Lee Godbold is the co-founder of Junk Doctors and Junk Removal Authority. He built Junk Doctors to a $2 Million a year Business by the end of year 5. However, those that saw the start of the company would have likely never thought that possible. Lee explains in this video how they went from being the most ghetto Junk removal company to the ones that created the JRA Way. Check us out at https://www.junkra.com Subscribe to this channel for all the best junk removal industry info Like and follow us on Facebook at Junk Removal Authority
Good afternoon guys! I hope everybody’s doing great today. I’m having a wonderful day. We’re making a lot of great progress. A lot of work getting done today, so I’m really happy. We got some new exciting programs with JRA. We’re about to be announcing soon. One of which is going to take pretty much all risks. Kind of doing AdWords. It is going to be a pay-as-you-go AdWords system. Very limited, we’re going to take very limited holders. There’s going to be a lot of specifications on what you have to do to be a partner with us in that. We’ll get to talking about that soon.
What I want to talk to you today about is where I came from. A lady out of Arizona sent me an email and she was saying “We all love your videos. We like seeing where we could potentially go with our junk removal business, but you seem so kind of high up there that we can’t hardly relate.” Let me go back and I did one video on this before. We put out one or two videos every day. I know it’s gotten buried back in the rankings. Let me just go back. I kind of explained myself. My name is Lee Godbold, you probably know that. I was born in North Carolina. I always have been very entrepreneurial. I’ve always known that I’d find something to be a success at entrepreneurial. I’d be my own boss and I would be successful. I always knew that. I tried multiple things from young age, fail at them for the most part as far as I did a cleaning service one time.
Being Truly Entrepreneurial
I had a mobile carwash business one time. I did a shredding service and a flyer delivery. I just saw in our local area and it is actually a franchise. Somebody was doing what we were doing and they made it successful then turned it to a franchise. We would get these packets and these door hanger flyers. Me and other kids would get together and we put all these flyers in this packet. We’d go to different doors and hang it on people’s doors. We charge the companies for advertising. That was a huge pain and we weren’t very successful with it. Now, each one of those businesses I’m sure if I wanted to start one now, I could be successful with it because I learned from each one of those mistakes. I learned what I was doing wrong. Since we’ve made Junk Doctors successful and JRA is on the path to becoming successful. Then I’ve learned what makes a business really go. I always had those ambitions. I knew I’d be successful. I worked at a roller skating rink from age 15 to 22. I maybe was a manager when I stopped there. I wasn’t making enough to be a manager. There’s no way. I was making $15,000 a year, approximately close to almost $20,000. When I quit, I started Junk Doctors. We call it Triangle Removal Incorporated at the start. It’s now triangle removal Inc. DBA Junk Doctors, but we run it as Junk Doctors. Started that about six months before I quit my roller skating rink job. It’s very part time. We don’t hardly consider that even the start of the business. We weren’t incorporated then. We were incorporated in 2012 and we just don’t really consider that.
There’s 6 months we were learning. We were working part time. Jobs are part time. I did that around my full-time schedule at the roller skating rink. If you’ve listened to all of my videos, that’s what I encourage a lot of you to do. It is maintaining another job. It is so much easier to hustle now. It’s almost easier to have a side hustle now than it was back then. Find you another job, deliver pizzas and do whatever you have to do to get that income up. That’s what I certainly did. We first started out in the pickup truck. Just a flat pickup truck. I had a regular long bed Chevy 2,508-foot bed. I think 50 bucks for a pickup truck loaded at the very start. I wasn’t expecting to really do a whole lot with it.
I always kind of thought about it because I’m very entrepreneurial. I got out there. I was racing cars. Actually, let’s back up a little bit. While I was at the roller skating rink, I was racing Nascar style race cars. I could drive the car, but everything kept breaking on it. Some of my own doing from wreaking. Some of it from having just operating a race team on a budget. That’s one of the reasons that I try and not operate a business on a constricting budget. We have a budget. We know kind of what we need to spend and not to go out there and be crazy on spending on stuff we don’t really need. At the same time, I focus a lot more on increasing income than I do on reducing expenses.
