In business, it is important to get to know our clients. As an owner of a digital branding and marketing agency, we focus on servicing Blue Collar companies and Real Estate Agents. Like many agency owners, I originally worked with lawyers, doctors, and insurance companies. And these were, and continue to be, some of our greatest clients. However, I made the shift to focus our agency on those that are on the trucks and showing houses.
Growing up in Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the planet, I was raised (in my family) around building inspectors, contractors, and real estate. While many of my peers went on to work for Google, Pandora, and other tech companies, I invested in maintenance and cleaning companies while building my marketing agency, which now spans across the globe. A large group that we serve are business owners in the Junk Removal Industry. While studying my audience in this expanding industry, I grew to appreciate Blue Collar men and women with big trucks, long work days, dirty hands, and clean money.
I am amazed at how many business owners in this industry have a deeply-rooted belief in God as their driving force. Years ago, I sold one of my companies, and the greatest part was seeing the new owner come to Christ and witness his baptism. His life transformed. His addictions started to deteriorate, and he grew as a man beyond my expectations. We cannot have a conversation these days without him bringing up his faith. I dig it.
“Being the business owner, taking care of my team, taking care of clients, having integrity, all is built on and comes from my walk in faith with God. I look at owning this company as an opportunity to interact with people every day to tell them about Jesus and spread the Gospel.”
~Jack Canas, Owner of Disciples Junk Removal, St. Petersburg, Florida
Have Your Business Tell a Story
One of the greatest weeks of my life was when I visited Skywalker Ranch and got to be a guest at George Lucas’s private office. As a youth and into adulthood, I was, and still am, a huge fan of the Star Wars movies. Lucas is a master storyteller. Why can’t we be like Lucas? Telling stories is not limited to the big screen. Big Brands and Small Brands alike tell a story.
“Never ever, ever SELL your service. TELL a short story about how painless, enjoyable, and even how fun it’s going to be when your crew arrives and does their work. At the very end, after you’ve explained that their stress will leave when your crew drives away from their clutter-free home, that it’s only a matter of writing a couple of numbers on a check. Your story can tell the client about the pleasure of hiring your company or the pain of how much it costs not to hire your company. Storyteller’s choice.”
~Joshua Sperling, Co-Founder of Blue Collar Nations and GI Junk Away, Fallbrook, California
Grow Through Hard Times
There is no doubt that when you start a business, there will always be obstacles. It is how you face and overcome those obstacles that will pave the way for your business to grow beyond your wildest dreams. If starting a business was easy, everyone would be doing it. It takes someone with grit, passion, and determination to get through the growing pains that come with starting something of your own.
It’s like working out. It’s hard at first. You have to force yourself to get to the gym. You wake up with aches and pains every single day. But when you start to see yourself getting stronger, no one can take you down. The newfound strength you have pushes you to keep going and motivates you to take care of this business that you worked so hard to make succeed.
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to work in the rain. In this day, when many businesses are facing unique challenges, the junk removal industry is flourishing. Many haulers are receiving calls from clients that are needing their services for various reasons. Many people are having to move, relocate, or just had the extra time to declutter their life, and they are calling upon haulers to fill their needs. There’s no better time than now to start a junk removal business.”
~Matt Vick, Owner or Sonoma Strong Hauling, Sonoma, California
Keep a Great Attitude
Like I have said before, the growing pains are inevitable. You spend more hours working than your own employees at times, and you may not take a check home at first. Who has started a business from scratch and walked away rich within the first week? The answer is – slim to none. Keep your head up, keep your nose on the grindstone, and push through. The weeks will be tough, but when you get to go to your daughter’s recital or your son’s baseball game because you are your own boss, you will see how much it pays off. The days may be long, but like any successful business owner, you will look back at those long days where you got your hands dirty and spent all of your days on the truck and think, “I did it.”
“Being in this industry gives freedom to live life on your terms. It can change your life. It is a license to not only run your own business but for the freedom to spend the majority of your time with those that matter most—family. Usually family gets the leftovers. I’m blessed to be in this position to give them the best of me.”
