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What You Should Know Before Starting a Junk Removal Business

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GoSite Team

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Understanding the Junk Removal Industry | How To Develop a Business Plan For Your Junk Removal Business |Legal Aspects of Starting a Junk Removal Business | Essential Equipment for Junk Removal | Establish Your Junk Removal Business on Google | Build a Professional Website | Market Your Junk Removal Business Using Social Platforms

Starting a junk removal business is an attractive opportunity as the need for reliable and efficient junk removal services continues to grow. But before you fire up your truck and start clearing out the clutter, there are a few things to know to make sure your venture isn’t headed for the landfill – from nailing down your services to understanding legal requirements.


Understanding the Junk Removal Industry

18732Source: World Bank & Statista

Entering the world of junk removal might seem quite easy, but there's actually a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Each year, the US generates 800 - 1,100kg of solid waste per capita, more than most countries around the world. The junk removal industry works to address this growing issue, hauling away what individuals and businesses no longer need. It might not be the most glamorous line of work, but it's an important one that keeps our communities clean.

Doing the job successfully means mastering a fair share of challenges, including beating the competition and staying up to date on regulations and disposal methods.

The Demand for Junk Removal Services

With the average revenue for a junk removal business being about $1.4 million per year, the demand for junk removal services has grown over the years. It’s been driven by various factors such as population growth, urbanization (more people living in cities), and shifting consumer habits.

With everyone trying to become more sustainable, along with the rise in construction projects, home renovations, and business expansions, the junk removal market is definitely on the upswing.

Current Trends in the Junk Removal Industry

Just like any other field, the junk removal world is constantly evolving, and keeping up with the trends will give you an edge over the competition. Let’s explore some of the latest service trends in the junk removal scene that you can offer to help your business succeed.

Automated Waste Separation

Separating trash like plastics, metals, and other materials can be quite time-consuming and tedious. Automated waste separation uses cutting-edge technology to streamline the whole process, making it more efficient and eco-friendly. 

While dry recyclables (plastic, paper, metal, glass) are equal to 38% of municipal waste, only 13.5% of them are actually recycled globally.

Electronic Junk Shredding

One of the most interesting trends in the junk removal industry right now is electronic junk shredding. With technology advancing at lightning speed, people are tossing out their old gadgets faster than ever – we throw away the equivalent of 800 laptops every second worldwide.


Source: Proses Makina

Electronic junk shredding involves breaking down old electronic devices into tiny, unrecognizable pieces using specialized machinery. That way, valuable materials can be separated and recovered, making recycling and disposal both safer and more environmentally friendly.

Plasma Gasification

Plasma gasification is an advanced waste disposal technology that uses high temperatures to convert waste material into useful byproducts, like energy-rich gasses and solid materials. It’s often seen as the most environmentally-friendly way to convert waste into energy, especially as it emits less carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

Tapping into trends like plasma gasification can help significantly reduce landfill waste, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and bring your business to the forefront of the industry.

Eco-friendly Junk Removal

People are more environmentally conscious than ever, and they want to work with companies that share their values. This means that as a junk removal business owner, adopting eco-friendly junk disposal methods isn’t just good for the planet, but it's also good for business.

A recent study showed that 74% of consumers care about the environmental impact of the products they buy, and 91% of Gen Z respondents want to buy from sustainable companies. To attract more customers who want to support planet-friendly businesses, emphasize recycling, reusing, and donating items rather than just tossing everything into the landfill.

How To Develop a Business Plan For Your Junk Removal Business

Developing a great business plan isn't just about putting all your ideas down on paper; it's also like having a handy roadmap to guide your journey to success. A proper plan can bring many advantages and plenty of clarity for your junk removal business.

Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan

Let’s explore why a business plan is necessary.

Get a Loan

Having a solid business plan in place can be your ticket to securing a loan. When you're starting up a junk removal business, you might need some financial assistance to cover expenses like trucks, equipment, or marketing.

Your plan will show potential lenders that you've done your homework, considered the risks involved, and carefully planned the steps to making your business profitable. By presenting a well-organized and reasoned business plan, you'll be better positioned to convince banks or investors that your business is worth their financial support.

For Your Own Financial Planning

A business plan isn't just for impressing banks and potential investors – it's also a big part of your own financial planning. As you lay out your strategies, costs, and revenue projections in your plan, you'll get a clear picture of where your hard-earned money is going and how quickly you can expect returns on your investment. You’ll be able to make informed decisions from the get-go and avoid overspending on unnecessary items or services.

one-page-business-plan-screenshot-pdf-1Source: HubSpot

If you're not sure where to start, consider using a one-page business template to get going. This simplified planning tool can help you quickly outline your business idea, financial goals, marketing plan, and operational requirements, all in an easy-to-digest format.