My Racing Hobby
That’s because almost kind of goes back to my racing days. That’s what held back a racing. It was the fact that I did not have the money to have a car that would withstand the stress that I was putting under. I’d run it fast and then it would break. From racing I learned a tremendous amount about sticking with it. We had all those disappointments. I’d always bounced back. We had rear end go out. We had engine trouble. I had crashes. Every time I turned around there was some sort of a setback. Racing, probably about $25,000 to $30,000 that was lost. Probably about $30,000 was lost on that. I was making $15,000 a year. I was living in my parents. Other than food everything literally was going into that race car. I enjoy doing it. I was going to be the next Dale Earnhardt Jr. I would like to probably eventually get back into racing. I don’t have the time. I have the money now. I can go out and have a kick-ass car now, but I don’t have the time to really put to it. I got some aerobatic ambitions and everything too. Just recently I purchased an actual aerobatic airplane. I’ll start to fly in the next couple of years, but I’d love to get back into racing at some point. I don’t know at this point I’m kind of starting to question if I ever will just because time reasons.
Do I want to focus in on racing because it’s going to hurt some my businesses? My answer to that is no. If I race, I’d probably be 50 years old before I race. That’d be another 20 years before I ever get back into it. I’ll probably do it just to say I did it. Back onto that, I was racing cars and eventually I just ran out of money. I had to sell the car, so I sold the car. I sold everything. I listed the pickup truck for sale, but it wouldn’t sell. I figured I got to have a ride anyway so I might as well just hold on to it. Went out and did about a week’s worth of jobs just with the trailer. I mean just with the pickup truck. $50 each until we got this massive yard waste job.
Looking Closely In Our Junk Removal Business
I’m trying to remember now; the pile was probably 6 feet tall and 20-foot long. It would be a big job now, but it wouldn’t be that big. It wouldn’t be a big deal because we have the equipment to do it. My boss made in the roller skating rink, he had a trailer that he used to haul ATVs. The thing was 6 by 12, but it had like 6-inch rails on the side. Basically, used just to contain the tires and head for tie down points. I took that trailer, we operated that business for probably 6 months from that trailer. Six-inch walls, I did not add extensions. We would stack stuff five feet high. Literally, we wouldn’t tarp anything. I will use the word ghetto. That’s the only thing I can think of right now. We were more ghetto in how we did stuff that you all could ever dream of being. There’s no way. I will say there’s almost no way, any of you all have been as ghetto as myself and my business partner when we started Junk Doctors. We’d have 10 ratchet straps going all different angles to contain the stuff. No tarp, we didn’t used tarp. We didn’t take the time to tarp. We want to be professional. We had uniforms and we had magnets that we put on the side of the pickup truck. What we would do is we want around here, there’s these convenience sites and centers. They’re called citizens convenience centers. Basically, it’s a dumpster. There’s a bunch of different dumpsters that you put wood or just a general MSW furniture into the crusher.
There’s a place for metal, place for cardboard. You take the stuff there and you separate it out. It goes into each individual stuff, but it’s not for commercial companies. It’s only for residential companies. We would stop at a gas station or something between the job and the dump. Take all the signs and switch our shirts. We had uniforms. So, we take our shirts off and we’d switch into some general t-shirts. Then we’d handle the dump. There’s multiple sites around, but the workers there get suspicious of what we were doing. They always say, “You know, we know your business.” They could ever prove it, but we got to be where most of those guys got to like us. We bring them stuff off the job. We bring them lunch every so often. We keep them happy.
We did that for probably 10 months dumping for free. I had to get started. Over time we were saving our money up, but we’re always saving our money up to invest. We knew at that point that we could get this thing had legs. It could definitely go somewhere. We were way cheaper. We were charging about $195 to fill up that six by 12 trailer. Five feet high, so we were cheap. We are a lot cheaper than probably any of you all or now. Maybe not cheaper than you’ve been before, but probably any of you all now. Remember, back then there was no Junk Removal Authority. There was no Junk Mob. There was no Junk MD out there in California. There was nobody giving advice on how to run a junk removal company.
You had the franchises that had all the proprietary information and then you just had to figure it out on your own from there. That’s all there was to it. There was a huge learning curve. It was always difficult for me to imagine. Remember, I was making 15,000 a year. It was always tough for me to imagine that it was possible that anybody would pay the 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. It was crazy to me. So, we were like at a fourth or fifth of the price that 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. I think at that time, the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? full load rate was like 390 bucks. Something like that, maybe 400. It’s about $515 in this area now and we were charging one $190. We’ll probably get almost as much stuff on that little trailer. Maybe we were half what 1-800-GOT-JUNK? was.
