Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2008 (Revised February 2011)

Rubbish Boys

by Noam Wasserman and Rachel Galper


It looked like founder-CEO Brian Scudamore might not be able to pursue franchising as a growth option for his junk-removal business after all. Over the years, he had overcome many hurdles, including buying out his "too-fiery" co-founder, firing all of his employees so he could start all over again when he became disillusioned with the company's developing culture, and failing at experimenting with student franchising to increase the rate of growth. Now looking to expand within North America, he had turned to a professional franchising model and had developed a new brand to help grow the business. Paul Guy, his first franchisee who was beginning his operations in Toronto, had just called. "Brian, my wife's relative just told me that I'm crazy to open here because the city picks up things for free. It's crazy to charge $300 to pick something up when they can get the same service for free! We had never heard of that in Vancouver, but that's a big problem here!" Was Guy over-reacting, or had Scudamore made a major mistake in his growth strategy?

Keywords: Service Operations; Problems and Challenges; Brands and Branding; Business Model; Partners and Partnerships; Business Growth and Maturation; Franchise Ownership; Growth and Development Strategy; Service Industry; Canada; North America;


Wasserman, Noam, and Rachel Galper. "Rubbish Boys." Harvard Business School Case 808-101, January 2008. (Revised February 2011.)