How to start and run a successful junk hauling business
Having completed 10,000 junk hauling and trash-out jobs for the last 9 years, I assure you that junk hauling is a very profitable business. You will make money from day 1 with very low startup cost. You have your own business and you make money in both a good or bad economy. There is always a need for junk hauling.
I am sharing with you a complete guide to operating a profitable junk hauling business. I will go over how I started a junk hauling business, what you should know about the business, how to start, and how to build a marketing plan.
How I started my junk hauling business
From 2001 to 2006, I was a successful real estate professional. I was doing very well and I was able to provide a nice lifestyle for my family. Everyone and their brother in law was in real estate and we were doing well.
But in 2006 the real estate market changed. The dooms-day news was everywhere. Real Estate analysts were saying that a real estate bubble was eminent. The bubble busted and we were in a recession. It became almost impossible to close a real estate escrow. For six months I went without closing an escrow. I felt terrible, I would see my wife leave to work in the morning while I would stay home with nothing to do and no income. I had several real estate transactions, but they were not closing.
I was willing to do anything job
In late 2006, I was offered a territory to clean up bank owned properties. I happily accepted the territory. I just wanted to bring in a paycheck and put food on the table. These types of junk hauling jobs are usually only available to real estate industry insiders. To get these types of jobs you have to know about real estate. I will show you how to get these types of jobs.
When I started, I started with no equipment, no dump truck and no trailer. I had a friend with a stake truck. Sometimes I would borrow the truck, and sometimes I would pay him to haul away the debris. We would work it out one way or another. I occasionally rent a Uhaul for $19.95 per day, it was that easy. When I received too many orders, I also built a list of junk haulers to whom I sub-contract.
Junk Hauling is profitable
Things went well and I soon bought my own dump truck. I learned it the hard way that I cannot rely on only one client or one source of income. Business and markets change quickly, anything can happen to your one client. E.g – they can go out of business or get bought out by a competitor.
I decided to grow my junk hauling business. I researched into buying a franchise from one of the national junk hauling franchisor, and I was blown away at the costs.
FRANCHISORS ARE TOO EXPENSIVE.
To become a franchisee, you have to pay up to $240,000. Most people will have to get in debt to finance it. You also have to pay a percentage of every job to the franchisor. Having a franchise you have to charge your clients more and you make less profit. The franchisor is making money off your hard work. Imagine how many junk hauling jobs you will need to complete before breaking even.
With a budget of $240,000, I could buy 6 dump trucks and have operating capital for 6 months, hire a dispatcher/billing person and put up 10 websites about junk hauling. 10 proper search-engine-optimized websites would bring more business than I could handle. I was making a nice profit without a franchise.
No, don’t pay that $240,000. I will show you how to build your own junk hauling business for less than 2% of $240,000.
You are in charge of your own business, you can charge your clients less and be more competitive, get more jobs and make more money.
I decided to grow my junk hauling business. I placed a few ads in local newspapers. None of those ads worked. I did some research and found that all old media is dying off. Radio, TV and newspaper are going extinct.
Your clients are looking for you on the web.
Everything is going on the world wide web. The world wide web is growing faster than anything in history.
When I took office, only high energy physicist had ever heard of what is called the world wide web … Now even my cat has it’s own page.”
I researched and found that 87% of people start their search online for a service or product. Whenever someone wants any products, services or a junk hauler, they start by researching online. You must have a web presence so your clients can find you.
Getting my 1st website
I hired a web designer to build a simple junk hauling website with a white background, black letters, and a blue logo. The web designer said he will finish my website in a few weeks.
After few weeks, I checked back with the web designer. My website was not done. The web designer started to talk about choosing a shade of blue for my logo. He was explaining to me how a shade of blue looks different in natural sunlight compared to indoors/artificial light.
I immediately knew I was getting the run around. I did not care how a shade of blue looked outside or indoor. I wanted to feed my family and bring in a regular paycheck. The designer was too busy with too much work because web design and internet marketing are in very high demand. He gave me the run around for another few weeks. It was an awful experience.