We knew we wanted to expand. There was one November the first year we operated, we were very slow. At the time we were getting all of our jobs off of Craigslist and just putting out some flyers. We take these postcards and we would learn everybody’s trash route. We thought, “Hey, how cool would it be to put an advertisement about junk removal company in the trash can? We’d go around and we know everybody’s trash day and when we weren’t doing jobs. We take these postcards to their trash cans. We got some jobs from that, tremendous amount. That’s one of the reasons, every single time we’ve done a lot of print advertising and it hasn’t worked very well. That’s one of the reasons we don’t. We do those advertisements and we do Craigslist. I think Craigslist was even more effective back then than it is now, but you still dealt with the same Craigslist customer that just worries that ever living hell out of you. Always wanting to negotiate on price. Just cancelling and rescheduling. It’s just the Craigslist customers that is hard to deal with. The Google customers are ideal. We’ll get to that in a minute because we thought we died and gone to heaven when we located Google. At this point we had a little bit of a website build up. Nothing too fancy, but we did have a little bit of a website build up.
Marketing The Business
Like I said, we’re doing the Craigslist ads and then we had one November that we were super slow. I mean, we might’ve done seven jobs the entire month. I can’t remember, I believe that was before. I had already quit my other job at that point and I’m like, “I’m about to run out of money.” We had a bunch of money saved. No, we weren’t going to run out. We had money saved so we can get through. After weeks and weeks of it being slow I’m starting to say, “Is this going to be this slow throughout the winter? Am I got to go back and get my other job back.” I left there on good terms so I easily could have, but I didn’t want to. I had that taste of entrepreneurial success. I had that taste of independence that we all love. You all are out there. Those of you who quit your other job and you’re working this job, or even if you’re still working another job. You’ve got this going on, you know what that feels like.
I can go out and I can make money for myself. That’s an awesome feeling. I had that taste. I didn’t want to go back. I was willing to if I had to, but I didn’t want to. What I did is I got on some fellows on an internet forum. I found some, I posted. I said, “I’ve started junk removal business. I’m 22 years old. This is how we’ve been working it. It’s been successful. We’re really slow now. I need to find out a way to reach more people and how do I advertise?” A guy out of Chicago that owned a successful junk removal business, I can’t tell you where or when because he sold it. He signed a non-compete which he might have been in violation for working with me, but he contacted me. He said, “I had a reasonably successful junk removal business.” He was out of a pickup truck and trailer, but he had a trailer with five-foot size. He was gracious enough to tell me how he ran his business. He told me, “Man, you got to raise your prices up. You’ve got to be in line with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, close to them. You got to get on Google AdWords.” So, I set up an AdWords campaign. I think I set the daily limit to like 20 bucks a day to start with, and then raise it to 50, 100, 300, 400 and 500. First starting out with AdWords. We had a bunch of wasted clicks. Our cost per click, we’re getting top ranking. We were like $3.20 cost per click. Depending on your market, you’re going to average somewhere around $11. Some markets less. Some markets will be $9 or $14.
To be the top of page ranking, you’re going to be an $11 or $12 per click. You can get in a lot of trouble now on wasted ad spend. Back then you couldn’t. We wasted a bunch of spend, but it was cheap enough that still allowed us to be profitable in jobs. As that campaign progressed, he actually got to the point where he is losing money on every Google job. That’s when we hired somebody to come in and help us figure out our campaign which is now the same campaign that we make available to everybody. We’ll can elaborate more on that because we have an exciting thing with AdWords, but let’s get back to it. He got in. He got me on AdWords. He got us on AdWords
Just got super successful at that point. We were hoarding cash. We were keeping cash like crazy. It was all cash at that point. We had this huge $20,000. We built out of that. What we did is got to look for a dump. We got to get a dump truck. We’ve gone and bought a $1,500 trailer with three-foot sides on it. It was great. It was 6 by 12 three-foot sides. We thought again that we’d gone to heaven. We gone to heaven twice. We found AdWords went to heaven. We’ve got this trailer went to heaven. We got the money for the dump truck. I think it might’ve been $20,000. We had, it might’ve been $15,000 or $16,000. This was still a little bit of the during the recession. So, it was in July 29, 2013 is when we bought that old number one truck. Still running strong, trucks probably made us a $750,000 at this point. I would guess. Spent $11,500 on it. Now, you’re not going to find an $11,500 truck. $25,000 is about what you’re looking at for these dump trucks. You got to get to one just as soon as you can.
