The Struggle of a Junk Removal Business
You started your very own junk removal business because you wanted to be your own boss. You didn’t want to answer to anybody. If you wanted to take off on a spontaneous vacation, you could do it without having to ask for permission. So you start your business, and you’re super enthused. You’re putting 15+ hours a day into growing your business, and you’ve never been happier.
But after a few months, some of that initial enthusiasm begins to wane. You’ve had a truck repair bill that has killed your profits. The savings you had when first starting the business are beginning to diminish. Your relationship with your spouse is beginning to feel strained because you are always working. Even when you aren’t physically working, you are constantly thinking about the business. You thought this business was going to make your life better. You thought you were going to make more money. You thought you were actually going to like your boss. Instead, you’ve found that this business you started is physically wearing you out, you are making less money (if any at all), and your boss SUCKS. He never gives you time off, because if you are off the business can’t bring in money. And there is no end in sight. You’re probably thinking it’s time to close up shop and go work for someone else.
The above scenario is common for business owners. When you first start your business, you wear all the hats. Your enthusiasm makes you push through and happily get everything done. But after a few months pass and there isn’t an end in sight, it’s very easy to become discouraged. And rightfully so. You wanted to like your boss, but now you have the worst boss ever!
You’re at a critical juncture. You can quit. You can give in to those negative thoughts, allowing yourself to be crushed beneath the weight of the business you attempted to build. But that’s not going to get you where you want in life. It’s surrendering. Giving up on your dreams. Instead, look ahead. Find that light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how small and far away it may seem. In junk removal, the way you get there is by changing your approach to your business, and building it to run without you.
A true business is one that can run independently of its owner. Until you can leave the country for two months, turn off your phone, ignore your email, and then return to your business to find it in as good or better shape than when you left, you don’t have a true business. In order to get your business to that level, you have to break it down into individual parts. Do this from the moment you start your business.
Write out a list of every job function and assign each of them to a different position/person. At the start, each function will likely be covered by you and/or your business partner. Over time, you’ll need to start delegating those responsibilities to other people. Here’s how to do that with a junk removal business.
Job Functions Within a Junk Removal Business:
- The Truck Team: Truck teams complete all of the physical tasks associated with actual junk removal. Truck team members operate the truck, quote jobs, remove junk from customers’ property, and more.
- Operations Management: This involves scheduling team members and ensuring they have the checklists, tools, and inventory to get jobs done right.
- Sales, Marketing, and Advertising: The success of your business starts here. Without customers, you don’t have a business, period.
- Bookkeeping: Your books should be kept up to date at all times. Keeping accurate, up-to-date books is the only way to track whether or not you are making money, and will help you see and fix your deficiencies. Some people neglect the books when they first start because they are so busy. Make sure that isn’t you.
- Job Scheduling: Make sure your phone is always answered. We recommend partnering with the JRA call center so we can take either all of your calls, your missed calls, after hours calls, or holiday calls. Our Call Center is a specialized junk removal call center located at our main office in North Carolina. Make sure that phone is being answered by a live person and not voicemail!
- Dispatch: Your dispatcher is responsible for routing trucks efficiently and ensuring that all jobs are completed correctly and on schedule.
- Human Resources: This function involves the hiring, training, and firing of team members. Hiring the right people can be tough. We recommend hiring people based mostly on personality. Most people can quickly develop the strength they need for junk removal, but attitude is not so easily adjusted. We tend to give each new hire a trial run of a few days, then decide whether to keep them. Once you decide to keep an employee, invest the time to train them well. Correct problems and fire employees swiftly if those issues aren’t being immediately fixed.
- Equipment Maintenance: Your trucks must be maintained so they can stay on the road and continue making you money. Downtime is a killer! Make sure problems are fixed quickly and that routine maintenance is being performed.
- Facility Maintenance: Your office area must be kept clean, organized, stocked, and in good working order.
- Information Technology: Junk removal isn’t very high-tech, but you’ll still need to make sure your truck teams have working tablets with updated, functioning apps and card readers, and that all employees have working phones.
- R&D (Long Term Vision and Development): While junk removal doesn’t involve product development, you can (and should) still be innovative with your service and keep your eye on the big picture. Stay informed about changes in government regulations and technology. You’ll have a huge leg up on the competition if you’re prepared for the future.
While you should gradually hire people to fill each of these functions, the last task you should turn over is sales, advertising, and marketing. As a general rule, the business owner is the best at this function, because you know your business better than anyone and you care a lot. You should never completely turn over the R&D/long term vision and planning of your business. Even if this business is just an investment for you, you should still be looking forward at the direction in which your business and the industry are headed.
Junk Removal Authority can assist you in planning out a strategy to gradually reduce your workload so you can focus on what is truly important for your business – and your life. Call 919-617-1975 to speak with Lee or email [email protected]