Like many people searching for employment in a seemingly hopeless job market, the last place you want your resume to end up is at the bottom of the pile. Nick Friedman might have been one of those thousands of job applicants if it wasn’t for a moving business he co-founded in college called “College Hunks Hauling Junk”. College Hunks Hauling Junk is now the largest and fastest growing US-Based junk removal franchise opportunity.
Neil Pritchard spent most of his career looking at resumes as a human resources executive for major corporations like Nygard International and Halliburton, but a few years ago decided to leave the corporate world for a consulting gig at a company called The Resume Hut to help people prepare compelling resumes and get interviews. He now serves as president of the franchise.
We spoke with Friedman and Pritchard to hear about the growing need for their unique businesses and why they decided to franchise.
Q: Tell us about your background with the business
NF: At first, College Hunks Hauling Junk was just a way to make a few bucks over the summer. Later, after I’d been working a regular job after college, I realized that the corporate world just wasn’t for me. That’s when I decided to revisit the idea of College Hunks Hauling Junk. We knew from the start we wanted it to be big, so we systemized everything, working on the business not in the business.
NP: I worked previously at Nygard International as VP of Human Resources; at the Yanke Group of Companies as VP of Human Resources, Marketing, and Risk Management; and at Halliburton, Brown & Root as Global Team Lead of Organizational Development. I grew tired of the corporate world and decided to start a career consulting. I joined Resume Hut because I knew I could help leverage the business.
Q: Why did you decide to franchise the business?
NF: People would ask us “is this a franchise?” so we decided that franchise opportunities would be the best way to fulfill our vision of becoming a national brand. By 2007, we’d received interest from a few people in buying a franchise before we even asked! We now have over 40 franchises nationwide. People franchise their business because they are short on time, money or resources, and we were short on all three, so it was the perfect expansion strategy for us.
NP: Once I joined Resume Hut, it became clear there was a huge need for it for this type of service. There were all kinds of resume services online, but there is a lack of results and customer satisfaction because there is no personalization in the process. I knew franchising would be a good option because there were thousands of people out there who could use their expertise to help people achieve their career dreams. There was no nationally or internationally recognized service for this.
Q: What sets your business apart from other companies?
NF: Our team members are really what set us apart. We are unlike any other moving company because every HUNK and HUNKETTE has our culture instilled in them and lives our core values, truly caring about what they’re doing for the clients. We don’t hire movers and haulers, but rather we hire future leaders who want to make the world a better place. By focusing on our internal company culture, we’re able to provide a superior client experience, which leads to increased repeat and referral business, AKA growth. Our staff is all clean-cut, friendly and committed to amazing clients with courtesy and efficiency.
NP: The uniqueness is the combination of the approach, the work we do and the documents we produce. With many resume services, you fill out a questionnaire and that’s it. Personalization is of crucial importance for us. We want to find the magic in each person to help them stand out in the crowd.
Q: How competitive is your market? What are you doing to compete with other service providers?
NF: The industry is pretty competitive because there are a lot of moving companies and relatively low barriers to entry. The industry includes large van lines, independent movers, national franchises like ours and then the unlicensed rogue movers. We stay ahead of our competition by not focusing on our competition too much. We focus on what we’re doing because we’re more concerned with our clients’ needs and doing whatever it takes to make their experience with us stress-free. I feel confident that we have the friendliest, most professional men and women on our team, so we compete internally to raise the bar rather than worrying about external competition. Also, by offering both junk removal and moving services, we’re able to be more of a one-stop shop for our clients.
NP: There’s not really any competition out there. Most resume services are very hyper localized. There are many online services, but none with replicable business models or brand recognition. Most of our competition comes from small local businesses.
Q: Which geographic markets are you targeting for expansion?
NF: Our goal has always been to have the capability of providing services to anyone, anywhere, anytime, which is reflected in our company purpose “MOVE THE WORLD,” which we hope to do both literally and figuratively with the emotional experience we provide. Right now we’re looking for franchise prospects in major metro markets, including Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston. We currently have 40 franchises, and our goal is to have over 200 within the next 5 years, so there is still opportunity in just about every market across the US, and we are now offering franchise opportunities in Canada as well.
NP: Currently we are just here in Victoria, British Columbia, but I want to have a strong presence on the east and west coast in the U.S. and central Canada. I ideally would like to be in cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.