January 23

Best Way to Grow Your Junk Removal Business in 2024

There are dozens of ways to grow your junk removal business in 2024. Just do a quick search on Google and you’ll find plenty of ideas. The problem is that not all of them are good ideas, and they’re not necessarily catered to where you are with your business.

In this blog post, we’ll do our best to help you prioritize and pinpoint the winning strategies you can use to grow your junk removal business in 2024 depending on the size of your business.

First, we’ll start with marketing strategies tailored towards ‘startup’ junk removal companies with one truck. Second, we’ll expand on the strategies in part one and layer on some tactics that are more applicable to scaling an established junk removal company with multiple trucks and crews.

Whether you are a newcomer or a veteran in the junk removal industry, this guide will equip you with the tools you need to elevate your business to new heights.

Growing a Newer Junk Removal Business in 2024

If you’re just getting started or you’re setting your sights on getting that second truck up and running this year, this part is for you. Pardon the pun, but you’ve gotta be scrappy. Every dollar counts. You can’t afford to waste time and energy trying to figure too many things out.

The startup phase is all about sales and figuring out how to better streamline your operations. While you need sales to grow the business and stay in business, the real goal at this stage is to dial in your sales process and pricing, while earning a positive reputation in your community.

Get Listed on Google Business

Your best and most qualified customers are searching for you on Google. If you don’t have a Google Business listing, they will never find you. Right now, Google is prioritizing junk removal businesses that are located closer to the searcher. This means that even startups stand a real fighting chance.

Establishing a presence on Google Business is critical for the visibility and growth of your junk removal business. As people increasingly turn to online search to find services, Google Business serves as the primary gateway to reach potential customers. It allows your business to appear on Google Maps and in relevant local searches, extending your reach and attracting more customers in your community.

Google Business is the #1 most valuable piece of real estate that you own on the internet.

It’s often the first touch-point for customers to interact with and gain visibility into your brand.

With that in mind, here are a few basic tips to optimize your Google Business listing:

First, ensure your business information is accurate and complete. This includes your company name, address, phone number, and operating hours.

Second, use high-quality images to showcase your junk removal service. This will help customers understand your service better and can also make your listing more attractive.

Lastly, regularly ask your satisfied customers to leave a review on your Google Business page. This will help improve your ranking on Google and attract more potential customers. Remember, visibility on Google is a key stepping stone to business growth in 2024 and beyond. It will continue to compound over time.

Stack Your Reviews on Google

I cannot overstate the importance of getting more 5-star reviews on Google. In my opinion, this is more important than having a website for your junk removal business. The reason is that having more reviews impacts both your marketing funnel and sales funnel, and its effect continues to compound.

In the early days of Digital Harvest, we had a junk removal client that operated in a somewhat rural area of Virginia and had roughly 30 reviews when we started working with them. Their competition was similarly rated. Over the next two years, we used automated follow-ups to help them grow to 485 Google reviews – completely smashing the next-best rated in the area which sat at around 50.

If you knew nothing about either company before searching online, which one do you think you would choose? Of course, you’d choose the one with a staggering number of reviews. Why wouldn’t you?

This fact is supported by research conducted by BrightLocal, concluding that 91% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

For years I’ve stressed the importance of reviews and business owners nod in agreement, but then fail to prioritize the activity of generating them. Customers will not leave reviews unless you prompt them to do so. Expecting them to do so is being lazy.

Here’s a Few Tips to Generate More Reviews

First, deliver exceptional service worth reviewing (duh).

Second, don’t shy away from asking your customers for reviews; it can be as simple as sending a follow-up email after service completion requesting them for a review. (We’d recommend a text with a link to your Google page!) Consider using a review management tool to automate this process.

Third, give customers a leave-behind such as a business card with a QR code that they can scan and go directly to your Google page to leave the review. Make it easy!

Finally, respond to each review, whether positive or negative, to show you value customer feedback.

