Brian shares the top 3 mistakes he made launching his company, and also why he encourages you to document and systematize every aspect of your business.
Brian Scudamore is the founder & CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, WOW 1 DAY Painting and You Move Me. He started his business in Vancouver, Canada at the age of 18, and later went on to franchise 1-800-GOT-JUNK? as a way to expand operations.
Brian has received wide recognition in the media and the business community. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? have made appearances on many media outlets including, Dr. Oz, CNN, Dr. Phil, ABC Nightline, the Today Show; he was also was a guest on the Oprah show in 2003.
Today Brian shares the top 3 mistakes he made launching his company, and also why he encourages you to document and systematize every aspect of your business.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting out with your business, and if you could start over what would you do differently?
#1 – People
In the early days of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, I made the mistake of not hiring the right people or putting good people in the wrong roles. It came to the point where I knew that for my business to really go to the next level, something drastic had to happen. I decided to fire everyone and start from scratch and I vowed never again to compromise on the quality of people I brought into my organization. It’s been tough at times when you think you’ve got a great candidate but you need to hold out for the “right” one. Then everybody wins.
#2 – Trust
It’s one thing to hire the right people, but it’s also very important to trust the right people. It’s a balance and you need to get it right. With any successful company, there comes a point where control over certain key functions and operations of the business need to be transferred to a management team that you put in place. This requires trust in the people that you hire. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made was placing my trust in someone that I shouldn’t have and I almost lost my business.
# 3 – Systems
I didn’t have any experience when starting out my business, just a lot of passion, instinct, and vision of where I wanted to be. Needless to say, I made a lot of mistakes but I learned from every one of them. I realized the best way for myself and my team to avoid making the same mistakes was to document and systematize every aspect of my business. All it was at first were one-page best practice summaries for each activity required to grow and operate a 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise. But I challenged each “best” practice as I documented it and we continue to challenge those practices to this day. We’re constantly fine-tuning our business, looking for ways to better service our Franchise Partners and customers.
If I could start over I would manage the growth of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? differently.
After we began franchising, we quickly entered a stage of hyper-growth. We were selling franchises like crazy and weren’t taking the time to make sure we had the right franchise partners in the right areas and that we were giving them the tools they needed to succeed. We were so focused on selling franchises that when the economy tanked we had to shift gears quickly to focus on profitability of existing franchises rather than growth.