How to Start Your Junk Removal Business Cheaply
The best way to start a junk removal business is with a lot of capital. With a lot of money, you can make all the big investments up front, which will help propel you to success much quicker than if you have to actually live off the income from your junk removal business. So how do you get started without much in the bank?
First, Don’t Start Cheap Unless You Have to!
The easiest way to start cheap is don’t! If you have a job making around $50,000 a year or more, keep working that job until you have enough money to put a down payment on your truck and have another $10,000 in the bank to help cover some operating losses when you get started. Or, see if you can raise the money from friends or family.
When you first start your business, still don’t quit that job. Keep working for your number one income while you build up your business. Only quit once you’ve really taken off – and even then it’s often better to hire truck team members and continue working your main job. It took me three years before I made $50,000 in a year from junk removal. You can grow the fastest if you are able to live off other income streams and just break even or even lose some money for the first year or so of your junk removal business. That will set you up for massive success in the future. Only consider quitting your main job once you’re making roughly the same amount from your junk removal business – and even then, weigh your decision heavily.
Remember, you aren’t getting into the junk removal business because you just love going around and hauling people’s trash. You’re getting into the business to freakin’ make some Guala! Don’t cut your income by starting your new business. Work both your job and your business at the same time!
If You Have to Start Your Junk Removal Business Cheaply, Here’s How
Step 1: Live Cheaply
In order to simultaneously live off the income of your junk removal business and grow your company, you need to start out by living cheaply. Have a roommate or two to keep your rent low. Then get ready to live off ramen noodles for at least the first year. Sell your car. Your main transportation is going to be your truck. Tell your girl/boyfriend it’s gonna be Netflix and chill for the next year. And let him/her know if he/she wants to spend time with you, s/he better ride around with you in the truck and help you out on the job. You are serious about your success and are willing to do whatever it takes to make this business work.
Step 2: Get a Truck
If you don’t make around $50,000 a year and don’t have friends and family willing to lend you the money, you will need to get started the way Junk Doctors did… cheap! The first thing you will need to do is get a truck. And you are doing this as cheaply as possible, so don’t go too crazy! Find a pickup truck and get a 6×12 trailer with 5 foot sides. You should be able to buy that whole rig for around $5,000. The pickup should run about $4,000 and the trailer around $1,000. You could be a bit over that depending on your market, but you should be able to find something for around $5,000.
Step 3: Build a Basic Site
You can go to Wix.com to build a basic site. You can do this using a basic template and a few hours of your time. All of this can be done for a few hundred dollars. Design a cheap logo. Nothing fancy. Put your face on the site and tell your customers a little bit about you. Try and attract the people who want to use the real small-time operator and help give a guy his start. You’ll alter and abandon this strategy as you get larger, but it’s a ticket to a successful start. Also, make sure to add your site to Google Places.
Alternatively, use one of JRA’s unique monthly website options. We’ll build you a landing page or full website for just a monthly rate – no commitment and no additional upfront costs. This will help you get an incredible, professional site from day one – and earn more customers as a result!
Step 4: Order Yard Signs
Go to kustomprintz.com to order some yard signs. Place them in prominent intersections and ask your customers at the end of the job if you can place them in their yard.
Step 5: Do the Free/Cheap Advertising
Post Craigslist ads daily. Get set up on nextdoor.com and post periodically about your service. Monitor any neighbors on nextdoor.com asking about junk removal services.
Step 6: Sell Baby, Sell
Pick up the phone and call professional organizers. Stop by real estate offices to introduce yourself and drop off your business card. Go to Home Service Trade Shows and introduce yourself to the remodelers in your area. Let them know you haul junk and would love to haul off their debris. Give everyone you know a business card. And get involved in social media. Make sure all of your Facebook friends know you are in the junk hauling business.
Step 7: Answer the Phone
Make it a priority to gran the phone before it goes to voicemail. If you miss a call, call back immediately. And you need to answer that phone no matter what you are doing. Sleeping, in the shower, having sex. Doesn’t matter. You need to grab the phone. And you better prepare. If you’re gonna have sex, have that phone where you can grab it and keep a water bottle nearby. Don’t be answering the phone out of breath.
Step 8: Save that Money so You can Invest it Soon
Keep living cheaply once you are actually making some money. Put that money into an account and leave it alone. Remember, you bought a $4,000 pickup. That thing isn’t gonna last long. You need to stack up some money to invest in your business. Get $5,000 or so saved up to get started on Customer Acquisition Management (CAM). After that, save up and upgrade your truck. Buy a dump truck (we recommend an Isuzu NPR or NRR, though JRA can help you pick one out).
And yes, I’m plugging JRA services. That is because I 100 percent believe that is the best route for you to take. We built our business into a $2 million-a-year business by year 5 by doing much of what I talked about here. However, we wasted literally hundreds of thousands of dollars through the learning process. With JRA, you get all the experience and expertise we gained by starting and growing Junk Doctors, so your investment more than pays for itself in saved costs and increased revenue.
Step 9: Grow, Grow, Grow
Growing the business should be your number one priority. Put off short term profits for long-term gains. Remember, your goal should be to build a business that runs without you. That means you will have to put off several years of profits in order to keep re-investing in equipment and people. At that point, you will be making more money and have more freedom than you’ve ever had in your whole life. And you will also have a business that is worth some Muuulah! And that, my friend, is why you got into business for yourself. Freedom and money. And, oh how sweet it is.
Grow that Junk Removal Business
Don’t be afraid to get a second part-time job while you are building your business. Work at night, offer landscaping services, or offer delivery of items. Do whatever you have to do to make money. Remember, you aren’t simply building a junk removal business. You are making yourself successful. That’s the overall objective. That means you’ve got to hustle as hard as you can and get that income up, then re-invest in the growth of your business.