Lee talks about the controversial subject of when to get off the Junk truck. Stop holding back your business and work on expanding instead of maintaining.
Hey guys! What’s going on? I hope everybody is doing great today on this Friday morning. I am Lee Godbold, for those of you who don’t know me, I am the co-founder of Junk Doctors junk removal and hauling. Built it up to a $2,000,000 a year junk removal business in North Carolina and Junk Removal Authority where you can find lots of great information. There’s nowhere on the web that presents more information on starting, growing and running a junk removal business than our website junkra.com. Make sure you check it out and read some of the great content we have available on that site. What I want to talk to everybody today about is when do you need to get off the truck? This is often a controversial subject that I put out there.
I always enjoyed the feedback. Some of it are fairly aggressive feedback we receive, but that’s fun. It didn’t affect me whatsoever. I like to know that I’m saying stuff that some people agree with and some people disagree with. You should always be firm in your beliefs. There’s 50% of people that are always going to disagree with you. 50% of people are going to agree with you. Donald Trump won the election on that. He didn’t care about the 50% that didn’t vote for him. He cared about the 50% of people that did rather you like his policies or not. We’re not going to talk about that in this video. But that’s a great point as many politicians tried to appeal to everybody, that isn’t going to happen. You’ve got your opinion. You get your ways.
You want to do stuff and be firm in those beliefs. Everybody else who disagrees with you, well they’re welcome to their opinion. You’ve got yours, they’ve got theirs. So, when do you get off the truck? Number one, some of these franchises, Junk King is one I know that always say they don’t want people on the truck. They want business people running the business. Part of that is correct but when you first start I firmly believe you need to be on that vehicle.
Now, if you’re an older guy and you’re up, say in your 40’s to 60’s maybe even 70’s. You can start and this job’s going to wear on you a fair amount. In my case when I was doing it for a while or in Christian’s case when he was doing it for a while in his upper 20’s. You still start feeling when you’re sitting there and you’ve been doing five jobs a day. If you’re a little bit older, you’ve got money and can afford to hire people. You don’t need income right off the bat.
Maybe you hire two guys that go out with you on the truck, but you should be out on the truck learning these jobs. Learning how to quote, the best way to remove items, the angles to take doors at when you need to take doors off and when you need to pad a door. You should always be recognizing those situations. When you encounter a job that takes a lot longer than you ever expected, such as a cleanout job outside. Anytime we ever do a job where there’s just a bunch of stuff that’s been piled outside, we pretty much always know that some of that stuff has been buried. There’s going to be more down there than we can possibly know. So, we either need to quote the job a lot higher, a kind of a max price.
Let the customer know we’ll bring it down. Or tell the customer that, hey this is what we can see and this is what we quote. But you know once we get under here there’s going to be a lot more stuff. We have no idea how much it’s going to be underneath. Once we see that, we can let you know a better idea of cost. It’s one way or the other. That’s the situation. If you haven’t been on the truck, it’s going to be tough for you to recognize. So how are you going to be able to train your people if you’ve never been on a junk removal truck? You can’t and I think it’s a minimum of two months on a truck before you have a good idea of what the heck you’re doing and how to train somebody so you should at least start out on the truck.
You need to know what the team goes through. You need to learn how to quote, especially those unique jobs we were talking about and you’ve got to be able to train properly. Those are the main reasons why you have to be on the truck at the start, to get that knowledge. Now, once you understand the job about two months in potentially and you’re committed to working on stuff even when you’re not on the truck. So, you’ve committed to sales, answering cold callers, going to Chamber of Commerce meetings, making sure your trucks maintain or answering those phone calls that come in for your business. Once you’ve committed yourself to that and you don’t rely on the junk removal income. You have some other income coming in. You’ve got money you’ve saved up. You can continue living comfortably without having to make much money from your junk removal business. At that point it could be time to move off the truck.