Handling The Money
One of the key things to my success is I’ve never been selfish as far as taking money out of the business. It’s always gone right back into it in investments. Always expanding, hiring, getting new equipment, doing new advertising, and whatever I can to grow the business. With the thought that eventually it’s going to pay off with long-term success. At that point, when we got that dump truck. We thought we’re going to run two trucks, but we were doing so much faster with that dump truck. Then we just ran that one truck until we bought a second truck. We’ve just kind of grown into there. A lot of mistakes along the way. After five years we did $2,000,000 in our fifth year of operation.
That’s a lot of what I talk about now because I want you to know it’s possible to achieve that level of success. Everybody is asking too little out of themselves. Too little out of their dreams. They’re not expecting what’s possible. They’re not striving. They’re not asking for massive levels of success in their junk removal business. That’s going to hold you back guys. 10 trucks now, $2,000,000 a year in revenue. We’ll probably do about $2,500,000 or $2,600,000 this year. That is what we’ll do in 6 years of operation. JRA already got to a guy in Denver. It’s going to be opening up an operation in Denver. We’re talking with people. One guy in Alaska, talking with somebody in a UPS. I think it’s in central New York, somewhere in there about business packages. Now, working with a company in California on AdWords. Just happy to be able to help everybody. One of the main things I want to do though is I want you to start thinking more of yourself. To start asking more of yourself. To raise your think. To eliminate the word expensive from your vocabulary. That’s something I just recently learned within the last year. Our business has blown up both JRA and Junk Doctors since I eliminated the word expensive for my category. I looked at stuff as investment in value and return. I’d go out and hire somebody. We hired a marketing director before JRA could pay for it. JRA is going to be able to pay for it now. I had always made those investments and I take that as a little bit of a risk. I take that as little bit of a risk for it to pay off. Knowing that if something failed and that if it didn’t pay off, I’m going to survive.
I’m going to makes it back. Those of you all that just think and you look at these videos and you think, that’s not possible. This guy has lost touch. Listen, I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I’ve been more ghetto than any of you all have ever been as far as carrying out jobs. I just always was determined to make it happen. I still have that same level determination now, but it’s focused on changing the entire junk removal industry. I want to take all the franchises. I want everybody we work with and who’s watching these videos. I want to start hurting the franchises. They laugh at haulers now. Franchises now laugh at the pickup truck guys. They do. I just want the entire market to be where the individual haulers are hurting the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? business. Hurting the Junkluggers business.
I want to show people how to do that. We’ve done that in our market. We’re number one in our market and I want to teach everybody else how to do that. I’ve been where you are. See where I’m at now. I’m willing to help you get to this point. Watch my videos. Do what you can as soon as you can afford us and before you can afford us. Before you can afford consulting calls with me. Before you can afford AdWords management with us. Go out, hire us, and we’re going to get you to that point. We’re going to do everything it takes to make you successful. I hope all of you understand where I’ve been. Where this company’s been. Where we’ve come from. I know you know where we we’re at now. I hope that you’re able to watch these videos and relate to it a bit more because you’ve seen that I didn’t come.
Making Healthy Business Connections
Nothing was given to me other than being able to be around with people with wealth and having some great people that gave me some great advice along the way. No money was given to me at all. I just made it work and happen. I want to be here now to offer advice. Great advice for the junk removal industry. Nobody on this YouTube. It’s a fact, nobody on YouTube has been successful in junk removal as Junk Doctors and myself. We’re here to help you with Junk Removal Authority. All this is a phone call away, +1 919-466-9322. Like and subscribe to the video. If you don’t like it, dislike it. I liked dislikes. Not as much as I like likes, but I like dislikes. Until you get some haters out there, you’re not really putting your point across. You’re not taking a stand until you got some haters. Everybody, I love each and every one of you. I love all of my viewers and we’ll talk to everybody real soon. Thanks guys!