~Joseph Martinez, Founder of Vets Haul Junk
Serve Others Without Expecting in Return
Have you ever given someone else a gift, and you were more excited than they were? That’s the feeling you get when you help out your community as a junk hauler. Whether you’re picking up an old couch someone dumped on the side of the road, helping an organization in your town declutter their building, or even helping an old client going through a hard time, you feel good, and it pays off. And it’s not just about a photo op or a good review; it’s about doing better for yourself, your company, and your community.
“Always give more than you take. If we take more than we give as business owners, the well will run dry.”
~ Jay Silva, Owner of Trash Your Junk, Cleveland, Ohio
If you aren’t willing to be taught, you will not see growth. It’s okay to put your pride to the side and start listening. Chances are, anyone who gives you advice during your beginning stages was right where you were when they started. The junk removal industry and all blue collar company owners are usually the ones to be the first ones there with lessons, so you don’t make the same mistakes they may have in the past. Don’t worry about going into your business alone. If you are open and willing to listen to others in your industry, you will grow faster and make lifelong connections.
“Be willing to learn from others who’ve been in the business; going your own way without any guidance can be costly. Good mentorship will save you a lot of time and money.”
~Travis Mejia, Owner of Spartan Junk Removal, Modesto, California
It’s scary, filming your first video for the world to see. You don’t know how to hold the camera, and people might stare. But the more you film, the more you will become comfortable with sharing your knowledge and hearing feedback from other people. Videos are one of the best ways to get business in this day and age. Everyone wants to see what a junk hauler will be doing on their property or in their home, and you can share your day to day life as a junk hauler in your videos.
“Creating videos takes time and discipline, but it pays off. Each video is an opportunity to educate our target audience and build trust. Also, it’s a great opportunity to serve and help those in the junk removal industry. I learned by watching videos. I am always learning, but I reached a point where it’s time to return the favor. Education is a passion of mine, and videos like my truck are another vehicle.”
~Doug Calhoun, Founder of Bubba’s Junk Removal, Pearland, Texas
Master Time Management
Time management is key in all career fields, but when you run a junk hauling business or own your own company, time management is of the utmost importance. Create a schedule that will work for you and your employees, so you aren’t rushing a job. Time management will give you traffic and a great reputation. You will be seen as reliable and efficient, which is what potential customers look for. Time management also requires discipline, which is hard to master, but it pays off in the long run.
“Time management in Junk Removal is essential for two reasons: 1. Wasted and unproductive time is equal to wasted capital that can be used to grow the business and clientele base. 2. Scheduling jobs and the crews that run them is going to impact the bottom line. When we can manage our schedule in a way that allows crews to merge loads and junk removal jobs in a tighter area, money is saved on payroll, miles on the vehicles are reduced, lower dump costs with less trips to the landfill, and ultimately be able to serve clients in a more efficient and cost effective manner.”
~Matthew Moses, Owner of Fast Act Junk Removal, Niles, Michigan
A High EQ Matters When it Comes to Clients
What do you look for when you’re hiring a company that may be working in your home? You would want to hire a professional, passionate, and trustworthy team that shares values in morals. Being a fair team will get you far. And on those hard days where you want to throw in the towel, make sure to keep your principles as a priority. Treat every customer like your neighbor. They will feel comfortable working with you and are more likely to recommend you to others.
“Practicing tactical empathy is a critical building block in negotiations.”
~William Pierce, Owner of Get My Junk, Richmond Virginia
Always Be Branding
Branding is one of the most important factors when it comes to growing your business. It is important to be consistent and professional with your branding. For example, when you are on a road trip and see your favorite drive-thru logo, you know that your family will most likely stop there because you KNOW the brand, you get the same thing every time, and you know what to expect. That’s how it should be when you start branding your company. Having a professional branding agency help you get your branding on track will help your growth. You will look more professional, and customers will trust you more.
“In Order to BE and STAY a successful business one must Always Be Branding to grab the attention of your clients. Strategically build a brand so clients consistently focus on you showing them how and why you provide a great service. Without branding you will not be seen, you will not be known, you will not have an identity as a company. A lack of branding is the demise of any business. BRAND TO STAY AHEAD OF YOUR COMPETITION, because The Queen says so and it worked for me!”
~Denise “The Queen of Junk” Sparks, Owner of Sparks Junk Removal & Hauling, Alton, Illinois
by Jeff Glass
Founder of Alpha Media Group