Meet College Hunks Hauling Junk Franchise Owner Joby Pallipatte
A hospitality industry career taught this owner the value of customer service, which he sees as a core differentiator for College Hunks
When he was handling the purchasing for a hospitality company that operated hotels, restaurants, golf clubs, restaurants, and a marina, Joby Pallipatte always had an eye out for what would set the businesses apart from the competition.
That attention to detail and savvy for what customers want are also what led him to explore franchising as a way to own his own business. In fact, stellar service and support are the foundations that he believes will set his Naples, Florida-area College Hunks Hauling Junk moving and junk removal franchise apart from the competition.
Why did you want to make a change from your previous career?
I was always looking for the opportunity to start something of my own. I wanted my own business, but I also wanted something that was related to hospitality and fell within my skill set. My background is in purchasing within the hospitality industry, and I wanted to find something that would leverage those skills. At the same time, working in the hospitality industry can involve a lot of nights and weekends, so I wanted something that would not be as time-consuming as that — but even if it was, at least it would be my own business that was getting built, not someone else’s.
How did you find out about College Hunks Hauling Junk, and what did your research turn up that made you want to pursue it further?
I looked at many franchise options, and in so doing I heard about College Hunks Hauling Junk. I took a closer look at them online, and I discovered some very strong aspects of the business. From the training and marketing from corporate to the leads generated by the Sales and Loyalty Center, everything was well thought out. I didn’t want a franchise where everything was still being developed. I wanted solid systems in place for every aspect of the operation, and College Hunks Hauling Junk had that.
What sets your College Hunks Hauling Junk franchise apart from independent moving and removal companies?
I take care of customers and see what their needs are. That’s always been my focus and my mantra: make sure the customers get what they want. I plan to bring that to my franchise.
We’ll be hiring a younger workforce and giving them an opportunity to grow with us. Not many businesses do that. I want to mirror the corporate concept of College Hunks, where you have that energetic, collegial environment. Each one of our trucks is a small business of its own, and it’s great experience for the entire team to build the overall business by looking at it that way. We are going to be a youth-infused business with a lot of energy.
What do you need to do to be successful in this franchise?
Follow the systems. All the systems are place, and you can always go to corporate for any guidance you might need. They know the good points and bad points of just about every question, and they offer such good coaching and training. Follow their advice and run your business by connecting to and getting involved in your local market, and you can be successful.
Who are your main customers?
As we get going we’ll just be doing hauling, but once we get our moving license that will probably become our main offering. Eventually we’ll have different-size trucks so we can do small jobs, such as condominium and apartment moves, and then a bigger truck for larger home and business moves, as well as the junk hauling that needs more truck space.
What does a typical day look like as you gear up toward opening?
We’re working hard on hiring and getting our physical office set up. There are a lot of back-end processes to learn, so I am talking with the people at corporate a lot to make sure it’s all operating properly from the first day.
I’m also getting out and doing some networking and marketing for College Hunks and myself as we prepare to open. That is important, too, because while I believe we’ll get a lot of business right away from online and call-in bookings through the Sales and Loyalty Center, I also want to meet with lots of people so they get to know me, and get to know our team, personally.
What do you like about the business?
I really do like the idea of junk hauling as it relates to recycling. I like that a lot of what we pick up isn’t going to a landfill, but is being recycled and reused and so is helping the environment. I like that we’re partnering with Goodwill and other thrift-store operators to make that happen, because that helps them employ more people and be more successful as well.
I also like that we’re taking the stress out of people’s lives. If you walk into your garage and think, “How am I going to get rid of all this?” we have the answer. Helping the environment, reducing someone’s stress level … this business gives happiness, and that’s what I like.
How have franchise owners and the corporate team been in terms of support?
I’ve met a lot of other owners, and they have all been very helpful. Their experience makes them a great knowledge base, and they are great about sharing what they know with me. I’m sure I’ll make some mistakes, but having that support system in place from the president of the company on down is really great.
Everyone at corporate has been very encouraging, and they also have been providing me with tasks and deadlines and making sure I get it all done as we prepare to open. It’s good having a team behind me to keep me on point.
What does franchise ownership allow you to do that you couldn’t do before?
I’m not a slave to someone else’s business anymore. I own a business, I am starting something I can grow. I can be successful with just this one franchise, or I can expand and take over more territories. Either way, I can bring in people to help run the operation so I can focus on growing even more while they do the day-to-day operations and ensure that what I already have runs well and is profitable. There is a lot of opportunity like that with this franchise.
Would you recommend this franchise? Why?
I absolutely would. People might think it’s a blue-collar kind of operation — messy and dirty and not very glamorous. But there’s a lot more to it than just the lifting and hauling. If you see the teams in action and how happy the customers are, and you experience the remarkable support system from corporate and the other owners, you can see how it’s a business that really is different — and makes a difference.