and employees.

  • What challenges have you faced during your first year in business?

The biggest challenge was being properly and adequately staffed. I knew it would be a challenge with the COVID pandemic going on, but I believe the company's culture helped put us in better shape with employees than most businesses.

The first year of a business is statistically the hardest. Franchises follow structured proven systems and experience higher success rates than traditional startups. Despite delays and expected challenges during the pandemic, Bryan leaned into the expertise and support of his mentors and franchise development team.

  • How is it going so far? Tell us about your experience in the first year of ownership.

It truly has been great. The franchise pleads with you to “follow the playbook.” That’s exactly what I wanted – a playbook that’s proven and works. I trusted the process and that’s what makes it so enjoyable, to be able to compare your pro forma and business plan to actual results and meet or exceed your goals. I’m not just talking about the monetary part of the business. College HUNKS is a culture-oriented company. A culture I wanted to experience in a business that I own. Part of the playbook is to teach and live our four core values: Building Leaders; Fun Enthusiastic Team Environment; Listen, Fulfill, and Delight; and Always Branding. We’ve done that and the culture we have has made the first year even that much more rewarding. 

  • What have you loved about being part of the College HUNKS family?    

Having a complete team behind you is great. I’ve been a builder for 35 years and just about every struggle, challenge, or problem all falls on you. With College HUNKS, you not only have corporate support, but at any time you can call upon a fellow franchisee for help. It’s been so rewarding to build and run a business within the College HUNKS culture. As a constant reminder of one of my goals, I named my legal entity Head Coach Investments. In this first year, I’ve coached up my favorite of the College HUNKS’ core values: Building Leaders. It’s been fun and rewarding to see so many young team members turn into true leaders.

We believe that College HUNKS’ franchise training is a complement to his natural leadership skills, business acumen, and coaching mentality. A shared effort that’s made a significant difference in his success during the first year. 

Franchise Owner: Scott Leffel

Franchise Location: Carrollton, TX

Franchise Owner Since February 2021

Scott, a high-earning corporate employee, wanted to do more than just replace his high-income job. Like so many amid the pandemic, Scott wanted the freedom, uncapped income potential, and meaningful work that comes with entrepreneurship. After a year of research and vetting over 100 business opportunities, Scott decided to become a College HUNKS franchise owner. 

  • Why did you decide to open a College HUNKS franchise? Did you consider other franchise or non-franchise options? 

There were many factors that led to my decision to purchase the franchise. I was not looking to just replace my current income, but transition into becoming an entrepreneur and work “on my business” and “not in my business”.  Another reason I chose College HUNKS was due to the company’s purpose and core values. We believe strongly in helping others and making positive contributions to society. I was looking for companies that had a track record of success and a playbook that I could execute and expect to be successful. This was confirmed when I connected with franchise owners throughout the brand. After doing my homework, I felt very comfortable that I would be successful. I also liked College HUNKS’ transparency within the Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD) that included detailed information regarding the financials of the business. Finally, this business model is recession-proof, COVID-proof, political party-proof, and technology-proof.

  • Did the pandemic impact your decision to open your College HUNKS franchise in any way? 

Yes, it absolutely played a factor. This is an essential job which means we don’t have to close because of COVID.  

  • What challenges have you faced during your first year in business?   

We have a very positive outlook and view challenges as hidden opportunities to grow and get better. Any business is going to have good days and bad days, it’s how you perceive and handle them that makes a difference. Looking back over the past year, there are things I could have improved on. However, I followed the playbook to the best of my ability, and I believe this has minimized any real challenges or potential problems. I’m very satisfied with what we have accomplished.

Scott has found what he was seeking in his yearlong hunt before joining College HUNKS. He’s experienced not only a record-breaking first year but has built connections, personal growth, and satisfaction in his work.

  • How is it going so far? Tell us about your experience in the first year of ownership.

I love it. We broke the one-year sales record and will do over $1.7M in our first year.  We started with a moving truck and a junk truck and now have 8 vehicles and have ordered more. We have built a great team and are excited about our future. We haven’t done anything special other than following the playbook and building relationships within the franchise community. There are great leaders throughout the brand that have helped me along the way.

  • What have you loved about being part of the College HUNKS family?  

I love our purpose and core values. We do our best to live by them every day. I had no idea how much satisfaction I would get by implementing them and helping others through our business. I got into this business to make money. After a year in business, money is no longer the driving force behind what I do every day. I’ve realized by living our core values, the money will take care of itself.

College HUNKS is honored to have Scott as a franchise owner. His drive, focus on his team and community and his care and attention following the core values and business model is what makes him a leader. He is a prominent example of the success you can accomplish with College HUNKS.

Franchise Owner: Amy & Aaron Wetzel

Franchise Location: Germantown, WI

Franchise Owner Since December 2020