O2E Brands Founder Built the Home Services Empire by Putting People First
Although he describes himself as a regular guy, there’s nothing ordinary about Canadian entrepreneur Brian Scudamore. A legend in franchising, he is best known as the founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. He launched the hauling business in 1989 as a teenager with nothing but a $700 truck and an idea. With a customer-focused approach, he built the company into the world’s leading junk removal franchise, which now generates an average of $1 million a day.
Despite his many accomplishments, Scudamore is incredibly humble. He went on to launch O2E Brands (1-800-GOT-JUNK?’s parent company) and has created an amazing business culture that has been recognized as #14 on Newsweek magazine’s list of 100 most loved workplaces. “It’s all about people,” he says. “We work hard to develop a magical culture.”
Even though it’s a simple concept, taking care of people is something that many companies get wrong and O2E Brands has mastered. “It all starts with happy employees,” he says. “When you have happy employees, you have happy customers and happy customers means happy franchise owners.” This philosophy is literally embedded in the O2E name — O2E is an acronym for Ordinary to Exceptional— a mantra that Scudamore and his team live by. “We take ordinary services and turn them into something magical,” he says.
We help ordinary people become exceptional business owners.
Scudamore says that being exceptional in-home services comes down to service. Unfortunately, the industry is full of contractors who fall short because they don’t do the simple things like returning calls arriving on time or giving an honest quote. “So many home services contractors fail at the basics. We win by getting the little things right.” The O2E philosophy also applies to franchisees and employees. “We help ordinary people become exceptional business owners,” he says.
A Love for Home Services
Simplicity and a value-driven proposition is what attracts Scudamore to the home services industry and what prompted him to launch WOW 1 DAY PAINTING and Shack Shine. He discovered both brands organically when having work done at his house.
In his search for a good painter to refresh his home, he called on One Day Painting, a company that promised to complete painting jobs in a single day. He hired the company and came home to a finished job as promised. “The first word out of my mouth was ‘Wow!,’” he says.
He was so impressed with the speed and professionalism of the service, he decided to partner with the founder. In 2010, they launched the franchise and changed the name by adding the word “WOW!” to reflect its amazing services. With locations from coast to coast, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING continues to delight customers with quick, efficient jobs that transform their homes. After every project, they leave customers with flowers and a thank you note. “It’s all about exceptional service,” he says.
Shack Shine came along in 2013 in a similar fashion. “I had leaky gutters in my home and called a local house detailing service.” Scudamore was impressed with the service, and eventually acquired the brand.
Scudamore admits that he has made mistakes — in fact, he cherishes his failures. In his best-selling book WTF?! Willing To Fail, he describes how failure can be the key to success. For example, although he and his team carefully vet every franchisee candidate, they once had to take a topper former out of the O2E system because he was a poor culture fit. “Occasionally, we get it wrong and there’s always a learning opportunity,” he says.
After 34 years in business, Scudamore has learned many lessons but says business success boils down to one simple rule: “Find the right people and treat them right.”