Now, you should never step away completely from operations. At some point later on down the line if you hire a manager, makes sure that there are stops still getting in on jobs, things are getting done correctly and they’re interacting with customers. When you get off the truck as well, you have to be willing to make follow up phone calls. When a job is finished, you yourself need to pick the phone up. You need to call and make sure everything went well with that pickup. As you get larger, you can have somebody else do those follow up calls. I still suggest you routinely make a few calls on your own and make sure your business is being run the way it should be. You could move off a little sooner if you don’t require the income from your junk removal business. It’ll ultimately help your business out for you to get out there and be doing sales, getting that extra money, that extra exposure and your name out there.
However, when you reach the time when you must get off the truck. When you reach a certain volume and get busy enough that you being on the truck is actually slowing down and hampering your junk removal operation. What I mean is by about a year in business, my phone was ringing so much that if I was on the truck it would slow us down. I remember there were jobs I would do where I didn’t lift a single thing. We’d be there for 45 minutes. The team member I was working with literally did all the work because I was on the phone nonstop. You’ve got a few things going on here. One, it’s unfair to him to have to do everything. Two, it’s going to be slower as well, so it’s going to cost you more money and paying him because it’s a lot quicker to do something with two people than one.
Number three, it does not look good to a customer for somebody to be on the phone the entire time. The customer is sitting here waiting around. They thought they were getting two people to work and it’s turned out it’s just one. So, you’re slowing down the business. When you’re driving it could be unsafe? You might have to pull over, slowing down the business or if you’re talking on your phone while you’re driving. That increases the likelihood of an accident that could result in a lawsuit and really negatively affect your business. The other opposite end is some people, what they do when they’re on the job and the phone rings is they just don’t answer the phone. That is incorrect as well because a lot of junk removal customers are just going to keep calling down the lines.
You missed that call, that job and that repeat customer later on down the line. A repeat customer will oftentimes leave a voicemail message or wait for a callback. A new customer, 80% of the time is not going to leave a message. They’re going to work their way down the list. When you get to the point you hamper your business, you need to be moving off the truck. Oftentimes that means you’re doing four or five jobs a day on one truck or maybe you’ve moved into a second truck. So, you get to four or five days on one truck. You need to look to get that second truck and hire more people. You need to have people that can quote jobs and be a team leader. Maybe you run that second truck part time until you get things up wide open.
At that point, you need to be making your way off the truck so you can better run your business. After two years, you should be off the truck. If you’ve been doing your marketing correctly. If you’ve been getting your name out there. If you’ve been investing in your business. The longest period of time is two years should you ever be on that truck because I can guarantee you by that you are hampering your growth. It’s probably more realistically six months to a year. You need to be making your way off that truck if you’re doing things like they should be done. Now, the alternative to this is you have a wife or hire somebody to take care of most of the business into things. You still need to be involved. Don’t just be out there on the truck doing jobs and making sure the job stuff goes well. You also need to make sure that the phones are being answered properly, books are being taken care of properly, that the stuff on the backend is being done right and you should be actively involved in sales. The business owner is going to sell the business a lot better than anybody else. You need to be involved in sales.
So, one of the other issues that I’ve mentioned often before when it comes to hampering your business. If you’re on the truck all the time and you’re required to be on the truck all the time. You’re going to get yourself worn out, get hurt and miss out on income. You’re going to want to take a vacation and you’re going to miss out on some income. So, I could leave town and we’re already thinking about doing a trip out west next year and though I’ll work some throughout mobile because with JRA I can work mobile. I could leave a month, come back and Junk Doctors is going to be clicking on all cylinders. Nothing will change when I leave. I only work maybe five to 10 hours a month on Junk Doctors as it is right now.
So, it’s more like I’m on an extended vacation right now, but I could leave town for a month, come back and it’s still been making the same amount of money. I haven’t made any less money when I go on vacation. If you’re on a truck all the time and you go on vacation, you’ll missed out on income guys. That’s a job. That is an hourly job and not a salary job. You don’t have a business when you can’t leave town. You can’t go to your son’s soccer game or daughter’s volleyball game. You can’t go to the beach for a few days. You can’t go out of town for two weeks or a month and still be earning income. Now, that’s not instantaneous. I’m not saying it’s going to happen immediately, but within five years it could happen. If you grow your business correctly, if you put people in the correct places and the correct different functions of your business. You can build one that runs without you. Then you truly have a business you could turn around and sell should you want to or you have a business that’s going to keep bringing you in income year after year regardless of you being involved in it every single day.
