You don’t have to be a hoarder to have a lot of junk on your property. This fact makes knowing how to start a junk removal business a potentially profitable venture. If you can help property owners remove the junk that has piled up on them for an affordable price, you’ll be helping them improve the value of their land while you earn some profits.
This type of business requires a strong back, some power tools, and a large truck. You’ll be able to make more money if you can haul more junk away on each load. You may be asked to remove everything from a broken down car to old appliances that have rusted in the garage. These items can often weigh more than 100 pounds. If you can provide these items, however, then you can make some big cash. Many junk removers are able to charge up to $70 per hour.
Here’s what else you’re going to need to do.
1. Secure relationships with local trash and recycling businesses.
Many of the items that you remove from a property actually have some scrap value to them. Secure relationships with metal recyclers so you can come in to drop of the metal junk and get some money on the back end of the job. Cardboard, aluminum cans, and e-waste may also have value to them. Talk with the local landfill to see if you can get lower disposal rates to further enhance your overall general revenues.
2. Get to know your hazardous materials.
A junk removal business may be exposed to a number of dangerous items over the course of a working day. Hazardous chemicals are a common issue, so recognizing when gasoline, bleach, pesticides, and other items are present will help keep you and your staff safe. You will also want to know how to recognize unlabeled asbestos or the equipment that may be used in a meth lab.
3. Sort out your licensing and insurance requirements.
To do it right, you’ll need to have a comprehensive level of insurance for your junk removal business. Insurance policies will be priced higher because of the risks you and your staff will face. You also have a greater chance of causing damage to someone’s properly inadvertently when removing their junk. Licensing requirements for hazardous substance handling, transportation, and/or removal may also be required for your jurisdiction. Make sure all of this gets sorted out so you don’t get fines leveled at your business.
4. Create some buzz marketing to get yourself started.
Junk removal isn’t a pretty business. Many people think of junkyards and beat up pit bulls guarding the property when they think of this type of opportunity. They only interact with a business like this if they have no other option. A buzz marketing campaign can help to change this perspective. Put some personality into your advertising, add a little humor to it, and make it easy to share online and within your community.
5. Don’t just focus on the junk when it comes to item removal.
Every community has a rental home demographic that could use some help when it is time for them to move to a new home. Offering local moving services is an easy way to make some spare cash when there isn’t much junk to remove during the week. Consider offering packing services and other add-on items so that you can expand your revenues. Remember that you may need to have an insurance rider for transporting someone’s items in addition to the insurance you’re carrying to manage the junk you’re removing.
6. Contract with businesses in your area for services.
Junk removal needs to happen regularly for many businesses. Thrift and consignment stores especially have a need to have junk removed. If you’ve ever looked at the back of a Goodwill store, then you’ll get a better understanding of what this tip means. Having overflowing trash and recycling containers is unsightly at best and a health code violation that could shut a business down at worst. If you see a business struggling to manage their junk, then offer them a helping hand. The worst they can do is tell you to go away.
7. Maintain a professional appearance at all times.
Removing junk is a dirty, grimy business. A tough job will make you look bad and smell worse. Even so, a professional standard must be maintained so that people will be encouraged to do business with you. Consider having uniforms for your staff so that even when the filth is at an all-time high, customers will see the consistency in your appearance and remember your branding.
Knowing how to start a junk removal business means reaching out to your community to sell your services and then over-delivering on your promise of value. These tips will help you do just that.