The original name in information security is looking for the right franchisees.
With major markets open in the United States, ProShred CEO Jeff Hasham said, this is the right time for entrepreneurs to come on board with the company that pioneered the on-site information destruction service and knows it best.
“We were the very first people to put a paper shredder on a truck in 1986 and go to businesses and shred our client’s papers at their door,” Hasham explained during a recent interview at the company’s headquarters in Toronto.
From those days of just shredding paper, the company has come a long way, moving up to hard drives and even products. They’ve shredded stolen products, fake products, defective products and even expired food products like chocolate bars.
“Anything that can go through a shredder safely, we’ll shred,” Hasham stated.
Once the materials have been shredded, the company recycles what it can and the franchisees have an incremental revenue stream from recycling. Having started franchising in the US in 2003, the company currently has 27 locations in the US of which 21 are franchises. Those 27 locations service 30 markets in the country. But, with some major markets still available in the US, the company is putting out a call for qualified franchisees.
Although ProShred does have franchises coast to coast in the US, many of those are concentrated on the east coast where they are in every major city. Where the company doesn’t have a presence is in places like Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Examples of some major markets that are still open are Los Angeles, which has multiple territories available, San Antonio and Austin, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Minneapolis.
The Right People
Hasham said ProShred is looking for people who have had success in corporate America or as an entrepreneur. Franchisees should have experience building teams, supporting products and building businesses. The people the company is looking for should have strong attention to detail, good leadership and management skills, good people skills, ask a lot of questions and be inquisitive and creative.
Typically, he said, you find these skills in people who are C-suite executives in corporate America or who are natural entrepreneurs.
The Need for Security
While a lot of companies sell on happiness, the ProShred CEO said, his company sells on fear and providing peace of mind to solve that fear. That fear is that confidential materials — which can even include such innocuous things as scribbled sticky notes — can have massive consequences if it is compromised. Being secure with confidential information is good corporate practice and takes away a company’s liability concerns, which they have to be cognizant of more than ever before because of government legislation.
“The government is telling companies: ‘Thou must protect information in a proper manner and when it is no longer needed, it needs to be destroyed in a proper manner’,” Hasham said.
As incineration isn’t considered a proper manner due to environmental concerns, that leaves shredding as the most obvious choice for information destruction.
ProShred performs both commercial and residential shredding. The company concentrates on small and medium market businesses, which often includes home-based businesses. To facilitate the growing residential market, a lot of franchises also have a drop off facility.
“People have a lot of paper stored in their basements,” Hasham observed.
The ProShred Difference
What makes ProShred different than its competitors, is that it shreds at the client’s site, Hasham noted. And, it also backs up its work with quality processes. It is the only company in its space that is ISO 9001 certified.
On top of that, it is also a franchise company, meaning it is locally owned, but nationally supported. Franchisees work with small and medium sized enterprises on their security measures and when one considers the superior quality when matched with a wonderful franchisee, it’s difficult for other companies to compete with ProShred, the CEO said.
Making Wonderful Franchisees
Prior to even buying a franchise, potential franchisees spend two days in a location working with a mentor franchisee. When they’ve signed the franchise agreement, they then spend two weeks in Toronto attending ProShred University, which takes them through everything they’ll need to know from a theoretical and practical view to managing a business.
From their pre-opening schedule to managing growth, franchisees learn everything about running a ProShred business. After that is a week of training in a mentor location or one of the training centers in either New York or Syracuse. There is also a week of opening training done with a franchise business consultant who further trains the franchisee and their sales and service teams and goes along on sales and service calls.
Typically, six to eight weeks after a franchise opening, the business consultants come back to follow up on any weak areas. Typically, six months after that, they’ll come back again and work on any weak areas.
There are also two training courses every year. The first is a sales training course for training sales people, which can either be taken by the franchisee or their employees. The second is a compliance training program, which is offered every year at the annual conference. All new franchisees are required to attend for the first three years and then once every three years. ProShred also offers marketing support on both the local and national levels.
For entrepreneurs who are looking to get involved with an established name, the pioneering ProShred offers a great choice.