Brian Scudamore: How I Built A $700 Million Business Collecting Junk
Brian Scudamore standing in front of 1-800-GOT-JUNK truck
Founder Brian Scudamore shares the story
“Well, ultimately, I was looking to pay for college. I was actually one course short of graduation, and I talked my way into university. My parents were not going to fund my education because I didn't finish high school.
One day, I was in a McDonald's drive-through. In front of me was a beat-up old pickup truck with plywood sides built up on the box. The truck was filled with junk. I looked at that truck, and I was like, “I need a way to pay for college. I've talked my way into college. That was my ticket.”
But in my life savings, I only had $1,000. I put $700 towards a pickup truck and the rest towards business cards and flyers. A week later, I had a business. We were called the Rubbish Boys. It was really just me, but I had a name and a vision for something bigger, and off I went, hauling away junk funding my college education, quickly realizing I was learning much more about business, running a business than studying in school, and made a tough decision to drop out with just a year left of my degree.
The future that I saw was to build an incredible brand with awesome people. And today, to have a $700 million company across three countries, I feel proud. Not because of the size of the business but the people we brought into building this dream of business ownership for other entrepreneurs. We did this through a franchise model.
Similar to McDonald's, you've got people who have skin in the game with ownership. So, we've done that with all three of our businesses. Not just 1-800-GOT-JUNK, the first baby in the family, but we entered the painting business with Wow 1 Day Painting, where we paint people's homes in a day. Then we have Shack Shine, which is windows, gutters, power washing, and Christmas lights. All three businesses afford us the opportunity to attract other entrepreneurs who don't have a formula to follow, and they join forces with us and build great businesses and great lives.”