I want to make this clear, there’s no way you’re going to build a large junk removal company by staying on the truck. Is it completely wrong for everybody? No, it’s not but those aren’t the people I’m talking to. I’m talking to the people that want to get out there. They want to build something large. They’ve got unlimited amounts of freedom in their life that they’re making more money than they can possibly ever imagine. Hundreds and thousands of dollars a year between salary and profit is very well possible in this. If you’re staying on a junk removal truck, you’re not going to make much money. If you can work non-stop, you can make $100,000 with you on the truck. Absolutely non-stop working before taxes. Most people out there that are on the truck daily make $50,000 to $60,000 a year. And that’s it.
That’s not a bad salary in many parts of the country. Now, depending on where you are, that’s not bad. $50,000-60,000 years is a comfortable living. I’m not knocking those people however there’s people out there making that are afraid to grow. A lot of them have tried growing. They’ve stumbled and instead of expanding, they’ve contracted and their content in continuing on exactly where there are. I can tell you those of you who did it are trying to expand your business. You’re going to have to spend a lot of money to do it. You’re going to hire a lot of people. You’re going to hire some professionals and spend a bunch of money on advertising. It’s going to scare the ever-living daylight out of you every once in a while.
I’ve been scared a lot, even with JRA right now. JRA doesn’t make money right now. We got three and a half people, I’ll say three and a half because part of them are Junk Doctors. Our partner on the web end things and invested in it. We got about three people that we’re paying and it is negative every month. But we have a huge vision of what it can be. We’re building the stuff and we’re investing the money in the infrastructure to build up this awesome resource for people not only to get jobs but also a bunch of free information available in junkra.com. The vision is eventually to have a few hundred companies that make up JRA, few hundred locally owned junk removal businesses that make up JRA throughout the USA and Canada.
With that we’re able to send them jobs by a great national branding and awesome web presence. So that’s the vision that we’re working towards. We’re a year or two out from making money with JRA. Luckily, I’ve got a junk removal business that I can live off of that I don’t have to actively work in. That way I can devote 60 hours a week and have no negative return. So, that is the grand vision. Now, the nice thing with junk removal is you shouldn’t be losing much money when you move off the truck. If you do it correctly, you shouldn’t lose a whole lot more money. Your return is going to be a lot quicker. Within a year you can be making okay money within two years “eh” money, and within three years you can be making great money.
$80,000 to $100,000 plus in three years. Then by year five, it could be $150,000 to $300,000 depending on your market and on what you do to grow it. It starts with getting off the truck. That’s your first major step, your first leap of fate. Get off that truck, start building your business and start getting exposure. Get uncomfortable. A lot of you get comfortable in that truck. You’re not going to get anywhere if you’re comfortable, get uncomfortable and stay uncomfortable. If you get to the point you become uncomfortable, that means you need to make that next step whatever that might be. Hey, we’re here for you guys. 919 617 1975. Again, check out junkra.com. All those great articles and if you are in business now or if you’re looking to get in business, we need more content and it’s going to help you out too.
If you want to be a guest writer or a guest video creator for Junk Removal Authority. We will run a link back to your very own web page. That’s going to help out on search engine optimization and it’s only going to help the longer we’re in business and the more content we get. Google will recognize us as being an authority. We call ourselves the Junk Removal Authority. We want Google thinking of us as the Junk Removal Authority. If that’s the case and you’re a guest writer, that right there can be thousands of dollars you’re earning on almost every article. By writing that and getting that link back to your website is going to boost that ranking way up. junkra.com. Call us, 919 617 1975. Again, I’m Lee Godbold, co-founder of Junk Removal Authority. Hope you all found this helpful. We’ll talk to everybody real soon.