Brian Scudamore may
have dropped out of high
school and university, but he
salvaged his career options
by starting 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
ing his logo jacket to a Valentine’s Day dinner
a few years ago. But like the handful of
employees who got 1-800-GOT-JUNK? tattoos, he only did it to show his belief in the
business he was trying to build.
KIM S TALLKNECH T PHOTOGRAPH Y
“It’s slightly more than a business and
slightly less than a religion,” says Herold.
Several employees hurry through the
Junktion wearing blue 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
vests and jackets. With the company’s bright
blue logo, clean trucks and uniformed drivers,
Scudamore works to make sure all employees
leave a positive and professional impression.
“Yes, we’re in the junk removal business,
but we’re of the highest order,” he says.
Top of the heap
Scudamore says the hardest lesson he’s
had to learn is the importance of having the
right people. He’s worked to create a core culture of people who want to be there and who
believe in the company’s growth.
Scudamore is so much part of the team
that he’s eschewed a private office and moves
one from the employees at the Junktion to the from one vacant desk to another. He says
people on the trucks. it gives him a chance to learn about different
Scudamore, 35,believesemployeescannot areas of the business, but also gives him
be motivated. “All you can do is inspire people a chance to mingle with the Junktion’s
and empower them with the right tools. You 160 employees.
have to find those who are already motivated.” When asked about having recently been
Founder: Brian Scudamore
Employees: 160 corporate staff; nearly
300-1523 W. Third Ave.
Vancouver, BC V6J 1J8
18,000 cans of expired sardines
19,000 pounds of frozen
1 defused bomb from World War II
■ Prosthetic legs
Comments about Costco: “I truly
believe that Costco has developed the
greatest programs to meet the needs of
small-business owners. Beyond shopping
at Costco for my business and personally, I also encourage all of our 200-plus
1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise partners to
utilize the programs Costco offers. From
their long-distance phone plans to merchant credit-card programs, Costco’s
team has our junk team covered.”
For example, those interested in becom- named the Best Boss in North America, by
ing franchise partners go through a multi- Winning Workplaces and Fortune Small Busi-
step application process to make sure they are
a good fit (see “Junk science”). That holds
true for everyone involved with the company.
“You can measure a company in the quality of
people,” says Scudamore. “You never just need
a body. You need a personality.”
Chief operating officer Cameron Herold
says he got in trouble with his wife for wear-
PHOTO COURTESY 1-800-GOT JUNK?
JUly 2005 The Costco Connection