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13 Strategies to Run a Successful Junk Removal Company

These strategies can be applied to both junk removal and dumpster rental companies as well as. many other small service businesses.

junk removal success chart

Starting a junk removal and or a dumpster rental company can be a really exciting venture. Through the years of starting (est. 2014) and growing my businesses, I’ve learned many lessons that turned into strategies along the way. Here are several strategic steps you can take to strategies to run a success junk removal company effectively, tailored just for you.


#1 - Local Marketing and Branding


Develop a memorable and professional brand identity by creating a logo and business name that resonate with your target audience. Your logo should be clean, easy to read (contrasting colors), and should explain what your business does to someone looking at it for the first time, or seeing it driven by them on the street. Your business name should include what you do in the name. We don’t have Coca-Cola money and being too simple will only hurt us because we’re unable to pay for the advertising necessary to educate the customer on what it is we actually do. Imagine for a second you’re from Mars and don’t know what the company ‘Apple’ does. When you see that name and the logo of a bitten apple… would you ever guess that they’re a technology and electronics company? Of course not! But they have the marketing machine and the years of business behind them to be sleek and simple in their branding designs. Us local providers do not and need to avoid falling into that trap.

  

  • Local SEO: Optimize your online presence for local searches. Ensure your business is listed on Google My Business and other relevant directories. Use local keywords in your website content but be aware that rankings for SEO organically is extremely hard and could take years of work to list for the keywords you’re interested in. For example, “junk removal” is incredibly competitive and difficult to rank ahead of the major franchises that have full teams working on SEO day in and day out. 


  • Targeted Online Advertising: Invest in online advertising through platforms like Google Ads and various social media channels to reach customers in your local area. Stay hyper local and laser focused on your ideal customer. If you don’t know how to do this, work with someone that does. Advertising online can quickly get away from you and if not monitored daily can quickly add up your spend. 


  • Promotional Offers: Introduce special promotions, discounts, or bundled services to attract initial customers and generate word-of-mouth referrals. Utilizing your customer list to send emails, text messages, and good old fashioned phone calls to spread your message. Just getting started and don’t have a customer list? Tap your friends and family and everyone else in your contacts and social media pages.


A successful marketing campaign may start with a small audience but, through positive word-of-mouth and increasing brand recognition, it can snowball into widespread acceptance and flood your phone lines with new business opportunities.


#2 - Build a Professional Website


Create a clean, professional, user-friendly website that clearly outlines your services, who you are (get a little personal), pricing, and contact information. Include customer testimonials to build trust and authority in the space. Place forms and online estimate pages to collect customer information that you can use to follow up and make a sale!


  • For the DIY types, there are website building platforms like GoDaddy and Weebly that are simple drag and drop builders that a beginner could use to make a website that converts. For more advanced users turn to a place like WIX.


"Include quotes by experts in your post to add credibility." – SEO specialist

#3 - Utilize Social Media


Leverage social media platforms to engage with your local community. Share before-and-after photos of the jobs you’ve completed, educational content like how a customer can prepare for a job or how they can do it themselves (this sounds counterintuitive but most customers will read how laborious it is and feel the need even more to hire you), and use promotions to increase brand visibility. Test your audience in the process. See how they respond to certain type of photos, descriptions, stories, static posts, etc. Posting too much? Posting too little? Play with the content and keep your CUSTOMERS in mind, don't worry about what other companies are doing or like that follow you. Don't get caught up in the echo chamber of other businesses like yours staying in your dm's sending fire emojis on all your posts.


  • Respond promptly to customer reviews, inquiries, comments, and direct messages online to build a positive presence. This will help your profiles be more prominently placed on the webs.


#4 - Local Partnerships


Form partnerships with local businesses, real estate agents, property managers, construction companies, and any other business you think could work well in your area. Networking can lead to referrals and mutually beneficial collaborations and is a great way to keep your lead funnel full over the long term. 


  • Referrals are also fantastic lead sources because these customers don’t typically shop around. They’re almost a guaranteed job because the referral came from someone they trust.


#5 - Offer a Superior Customer Service Experience


Emphasize being courteous and professional to your team in all customer interactions. Explain the importance of punctuality, and being mindful and respectful during junk removal appointments. It’ll go a long way with your customers. 


