Brian Scudamore has received wide recognition in the media and business community. Brian’s first franchised brand, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? has celebrated appearances on Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, CNN, ABC Nightline, the Today Show, The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos, and the View; and Brian was a guest on the Oprah show in 2003. His story has been told in Fortune Magazine, Business Week, New York Times, Huffington Post, and Wall Street Journal, to name a few. In addition to interviews and guest appearances, Brian contributes written articles on building a business and entrepreneurism to many national magazines, including a monthly column in PROFIT Magazine.
Brian is now ready to revolutionize the painting industry. 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting is all about outstanding service and quality. Instead of enduring 5 days of painting in your home, they do the same job in 1 day. An innovative solution that respects your time, supplies you with a high quality paint job and a genuine sense of WOW!
MO: Your first company 1-800-GOT-JUNK? was created out of $700 and an old pickup truck in 1989. How did you manage to grow the business so successfully and why are you ready to start again with the painting industry?
Brian: I noticed that there was a gap in the junk removal business. Other industries had been professionalized, for example, moving companies and delivery companies both had professional brand names that raised the bar for all other companies in those industries. I set out in the beginning to professionalize an industry that had never before been professionalized. With 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, my goal was to become the FedEx of junk removal.
I see 3 main factors that led to our success. The first is people. I believe that a fantastic team that’s passionate, knowledgeable, customer-focused, and professional can take even a lukewarm idea and make it work in any market. At 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, our focus is always to find the right people and treat them well. The second factor that I attribute to our success is systems. Every part of our business is systemized and all of our people are trained to follow those systems whether they’re in the corporate office, the call center or the guys on the front lines driving the trucks. PR is also a huge reason why 1-800-GOT-JUNK? has been so successful. Being able to get our brand and story in front of national TV and print audiences has been great for our business and is a big part of how we got to where we are today.
With the painting industry, like with junk, we see a fragmented, mom & pop type market that lacks professionalism and a national brand. Both industries are very similar and by leveraging all of the knowledge, systems and infrastructure of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, we’re basically able to replicate what we’ve been doing all these years except this time it’s in the painting industry. It’s our next $100 million business!
MO: What lessons or mistakes did you learn from your last venture that you’ve been able to apply your new business model? Have you had to do much tweaking?
Brian: Something that we’re really focusing on with 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting is making sure we are awarding franchises to the right people. Finding the right franchise partners is extremely important, especially in our early stages. These are the people that are going to help grow the business rapidly and put us on the map in North America. We look for individuals with ambition, leadership skills and the drive to grow aggressively. I feel that after 12 years of franchising 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, the process for selecting rock-star franchise partners for 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting is a lot more refined.
Because of the heavy emphasis we place on systems at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and the similarities between the junk removal and painting industries, it’s been a pretty smooth process transferring those systems to 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting. To help with the transition, I brought on board the former Director of Operations with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to be the Managing Director of this new venture. His experience and enthusiasm has really helped to launch 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting in this first year.
MO: How long has the process taken from conceptualization to commercialization?
Brian: So in the summer of 2010, I needed to get my house painted. After receiving several quotes, I came across a company called One Day Painting, owned by Jim Bodden. He said he could paint my house in a single day. I was skeptical but intrigued so I decided to use his services. When I came home at the end of the appointed day, the house was completely transformed. The job had been completed, was of high quality and there was no mess whatsoever. I knew then that I had found my next home-service business. By the end of 2010, Jim and I had become partners and created 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting with the first franchise, owned by Jim, operating in Vancouver. In the following months we quickly went from 1 to 6 franchises and by the end of 2011 we’ll be at 10. By the end of 2012, we’ll be at 50.
MO: The guarantee of any painting job of any size delivered with high quality results is a pretty big promise. Has it been challenging to educate your customers that you can deliver on the remarkable promise of one day painting and not compromise on the quality of service?
Brian: People typically assume that if a service is fast, then it is of poor quality. See fast food as an example. We try to overcome that in a number of ways. Our website has been clearly designed to get across the message of one day completion without compromising on quality. In fact our tagline is “The quality you expect, in an unexpected timeline”. We also include on our homepage an animated video we created comparing our service to that of a regular painting company. What you see is that instead of one painter painting 4 rooms over 4 days, we send in 4 skilled professional painters in clean 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting uniforms to paint 4 rooms (or more!) in one day.
Painting is a huge referral business so when we deliver on our promise of one day completion without sacrificing quality, that encourages people to write awesome reviews of us on Yelp and Google Places for instance. This 3rd party approval demonstrates to potential customers that we do exactly what we say we’re going to do.
MO: How challenging is it to take an entire industry, professionalize it and then corner the market offering the fastest and best service possible?
Brian: The painting industry has been around for a long time but it’s always been highly fragmented and lacked a strong national brand. I think people recognize the value we bring and what we’re trying to accomplish and they respond to it. Look at brands such as Starbucks or Fed-Ex, these are national, household name-brands that people instantly recognize and know they can rely on. People look to brands such as ours to bring that professionalism to their junk removal jobs or paint jobs because we can be relied upon, we provide amazing service and we truly care about our customers. What we’re doing isn’t rocket science, we provide services that people need and we provide those services in a friendly, professional, customer-service oriented manner that makes people want to use us again and refer us to family and friends.
MO: What do you think differentiates a successful entrepreneur from a struggling entrepreneur?
Brian: Entrepreneurs struggle for many different reasons, but an overall belief in what I call “Focus, Faith, and Effort” encompasses many of those challenges. It is critical to have laser Focus on what is most important at any given time in the business. This means setting aside tasks that you want to do but recognizing that they are not critical to success and could be handled by someone else. Effort is all about good old-fashioned hard work. Plain and simple. Entrepreneurs must put in the effort required to grow their business, whether it’s finding the right people and clearing out the wrong ones, or building and testing new systems, or even just listening to what’s working and what’s not. More than 100% effort is consistently required in everything you do. Faith is trusting your vision will take your business in the right direction; trusting the decisions you’ve made when you applied focus, and trusting that the effort you and your people have made will yield the results you need to hit your goals.
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