A “junk” collection and removal business helps people clear out their homes, garages, offices, gardens and carts away the items the person wants to throw away.

The business
This is a entry level business that all you need is a car and a trailer, believe it or not a lot of people in this business do it for free. Now you probably thinking why on earth would you offer such a service for free and how are you going to make money?

Why would people do it for free?
In case you have forgotten, the majority of people in SA live in poverty and a quarter of the working population is unemployed. They tried to find a job, but cant, they can sit at home and starve or turn to crime or they can do something about it. This is for someone with a cheapie car and basic trailer; they can make OK money here. Obviously you’re not going to do this if you have a flatbed bakkie or a H100 then you can do furniture removals and make good money.

How are you going to make money?
Where do you think the majority of items at flea markets come from? This is one of the most common sources that stall owners get their “stock” from. Now remember this is not a rubble removal service, this service helps people clear out their garages of stuff they have accumulated over the years. Maybe they are moving out, scaling down etc. What often happens is that once the kids are grown the parents decide to move to a smaller place and they need to clear out a garage with twenty years of hoarding: toys, clothing, books, broken electronics, old appliances etc.

If you doing it for free and you into the flea market scene then fine, but otherwise this is a last resort business (in the framework we use to classify businesses this is the ground floor), you are basically hoping that you get a good enough load to make it worthwhile. You have to understand sometimes people just really can’t find a job; this is one of those things that can be done to make some money. So, if you sitting at home and twiddling your thumbs get your skoroskoro roadworthy and get a trailer and you are in business.

Business model
As you probably have gleaned from above, you essentially sell or recycle the stuff you are clearing out. Fix what can be be fixed etc. then you sell it either at the flea market if you have a stall or on a website like Gumtree. Now understand there is no guarantee that you are going to get stuff to make your petrol and time worthwhile. But let’s get real here, if you never a high paying job you might make what you would’ve made working – even more. There is a way to limit your chances of getting a bad load: in your ad advertising your service use words like “send me pics or inventory so I can plan my load” this might sounds like you saying: say how much stuff so I can know what vehicle or trailer to use, but what you are actually gauging is: is this going to be a waste of my time. Is someone sends you pictures of hay or large worthless rocks or something else that’s big and worthless then you can just say “Sorry I only have a small car and trailer”.

Now the biggest question here is: “Should you charge?”

So far I have been harping on about the people doing it for free. There is two business models out there those that do it for free, usually people, I don’t want to say down on their luck, but if they had something better to do they probably would’ve done it. And then there are others that do it as a business just like rubble and furniture removal and charge a similar free to those guys. You can choose one or the other. I believe you should charge, just not a lot, somewhere in between free and full charge. Charge enough to cover your petrol and a meal and a modest wage and then you make profit from the load. Still be courteous: you are doing nobody a favour but yourself once you have loaded all items, sweep out, say thank you and leave.

Some people will actually not want to hire someone for free with South Africa as dangerous as it is they will wonder is this person really making enough from the junk or is he going to try and steal something or “case their joint”.

Now you probably are thinking “WTF? I want to make a lot of money; the politicians said I will during election time! Here I’m instead being told to work for scrap and I hear phrases like “work for what you can learn and not earn”.” Well, when you have nothing you have to start somewhere. You have to understand that nobody is going to lend you money if you cannot prove an ability to pay it back, if you currently have no income or going concern your chance of getting capital is virtually zero no matter how attractive your business plan is. The ability to pull yourself up by your bootstraps is far more valuable.

We classify these businesses in steps or stages as we see it as a means to an end, nobody says you going to be doing this forever. This business doesn’t really scale in any case. If I were in this position with no other skills I would save up whatever I can from this business and use that money learn a trade such as plumbing, welding, electrical, boilermaking etc. from a reputable institution.

It is also about building character: you need to be able to rely on yourself. You cannot wait on someone else to come through for you, and let me tell you something: if you end up at the point where your last resort for help is the government then you are in serious trouble.

How to Start a Buying & Selling Business in South Africa

A buying and selling business is one of the easiest businesses to get into; it requires little skill (besides basic mathematics) and can be started with very little capital. There are two underlying components to a successful buying and selling business: 1.


You have a business idea, where to next?
How to Start a Business from Business Idea