In early 2020, as the days started to grow longer and spring was finally in sight, Bin There Dump That franchises across North America began bracing themselves for what is always their busiest season. The entire network of franchise operators, suppliers and the franchisor home office team had recently assembled in Sarasota for the annual Bin There Dump That business development conference. Everyone was still basking in the excitement from recognizing and celebrating another record year of sales and network growth and getting busy preparing for a huge year ahead. Little did anyone know what was about to happen.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit and businesses worldwide ground to a halt, there was fear and uncertainty about how Bin There Dump That would fare. “The pandemic interfered with everything,” says Mike Kernaghan, President and CEO of Bin There Dump That. “We were not alone, and no type or style of business was prepared for what was going to happen. Many small businesses, specifically franchises, were shuttered and forced to close.”.
At first, the outlook was very concerning. “Our supply chain including bin fabricators, lift manufactures and truck suppliers closed, leaving many operators in limbo.”, says Kernaghan. Without the ability to supply franchise operators with additional equipment, Bin There Dump That faced a never-before encountered situation. With brand new franchises relying on new equipment to get their businesses off the ground and existing franchises depending on truck and dumpster orders to fulfill their spring demand, the closure of these manufacturing facilities posed a real impact on Bin There Dump That’s immediate future.
Thankfully, governments quickly announced that the waste hauling industry would be considered an essential service and allowed to operate despite lockdown measures.
As the world adjusted to the new normal, things began to start back up. Bin There Dump That’s truck, lift, and dumpster suppliers quickly figured out how to operate with new safety measures and reopen their production. The Bin There Dump That franchisor team offered a helping hand to franchise operators by allowing Ad Fund payment deferrals. Some suppliers, such as leasing and insurance companies, followed suit to relieve financial strain. Franchise operators stocked their trucks with sanitizer and proper PPE to keep dumpster delivery experts safe. And, the home office offered training and education virtually.
The Bin There Dump That team also rolled out a new marketing campaign geared towards homeowners. Doug McBride, a franchise operator in Boulder CO, explains, “The home office team supplied us with excellent advertising materials to ease customer fears. The campaign emphasized that it was a good time for a clean up, clear out, or renovation project for families stuck at home.”. Not only were people utilizing more dumpsters, but Bin There Dump That also had an additional edge, as they have always advertised no-contact necessary dumpster delivery. Mike Kernaghan says, “This business was in a perfect position to offer a no-touch service. That was essential. With people quarantining and spending time around the home working on home projects, we hoped the business would pick up, and it did.”.
“We were brand new in our area when Covid-19 first hit and the phones went dead for about two weeks.”, says Jodie Nash, franchise operator in Newton NC. “Then we started to get busy, and each month we just kept getting busier.”. The message coming from the Bin There Dump That home office was simple – keep a positive attitude, push out the marketing materials in every avenue possible, and follow the business model. As people stayed the course, they began to realize that not only was Covid-19 not going to be a detriment to their business, but they were incredibly well-positioned to ride it out and take advantage of the situation. Doug McBride of Boulder CO explains, “We went from 222 sales in March, to 245 in April, and then to 395 in May. June was 473, and July was 407. All were new records for those months. I would say that those increases resulted from a combination of the marketing efforts and people being at home and looking for stuff to do. Our contactors picked back up starting in May, so that was a big help as well.”. Overall, the Bin There Dump That network achieved a year-over-year gross sales increase of about 37%.
Not only did interest in Bin There Dump That services accelerate, but interest in the franchise opportunity was reestablished quickly after a short lull as well. Many people faced sudden unemployment due to the pandemic, leaving them to explore new options. And seeing the activity in the housing market and home improvement industry, Bin There Dump That was an incredibly viable and appealing opportunity. John Ferracuti, COO of Bin There Dump That adds, “We not only have the benefit of being an essential business, but we are an essential business with a recognized and trusted brand attached to it. Homeowners know what service to expect in every market, and contractors trust us to represent them in a way that increases the value of their brand! All these factors make Bin There Dump That a really appealing opportunity for someone looking for a great business to invest in. The amount of interest from qualified investors has actually increased as people learn more about how both new and established Bin There Dump That businesses have grown throughout the pandemic.”.
While many franchises across North America were simply trying to stay afloat, Bin There Dump That was awarding new franchises to operators and helping existing franchise operators within the network to expand their businesses into new markets. At a time when travel between Canada and the US was simply impossible, Bin There Dump That utilized existing technology and systems that allowed for remote training and access to the Bin There Dump That support team’s guided pre-opening process. A year that could have easily resulted in zero network growth saw Bin There Dump exceed projections.
After weathering a year full of ups and downs, challenges and unknowns, Bin There Dump That franchise operators are now more than ever championing the brand and encouraging potential investors to dig deeper. “Trust in yourself and the process. Trust in the Bin There Dump That support team. And trust in other franchise operators who offer support and advice on any topic you come across. Whatever happens, you can talk to someone who has been there and done that.”, says Julie Paradise, franchise operator in Worcester MA. Jodie Nash of Newton NC adds, “There will always be a need for our services. The longer you wait, the higher the risk that someone else is making the money that you could have been earning.”.
When asked what lesson he’s learned over the past year, Doug McBride of Boulder CO says, “I would say that this pandemic and the resulting downturn in the economy proved that we are in a pretty recession-proof business!”.
Deciding to invest in a new business is never simple. At this juncture, there’s no doubt that investors will strongly consider a company’s stability during abnormal times before deciding to invest. “Typically, times of panic will cause a business’s gaps and weakness to show. I think the opposite has occurred for us. The pandemic has proven what a sustainable and robust model we have.”, says Mike Kernaghan. As we reach the one-year mark since life changed for us all and take stock of how different so many things have become, the Bin There Dump That network is, once again, preparing for another busy spring season. When asked about his reflections on the past year, Mike Kernaghan replied, “The economy has been through a real nasty period, and I appreciate more than ever that this business is about people. I realize that our ability to weather the Covid-19 storm is largely thanks to the business model, systems and procedures we already had in place. However, our people are what truly makes this company special, resilient and strong.”