Identify Your Target Market

Knowing who you're catering to will help you in tailoring your services, pricing, and marketing strategies to speak directly to the needs of those potential clients. While the junk removal industry might appeal to a lot of people, you’ll want to narrow down your focus to specific customer segments, such as residential clients, commercial properties, or construction sites. 

These different groups have unique needs and expectations, and by zeroing in on a specific market, you'll be able to provide specialized solutions that meet their demands.

Define Your Services and Pricing Structure

Your services might include debris removal, furniture and appliance pickup, yard waste disposal, or even specialized services like hoarding cleanups or recycling initiatives. Showcasing a list of the specific tasks your junk removal business will handle will help you showcase the unique value you bring to the table.

The average cost of junk removal in the country is approximately $250, but the price can fluctuate between $50 and $1000, according to Consumer Affairs and Homeguide.

In terms of pricing, you'll need to strike a balance between being competitive and being profitable. Research your local market to understand the average rates for similar services in your area. From there, you can decide on flat rates, hourly fees, or other pricing structures that make sense for your business.

Example Pricing Sheet for Basic Junk Removal Services

Junk Type / Size

Price Range

Small Item (e.g., Microwave, Small TV)

$50 - $75

Large Item (e.g., Fridge, Large TV)

$80 - $150

Small Job (e.g., 1 Room worth of Junk)

$150 - $250

Medium Job (e.g., 2-3 Rooms worth of Junk)

$250 - $500

Large Job (e.g., Whole House worth of Junk)

$500 - $800

Major Job (e.g., Large House, Estate Cleanout)

$800 - $1000

Yard Waste (Small Load)

$100 - $200

Yard Waste (Large Load)

$200 - $400

Construction Debris (Small Load)

$150 - $300

Construction Debris (Large Load)

$300 - $600

Build Your Financials

Building your financials ensures you're on top of your expenses, profits, and future growth plans. Don't be overwhelmed by the numbers – instead, take the time to carefully map out what you hope to make, operating costs, marketing expenses, and other financial details in a profit and loss statement. This way, you'll be better prepared to make decisions and spot potential financial issues early on.

Identify Your Projected Costs

Projected costs can be divided into two categories: fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs are the ongoing expenses that stay the same regardless of the volume of junk removal jobs – truck payments, insurance, licenses, and permits. Variable costs are those that depend on the number of jobs and scale of operations like fuel, maintenance, labor, and marketing. 

Listing and estimating these expenses will get you a better understanding of how much capital you'll need to launch your business and maintain operations.

Many costs are the same across all local service businesses, but a few costs you’ll have to figure out for your junk hauling business include:

  • What vehicle(s) you’ll use to haul unwanted items
    • How much do you want to haul?
    • How far will you have to haul it?
    • What kind of items will you haul?
  • Cost of travel to customers and pick up sites
  • Local waste management disposal costs
  • Additional costs for more specialized waste management solutions

Identify Your Break Even

Finding out your break-even will help you pinpoint when your revenue will cover your costs and when you can expect to start making a profit.

For example, let's say your monthly fixed costs are $5,000. Your average price per job is $200 and your variable costs per job are $50. To calculate your break-even point, subtract your variable costs by the price per job ($5,000 / ($200 - $50) = 33.33. This means you'll need to complete at least 34 jobs (always round up) each month to cover your costs and reach your break-even point.

Tweak Your Pricing to Help You Reach Your Financial Goals

Adjusting your pricing can be key to reaching your financial goals and maintaining the growth of your junk removal business. Be sure to regularly revise your pricing structure and refine it based on market changes and customer feedback, so you can stay profitable.

Create SMART Goals

As you plan your junk removal business, setting SMART goals can make a world of difference. These goals can help you craft specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound objectives that will keep you focused and motivated. 

To give you an idea of what SMART goals look like for a junk removal business, we've put together some examples in the table below. Take a look and use them as a guide to craft your own set of well-defined goals that will drive your business in the right direction.

An example of SMART Goals for a brand new junk removal business that wants to hit $10k in sales per month







Brand Awareness

Launch a local marketing campaign to make people aware of the business.

Aim to reach at least 1,000 potential customers in the first month.

Use local newspapers, social media, and flyers.

Gaining brand recognition is crucial for a new business.

Complete the campaign in the first month.