I built my first website
I was so frustrated that I decided to build the website myself. I built my first website www.haulinginla.com. Please do not visit the website. It is old and I have not updated or posted anything new in years. I do not update the website because all the experts say “if it is not broken do not fix”.
I won’t win any design contest with my website, but it brings in a lot of clients to my business. Your business website is not about looks, it is all about web traffic. Today, Haulinginla.com still consistently brings in new leads.
People go to my site because it ranks high in Google search results.
My website is geographically optimized for junk hauling in Los Angeles. Haulinginla.com ranks number one or shows up on the first page of Google for several phrases pertaining to “junk removal Los Angeles”. For example:
- Garage Cleanup Los Angeles
- Trash out Los Angeles
- Yard Cleanup Los Angeles
- Dirt Removal Los Angeles
Along with the website being optimized for Keywords and Los Angeles it is also optimized for zip codes. For example: “garage cleanup Los Angeles 90010” or “construction cleanup Los Angeles 90010”.
According to a recent study, internet users are becoming more sophisticated in their online search.
To get maximum search exposure, you should optimize your website for as many keywords as possible.
I learned so much from building my first website, it was such a blessing. I became better and better at building websites. I have built several websites now.
I educated myself in
- Web design
- Search Engine Optimization – SEO
- Local SEO – Geographically optimized sites
- Search Engine Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
Building the website is the first step.
Driving Traffic to a Junk Hauling Business Website is an ongoing process.
The best way to market your products and services is a combination of search engine optimization, search engine marketing and social media marketing.
Junk hauling website marketing explained
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the procedure of making your website visible to search engines. For example: a client is looking for junk hauling services. They type “junk hauling” into Google search. The search engine pick up the keyword phrase and display the your website in the organic search results – non paid. If your site is well optimized, your website will show up on the search engines.
To SEO optimize a website, the keyword phrase “junk hauling los angeles” has to have <h1> tag and the phrase has to be displayed throughout the web page.
Specific Geographic Area SEO
Local SEO – Specific Geographical Area SEO is very important for junk haulers who want to acquire clients in specific state, city, neighborhood or zip code. For example, the keyword phrase “junk hauling los angeles”. The keyword phrase would have to have h1 tag with the keyword “junk hauling los angeles” and the phrase has to be displayed throughout the web page.
- keyword + geographic area
- keyword + geographic area + zip code
- geographic area + keyword
- geographic area + zip code + keyword
A successful junk hauler will want as many variations of the keyword phrase. This is done because a client in need of junk hauling will search the search engines with many variations.
- junk hauling los angeles
- los angeles junk hauling
Search Engine Marketing – SEM
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a wide range of tactics. SEM includes the web content, the headlines, the copy of the web pages. SEO is a portion of search engine marketing. SEM also includes paid advertising.
Social Media Marketing – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Blogpost
Here is an example of one of my successful social media marketing tactics:
We take before and after photos of all jobs we completed. We take a few photos of the debris, a picture of the dump truck or trailer full of debris, and a few photos of the area clean of debris. We upload the photos to our Facebook page, Twitter and YouTube. We tag each photo with a description of the job, including our keyword phrase, such as “construction cleanup beverly hills”. We do this for three reasons:
- To photo-document the job. On a few bank-owned properties, after we finished hauling away the junk, someone will dump junk on the property. We give before-and-after photos to our clients to prove that we have completed the job properly. We want to assure each of our clients that we did our job.
- To upload the pictures to social media. In the description of Youtube, Twitter and Facebook we write a different keyword phrase for every job. For example: “garage cleanup los angeles”. We place links back to our website when possible. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are authority sites and backlink from them is good for the website.
- Excellent Marketing Tool. A new client will see your before, during and after photos of your recent jobs on a Blogpost, Facebook or Youtube. This will impress new clients.
Any one of the strategies can give you and your family a very comfortable living. When you strategically combine SEO, geographically optimized site and social media marketing you are guaranteed success. I will do it for your website, I am an expert – all you have to do is send me the pictures.