You might be tempted to incentivize or reward customer reviews based on recommendations from other articles. This is a slippery slope and technically against Google’s terms of service. I just don’t think it’s worth the risk when simply asking is the most important part of obtaining new reviews.

Generate Shared Leads with Angi or Thumbtack

Look, I hate these guys too. But before you club me over the head hear me out… utilizing platforms like Angi or Thumbtack can give your junk removal business a serious boost in the beginning.

Sites like Angi’s List and Thumbtack provide shared leads, also known as 3rd party leads. These sites get a ton of traffic from local homeowners searching for your services.  Customers put in their info and ask for a quote. Their information is sent to several junk removal companies in the area at the same time. Then, it’s a race to contact and close the customer before the other guy does.

It’s typically cheaper to acquire a lead from Angi or Thumbtack than to generate it on your own (at least in the beginning). But it attracts a lot of price shoppers. You will spend a lot of time talking to people who don’t close, but you’ll get the opportunity to hone your sales process and get things moving. 

Join a Local BNI Group and Get More Referrals

Referrals are awesome. They don’t cost money to obtain, and they close much easier. Some folks swear by the local Chamber of Commerce, but in my experience, people are mostly there to socialize versus build their businesses.

Joining a local BNI (Business Network International) group can be a game-changer for your junk removal business. As the world’s largest referral organization, BNI’s sole purpose is business networking, helping members to share ideas, contacts, and most importantly, business referrals.

Junk removal is one of those industries where almost everyone is in contact with someone who could use your service. If you show up to the meetings, have a positive attitude, and do your best to help out the other members – you will quickly be swimming in referrals.

While some members of the group may want your services directly, the real money is in the connections from the group. It’s the people outside the room that you want to reach.

If you approach BNI in that way (sell through the room, not to the members in the room), you will set yourself up for great success.

While it does take time to build connections that trust you enough with their referrals, if you take it seriously, you will also learn a lot about your own business as you train others to find referrals for you.

Growing an Established Junk Removal Business in 2024

You’ve got a positive reputation in your community, both online (hello Google reviews!) and offline. You have at least two trucks and crews. Your margins are dialed in. It’s time to scale.

Because you’re making more money, more opportunities to promote your business have become available to you. Some methods are more complicated or harder to execute. I’ve boiled things down to four methods that are tried and true and will generate the best return for your junk removal business, with less risk.

Get Your Trucks Professionally Wrapped

This is a one-time investment with long-term benefits. Everywhere your crews go they are advertising your brand. Whenever they park outside someone’s home, the neighbors will see it.

Fact: the neighbors of your current customers fit the exact demographic you want to target and penetrate further with your services.

Work with a local vehicle wrap company and allow them to strategize with you on how to make your wraps effective at both branding as well as lead generation. A clear call to action that differentiates you in some way from other junk removal companies will cut through the noise.

Remember, you’re competing with national franchises like Junk King and 1-800 JUNK – your wraps need to be on par with them. Skip the stickers and decals, don’t be cheap about it.

Create a Website and Optimize It for Search Engines

You might already have a site up, but now is the time to optimize it so that people can find you easier on Google. This works in tandem with your Google Business listing, boosting its effectiveness.

Pro Tip: Use a platform such as WordPress to build your website. Stay away from Wix and Squarespace. Friends don’t let friends build their sites on Wix. Why? Google it.

A lot of local junk removal companies miss the boat here by creating a website with a handful of pages and making a giant list of all the different types of junk they will pick up.

The junk removal companies that are killing it on Google search have dozens of pages on their site dedicated to the different things that they do: full junk outs, hot tub pickup, mattress pickup, yard cleanup, appliance pickup etc. They also have pages dedicated to each city that is part of their service area.

In general, more content and more pages on your site will perform better. It’s worth the money to hire a web developer and an SEO professional to do it right versus spending the time trying to learn it and implement it. At Digital Harvest, SEO is our specialty and we partner with web developers who build sites to the specs we require.

