Kim Prica and Sharon Konieczko were nominated for a 2022 Rock Star Award by the Junk King franchise leadership team under the Women-Owned category. They were chosen by Franchise Business Review from among 200+ nominations for their outstanding achievements as Junk King franchise owners in Palm Beach, FL.
What advice do you have for someone considering investing in a franchise?
If you’re considering going into franchise, it’s important to do your due diligence and check out everything. Franchising is a great way to own your own business, along with the backing of the franchise system. This is why it’s important to find a system that has your back all the time and is always actively working to help you grow a successful franchise location.
If you could start all over again, which mistake(s) would you avoid? What were your best decisions?
Our first mistake was choosing our location. We initially got an industrial warehouse, which did not work for our operations, so we needed to relocate early on. We also could have learned the best process for scrapping a lot better and a lot faster in the early days. But it took us a few years to learn. Our best decision was deciding to grow. We got a bigger warehouse and truck, and we work hard every day to continue expanding our business. We are involved in the business every day. We don’t wait around for opportunities. We go out to get our own jobs. We usually host lots of events and network to build our presence in the community.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as a business owner?
Like most businesses right now, staffing has been a big challenge. We are very driven and work-focused individuals and we sometimes assume people will want to work the way we do, which is not always the case. We continue to look for team members to help us get the job done, and grow our business.
Is there a book or podcast that has helped you in starting or building your business?
There are maybe ten books that we have and reference all the time for work. They are different franchising, business ownership, and junk removal books. Whenever we have a question, we like to reference these. One title that does come to mind is “Effortless Entrepreneur” by Nick Friedman, Omar Soliman, Daylle Deanna Schwartz, and Michael Gerber.
What is your proudest achievement in your franchising career so far?
Being recognized at our system-wide conference with the Best Year Over Year Growth Award is something that we’re very proud of. We are always trying to improve each year and we are happy to see that the business keeps growing every month. We hope to double our business this year.
What was your work history before you entered franchising? How did you apply prior skills to your franchise?
We both were real estate agents for about 15 years. Kim is an Airforce veteran and has a background in operations management and sales. Sharon’s background is in property management and sales. Both of our backgrounds really contribute to running the business. We saw an opportunity with the junk hauling industry and the Junk King Palm Beach location happened to be available. We purchased the location when it was still pretty small and have since turned it around quickly.
Did the pandemic or recession impact your business and, if so, what were the lessons learned from the experience?
As soon as we signed the paperwork for our location, the pandemic hit. It was a mix of good and bad. When people didn’t have money, they weren’t spending. Also, we were not able to enter homes for a while. We had to keep our heads on straight and not let the things around us affect us so that we could get the job done. Soon enough, people started downsizing or removing clutter from their homes again which gave us an opportunity to bring in new customers and grow the business.
What do you like most about your franchise organization today?
Junk King is a very supportive organization and also recognizes the hard work that franchisees do every day. They have a system and we follow it exactly. We’re rule followers and having the structure in place from Junk King has worked very well for us. Not only is it a proven system, but corporate is also always there for us. There is open communication and they continue to motivate us. If we ever need anything, we know that we can give a team member a call.
Why do you think franchising is a good option for women? What advice would you give other women who are considering buying a franchise?
Franchising is a great option for women because it allows them to own their own businesses with a system of support. Women are very smart, organized, and strategic, so having a system in place to follow allows them to think ahead and focus on working hard. Our advice would be to just do it. Don’t be afraid to get into a man’s world. Women have been fighting for years to be equal, and franchising is a great chance to do the same job as men, but do it even better!