  • Encourage your customers to provide feedback and testimonials regardless of how you think the job went. Positive reviews will significantly impact your business online reputation which will lead to more inquiries. We use an automated service that sends an email to every customer after their job is completed. It simply thanks them for their business and asks if they had a positive or negative experience. If positive is clicked it routes them to the review website of your choosing (Google, Yelp, etc.). If negative is selected it allows them to explain why and that information is stored in the online platform for YOUR EYES ONLY. 

  • Offer flexible scheduling options to accommodate the diverse needs of your customers. This could include same-day service or weekend availability. In our first few years of business we offered nights and weekends to differentiate ourselves from the competition. It worked but not enough to counteract the toll it took on the guys in the truck. Proceed with caution on this one based on your availability. 

  • Consider offering additional complementary services, such as estate cleanouts, hoarding cleanup (if you’ve got the stomach for it), or specialty item removal like safes, boilers, etc, to broaden your service offerings. But don’t go crazy now! Stay within your core offering which is removal and hauling. Anything that doesn’t fit in this category will be like owning a separate business and will pull you away from what you do best. We offered moving services early on top of our main junk removal business. The jobs became more of a distraction and caused us to spend more in that division. We ultimately discontinued the service internally, and instead worked with a local provider to give the leads to and make a small commission.


#6 - Eco-Friendly Practices


It’s all the rage… Put your eco-friendly practices on display for everyone to see. Clearly communicate with your customers how you dispose of items responsibly, including recycling and donating whenever possible. It’s honestly good for everyone; customers feel good their stuff may not end up in a landfill or incinerator and this may be the reason they decide to enlist your services, the less fortunate get items secondhand, and your company saves money on dump fees.


#7 - Invest in Marketing Materials


Create and print materials and distribute them out like flyers, business cards, and brochures. Place these materials in local community centers, supermarkets, and other high-traffic areas. Go to realtor, property management, and construction company offices to meet in person and hand out your materials. This personal touch will go a long way and will give you more of a chance to have your materials saved and to be remembered when the time comes.


#8 - Build an Email List


Email Marketing: Collect email addresses from your past and potential customers. Come up with an email marketing strategy, like monthly/quarterly email blasts, to keep customers informed about promotions, tips, and company updates. Be conscious when sending emails. No one likes to be constantly sold to and if you send one email per week of hard sales tactics, you’re going to cause more harm to your company than you realize.


#9 - Attend Local Community Events


Community presence is really important and should be a part of all businesses that can afford the cost and time to do it. You can do this by attending local events, fairs, or markets to showcase your services and connect with potential customers and other local businesses. Offer promotions or discounts to event attendees and have those marketing materials handy so they can take your business info home with them!


#10 - Invest in Reliable Equipment


A well-maintained fleet will ensure your trucks and equipment are in good condition and ready to produce. Regular maintenance is crucial for reliability, customer satisfaction, and to earn that thing we’re all after… profits! You should also look into the benefits of buying new, instead of leasing or buying used. The tax advantages could be well worth it, not to mention new vehicles will operate much better for usually the first 5 years. Then they start to experience normal issues, in my own experience.


#11 - Adapt and Learn


Continuously researching market trends, customer preferences, and competitor strategies will keep you a step ahead of everyone else. Adapt your services, marketing efforts, and strategies based on the evolving landscape. Secret shop your competitors, and ask customers questions to the answers you’re looking to receive. Use this information to base your decision making off of. Never just guess or go into something blind if you don’t have to. Imagine what it’d be like knowing what the other poker players have in their hand before placing your bet…


#12 - Offer Online Booking and Estimates


Implement an online booking and quoting system on your website to make it easy and convenient for potential customers to request your services. Streamlining processes enhances customer experience.


#13 - Continuous Employee Training


Invest your time in thorough training programs for your team. Ensure they understand the importance of customer service, safety practices, and efficient junk removal procedures. This will allow them to make more informed decisions on the fly and be able to assist customers in a timely manner. Customers can become frustrated when only one person can provide an answer to their questions.


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By focusing on these strategies and tailoring them to your specific local market, you can build a strong foundation for your small service business and attract a steady stream of customers. Consistent marketing efforts, excellent customer service, and community engagement will contribute to the sustainable growth of your company for the long term. Think of your business as a small snowball at the top of a hill. It starts small but through a series of cumulative actions, grows larger and gains momentum over time.


And remember, growth is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It's a personalized expedition fueled by a deep understanding of your unique strengths, market trends, and the ever-changing needs of your customer base. By implementing the strategic steps discussed in this article, you've laid a solid foundation for your business to thrive and flourish.

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