Cameron Herold is an innovative business leader and was a leading force behind one of the most successful new business ventures of the last decade, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? He was Chief Operating Officer for nearly seven years and his leadership enable the company to build a presence in 46 states, 9 provinces, and 4 countries while being ranked the “2nd Best Company to Work for in Canada” by Canadian Business Magazine and “the #1 Company in BC to Work for” twice by BC Business Magazine. During his tenure, numerous MBA programs studied the company, including the prestigious programs at Queen’s University and Harvard. We caught up with him recently. In the interview, Herold explained how College Pro helped him get to where he is today.
“Almost 40 years have passed since I signed the franchise agreement with College Pro Painters. Looking back, the experience I gained with College Pro, in my opinion, is still the single biggest reason I am where I am today in business.”
Herold recalls hesitating when he was first awarded the Sudbury franchise of College Pro Painters. “I remember my father telling me to go ahead and sign the sixty-two page franchise agreement. Worst case scenario is you’ll go bankrupt, but what do you have to lose at 21. You’ll learn a ton. I was scared at first, but I took his advice; and wow was he right.”
Herold ran the Sudbury franchise for three summers. Having the opportunity to manage a business in the summer months allowed him to focus on school the rest of the year. More than just the money he earned, Herold walked away with hands-on experience that shaped the rest of his life. He also found time to squeeze in a bit of fun.
“In addition to making great money, and being able to take university girls to the top restaurants in Ottawa on dates, I learned a ton. I had 12 full time employees at 21 years old. I ran sales, marketing, advertising, operations, production, hiring, etc. I learned how to interview, lead people, and even deal with lawyers. I ran my own accounting system. I literally learned how to run a business.”
Running a franchise in the summers allowed Herold to take what he was writing term papers about at university and put it to test in the real world.
“The theory I learned at university gave me a good foundation. But it was applying it to real-life situations that helped me develop a greater understanding of the business world. Getting that practical experience early on with College Pro is what I like to call my real-world MBA.”
College Pro aims to set franchisees up for success. After identifying talent with a taste for entrepreneurship, College Pro provides a support network to help them achieve their goals.