Starting My Junk Removal Business
Published: 05th December 2016
Starting My Junk Removal Business - Year 1
by Philip Hoang, Owner - Southern Rubbish
Hello everyone. My name is Phil and in March of 2014 I launched Southern Rubbish, a full service junk removal company. What's a full service junk removal company? Well, the industry has been around for over 25 years. Don't be surprised if you've never heard of junk removal before this blog. Most people have never heard of 1800GotJunk or Junk-King, who are both international companies with multiple franchises in Canada and the U.S. The reason most people are unaware of this industry is because its a service that caters almost exclusively to higher income home owners. So if you're not in the 6-figure income bracket or you don't own a home, then you've likely never needed the services offered by junk hauling company. In this blog I'll discuss my experiences as a first time entrepreneur, as well as what marketing methods work and don't work for a junk removal company.
Before I dive into the nitty gritty of my first month in business, I'd like you to know a little about me and my professional background. After graduating high school in 2004 I went to college for a couple years, and did not perform very well. I decided to enlist in the Marines and served from 2007 to 2011. After I left the service I went back to college for two more years and graduated from the University of North Georgia with a BBA in Finance.
Upon graduation I was recruited by Waste Management, the nation's largest garbage hauler to work as an operations manager. I was in charge of 25 trucks and had about 30 employees reporting to me. Pretty nuts for a 27 year old. While I was at Waste Management, part of my job was responding to customer complaints. One complaint kept coming up for home and business owners. "Why won't your driver pick up my bulky piece of furniture?" Well, he can't because there is only one of him, and we only pick up items in the garbage container. Eureka!
So I saw an opportunity for a niche garbage company, one that handles large, bulky waste like couches or refrigerators. I searched for "junk furniture removal" and saw that I was 25 years too late. Brian Scudamore, Founder and CEO of 1800GotJunk had started an identical service over 2 decades before the thought entered my mind. But then I thought, "wait a minute...this guy's been in business for 25 years, that means this business model works." So I spent the next 6 months saving my money and when I had $10,000 I left Waste Management to start Southern Rubbish.
I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur but didn't know what industry I would work in. I was into fitness and thought maybe a gym, but after some research I found that they were not generally profitable and have very high start up costs. I settled on the idea of junk removal because really all you need is a truck and one guy to help load. So, barrier to entry was pretty low, but that also means that you have a lot of competition; and I certainly have a lot of competition in the Atlanta market. But we have found ways to stand out which I will get into in my blog.
This blog is for people who are looking for a way to get into business for themselves without spending a lot of money on start up costs. It will also help you market your junk removal business to the right people. I will discuss my wins and my losses and how I arrived at both.
If you would like more info on this subject, please feel free to contact me through my website at www.southernrubbish.com.
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