Customer Acquisition

Acquire 20 new customers in the first month.

Keep track of the number of new customers.

Networking, advertising, and offering introductory promotions.

More customers means more revenue.

Achieve this in the first month.

Service Quality

Receive positive feedback (4 stars or above) from 80% of customers.

Monitor customer ratings and reviews.

Ensure high-quality service and customer satisfaction.

Positive feedback can lead to word-of-mouth referrals.

Monitor this from the first job onwards.

Business Networking

Establish partnerships with at least 3 local businesses (e.g., real estate agencies, property management companies) for regular jobs.

Keep track of the number of business partnerships established.

Start networking and offering favorable terms for regular jobs.

Business partnerships can provide a steady stream of jobs.

Achieve this within the first three months.

Revenue Target

Achieve $10,000 in sales by the end of the sixth month.

Monitor sales closely each month.

This depends on achieving the other goals (brand awareness, customer acquisition, service quality, business networking).

Hitting the revenue target indicates that the business is growing successfully.

Achieve this within six months.

Legal Aspects of Starting a Junk Removal Business

Before you hit the ground running, you’ll also need to tackle the legal aspects of setting up your junk removal business. 


Business Registration and Licenses

The process of registering your business and obtaining the necessary licenses may vary slightly depending on where you operate, but generally, you'll need to choose a business name, select the type of business entity (such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation), and register your business with the right state or local agency.


Example of Waste Hauler Permit in Miami-Dade County, Florida

As well as a general business registration, you may also need specific permits or licenses to operate a junk removal business. For instance, some jurisdictions require businesses to apply for a general hauler permit, which allows you to legally transport and dispose of waste.

Insurance Requirements for Junk Removal Businesses

Insurance helps protect you and your company from potential financial risks and liabilities. Depending on the size and scope of your operations, you might need various types of insurance, such as general liability, commercial auto, workers' compensation, and even pollution liability insurance. It's a smart move to consult with an insurance agent or broker who's familiar with the industry, as they can guide you through the best coverage options out there.

Essential Equipment for Junk Removal

Having the right equipment on hand is key to running a seamless and efficient junk removal business. As you prepare to launch your business, consider investing in the following essential tools and equipment to help you tackle your jobs with ease:

  • Trucks or trailers for transporting waste
  • Hand trucks and dollies
  • Ramps for loading heavy items
  • Protective gloves and safety gear
  • Shovels and brooms for site cleanup
  • Bins, containers, or tarps for sorting and organizing items
  • Straps and bungee cords for secure transport
  • Unique equipment for specialized waste management services

Establish Your Junk Removal Business on Google

The world has gone digital, so one great way to get your business on the map is by creating a Google My Business listing. This allows your business to show up in Google search results, attract new clients, and showcase important information like contact details, hours, and customer reviews. 

Source: GoSite R&D Team, Google Search in Fair Oaks, CA

To make the most of your online presence, consider using tools like GoSite's placement feature. This powerful platform helps give you an overview of how your business is doing on Google in terms of searches, views, phone calls, and more. GoSite also offers online business listing management, keeping your business information consistent and up-to-date on various online directories and platforms.

Local Search Automation

Source: GoSite Google Business Management

Build a Professional Website

84% of customers believe a business with a website is more credible than one with just a social media page. A well-designed and user-friendly website allows potential clients to learn about your services, pricing structure, and company values, while also providing an easy way to get in touch with you for quotes or bookings. 

Investing time and resources into building a website or employing a company like GoSite that specializes in small business websites not only shows you're professional and trustworthy but will also help attract new clients and grow your business in the long run.

Market Your Junk Removal Business Using Social Platforms

Social media platforms are powerful marketing tools for your junk removal business, allowing you to reach a wider audience, engage with potential clients, and show off your services in a more interactive and engaging way. Using popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you can share updates, promotions, success stories, customer testimonials, and even valuable tips related to junk removal, waste management, and recycling.

One interesting feature to consider using is Facebook Watch, where you can upload video content to showcase your junk removal process and customer satisfaction stories or even create educational videos on proper waste disposal and eco-friendly practices. 

How To Grow and Scale Your Junk Removal Business

Junk removal is one of those businesses that won’t ever stop existing, but that doesn't mean growing and scaling it is a walk in the park. While the opportunity for success is there, it takes planning, effort, and adapting to changes and trends. 

As you head on your junk removal journey, don't forget to stay focused on your goals while keeping an eye on the market. By following the guidelines we've explored in this article, you'll be on your way to building a thriving junk removal business that stands the test of time.

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