Google Local Service Ads (LSA) vs Google Ads

We’re all about speed and simplicity. Local Services Ads (LSA) by Google is a pay-per-lead advertising platform that positions your business at the very top of Google search results. It’s a game-changer for local businesses as it prioritizes local providers and only charges you when you receive a valid lead.

There’s a verification process that you have to go through where you provide your business insurance and other documentation to be eligible, but once you’re ‘in’ it is easy to configure and manage even if you don’t know much about digital marketing.

Google LSA is different than Google Ads which is a pay-per-click model. You have a lot more control over what the ad looks like, the keywords you’re targeting, and bidding – but that also creates more complexity.

If you’ve maxed out Google LSA, only then would I recommend starting up with Google Ads. Save yourself the headache and hire a pro from the beginning. You’ll likely pay them $500-1,000/m to manage your ads, not including ad spend.

Form Power Partnerships

What’s better than receiving referrals from customers and referral partners?

Receiving DOZENS of referrals from a power partner every single year!

What is a power partner? Typically it’s someone or a business that’s consistently in front of your ideal clients and will regularly refer them to you for services.

Best Power Partners for Junk Removal Companies

    1. Real Estate Agents – when people move in or move out, they get rid of a lot of junk!
    2. House Flippers – these guys need your help trashing out hoarder homes and the like.
    3. Property Managers – when properties are abandoned or tenants are evicted, you know who they need to call 🙂
    4. Assisted Living Communities – when someone ages up into needing care, they often need assistance vacating their home.
    5. Building Managers – think apartment complexes. Mentioned here for the same reason as property managers.

How do you form power partnerships with these people and businesses?

First, I would join a local BNI chapter (as mentioned above) and set up meetings with all of the real estate agents in your region in every chapter.

Then, I would use that network to ask for introductions to the professionals and businesses listed above. We’ve listed five ideas here, but many others would be effective.

Finally, door-knocking isn’t dead 😉 Remember, you’re a junk pro. You’ve faced plenty of rejection and you’re better for it. Have a graphic designer work with you to create a nice tri-fold leave-behind detailing your services, specials, and other info that differentiates you from others. Frame your visit in a way that speaks directly to their pain points and that you can solve them with your services. If the margins make sense, you could even incentivize them with a referral fee.

Don’t Waste Your Time and Money

You’ll notice many methods weren’t mentioned here such as social media. The reason?

It takes a lot of time and doesn’t always correlate directly with income. Sorry, but likes, comments, and views aren’t going to pay your bills.

Unless you really like doing it, and you’re a natural-born promoter/marketer – you’re going to spend a lot of time working on your social media with little to show for it. If you take that same time and energy and apply it to the methods shared above, I’d bet money the return will be greater by a high margin.

Other Major Money Wasters

Don’t get fooled into thinking that sponsoring a hole at the charity golf tournament is going to give your business the exposure it needs to generate sales. It won’t. Call it what it is, a donation to a cause you care about. As an advertising expense, it’s a huge waste.

You might also get tempted to advertise on billboards or the radio. While these methods can be powerful tools to generate brand awareness, they won’t get your phone ringing the same way as the methods recommended here. If you do spend money here, I would recommend no more than 10% of your advertising budget.

Conclusion

Running any business is hard. Junk removal is no exception. Operationally, there’s complexity that most people would overlook or just wouldn’t understand.

You have to be effective with your time. You need to focus instead of spreading yourself thin on 1,000 ideas that seem novel but are unproven.

Hopefully, this guide provides a great launching point for you to grow your junk removal business to new heights in 2024 and beyond. Do you have any questions? Post them in the comments below.

If you’ve got a couple of trucks and you need some help with your website and local SEO, give us a call at (505) 365-1545 or hit us up via our contact page.


Tags

entrepreneurs, local business, small business, small business tips


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