For me to completely explain any of the above marketing strategies it would take a 3-inch thick book.
I built my 2nd Junk Hauling Site
I built a new junk hauling website with a modern look. I built 365junkremoval.com with a focus on functionality, not looks. A junk hauling business website should not be fancy. The website should be straight forward, clean and professional.
I use a different marketing strategy for this website. I built 365junkremoval to acquire work from construction companies that do new construction, remodels, room additions, kitchens, bathroom…
For the past 9 years I have built hundreds of landing pages. I have tested which landing pages work best for each type of clients:
- REO brokers
- Real estate agents
- Construction companies
- Loan servicing companies
I will upload the best working landing pages on your site.
Email marketing for junk haulers
Email marketing is sending direct response emails to a targeted group. It involves using email to send ads, request business, or seeks sales, and is proposed to develop allegiance or brand awareness. Email marketing can be done to either sold lists or a current customer database. I found the best approach for junk haulers is sending an email with a brief message about the services. The email includes a concise message about your services and coverage area, with a link to a proven landing page.
Build as many pages as possible
For haulinginla I built as many pages as possible, I built pages for:
- Dirt Removal
- Dirt Hauling
- Concrete Removal
- Concrete Hauling
- Asphalt Removal
- Asphalt Hauling
- Gravel Hauling
- Sand Hauling
The above material is considered heavy material trucking. The dump truck that I have is not made for heavy material trucking. Over the years I have built relationships with truck operators that do heavy material trucking or heavy hauling. The deal that I worked out with them is 10% of the gross job.
Typical Scenario: I would receive a call for dirt trucking. I refer the client to one of my dirt haulers. The client is excavating a small pool. They need to remove approximately 12 loads of dirt in a super-10 truck. The fee for each super-10 truckload of dirt is $350.00.
12 truckloads at $350.00 = $4200.00
10% of $4200.00 = $420.00
This gives you a general idea of the profit. The cost for dirt, concrete, asphalt, gravel, etc. is going to vary by location.
Recession Proof Business Make Money In Good Times & Bad Times:
Make a profit during recession
I had contracts with:
- REO Asset Companies
- Credit Unions
- Loan Servicing Companies
- REO Preservation Companies
I will show you how to get these types of contracts. Each one of the above can give you 30-50 work orders per month. Clients pay between $300 and $1,500 for each order, depending on the amount of debris at the property. I have completed hundreds of junk removal jobs that had hundreds of cubic yards of debris. A cubic yard of debris is about the size of a household washing machine. My biggest trash-out was 500 cubic yards of debris. My client paid $32.50 a cubic yard of debris. I received $32.50 X 500= $16,250.
Make a profit during good economy
We recovered from the recession. I built 365junkremoval to target general contractors. My marketing
plan included email marketing combined with direct response landing pages. The email and landing page content are both from my library of proven winners.
Soon after creating 365junkremoval.com, I landed 3 contractors. They each have have 3-4 jobs at once.
Here are a few of my recent checks:
This is a rough estimate, it depends on your specific local market.
Each job site requires 2 pickups per week.
3 contractor’s times 3 jobs each = 9 jobs
9 jobs X 2 picksups a week = 18 pick ups
18 jobs X 600 = 10,800 per week
Net Profit after fees (Dump Fee, Insurance, Payroll, Tax): $5,400 per week.
I showed you a proven way to make money in good times and bad times. I have not considered the referrals you will get, the clients you will acquire that want garage cleanup, storage facility cleanup, yard cleanup, etc. You can also place ads in online directories, craigslist… in combination with social media marketing.
The math is simple. I guarantee that you will have 1,000 website visitors within your 1st year. A 2% response is 20 jobs. Our average job is $600.00, $600 X 20 jobs = $12,000.00 This is conservative. A general contractor or an REO broker will have dozens of jobs a month.
What make me different from franchisors is that I don’t want to make money off your hard work. You own your junk hauling business and you deserve to make profit from it.