Have a pickup truck or van? Starting a junk hauling business could be surprisingly profitable.
While the details of the job seem obvious—customers call you, you take their junk away—there are several behind-the-scenes details you need to consider before undertaking the enterprise.
Here are a few tips on starting a junk hauling business and getting to the top of the heap.
5 Tips on Starting a Junk Hauling Business
Know your market
Find out which companies are already operating in your region. Some might be national, such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK, while others might be hyper-local competitors. Know who is servicing your potential customers and how much of your territory they’re targeting.
Figure out pricing
Once you identify your competitors, call them. Not to say “hi,” but to figure out what they’re charging. Pose as a potential customer and ask them questions about their fees for hauling various kinds of refuse.
Build a business plan
Now that you know how much you can charge for each haul, figure out how much it will cost you. Calculate your overhead, including gas, marketing, and government fees. There also may be disposal costs—some refuse will head to the landfill, while other hauls might be recycled, sold as scrap, or delivered to charities.
Decide if you will just offer residential junk removal or if you want to expand into commercial debris. Do you only want to work on weekdays, or will you offer weekend service? You should also consider how much heavy lifting you’re willing to do. That will factor into whether you offer curbside pickup or takeout services.
Be aware of any government regulation in your sector. Local, state, and federal laws often have something to say on junk disposal, especially if it counts as hazardous waste. Verify that you’re in compliance, as there could be fines for illegal disposal.
A simple ad on Craigslist should help you get started. Include a picture of your truck or logo to reassure customers you’re legit. Provide clients with a phone number or email where you are readily available—customers won’t wait long for you to respond before throwing their business to a competitor. Eventually, you’ll want to set up a website.
Remember that you and your truck represent your company, so make sure that your vehicle and your apparel make you appear trustworthy and professional when you arrive at customers’ doors.
Need more funds to market your junk hauling company? Try Fundbox. They’ll advance you cash to cover expenses while you wait for invoices to come in.
Whether your customers find you via Craigslist or by word of mouth, they’re probably going to check out your customer reviews. Make sure your happy customers leave a good word or two about you on sites like Yelp and Angie’s List.