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Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: firstname.lastname@example.org; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.
Business name: 1-800-GOT-JUNK and a sister business, You Move Me, both franchise businesses.
Owner: Ben Hoskins.
Address: 4001 Main St., No. 312.
What the business does: 1-800-GOT-JUNK is a franchised full-service junk removal company. The company removes household junk from the garage or a warehouses full of office furnishings.
Owner Ben Hoskins said company drivers arrive at a site and remove whatever the customer requests. After all non-toxic junk is removed, Hoskins said he donates and recycles as much of it as possible, approximately 90 percent. The remainder is taken to a transfer station.
Steps to build your business: Hoskins is building awareness of his business through a consistent radio campaign, direct mail and online marketing. He continues to build relationships on the commercial side with those companies that have a recurring need for junk removal. To get involved in the community, Hoskins is helping local nonprofit groups with their junk-removal needs.
Greatest challenge: Hoskins says the company's greatest challenge is dealing with state and federal regulations regarding drivers, vehicles and the industries it works with.
The company's workers' compensation costs in Washington through Labor & Industries are much higher than what Oregon charges, he said.
What's ahead for your business: To fulfill a common request of his clients, Hoskins said he recently opened a moving company called You Move Me, also a franchise. He said about a third of his junk removal clients were at some stage of moving.
They told him they wanted a company that made moving as pleasant and easy as his company made junk removal. Hoskins tries to make the experience of moving almost fun. He focuses on the smaller details such as a morning coffee service (because the coffeemaker has already been packed) and free assembly and disassembly of furniture. He started in May with two trucks and plans on adding two more trucks in the spring.
Owner's business history: Before starting 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, Hoskins was a project manager for an IT company.
Year established in Clark County: 2009.
Employees: 11 employees.
Telephone (junk): 800-468-5865.
Telephone (moving): 800-926-3900.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.