Junk Removal Business: Should You Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch?


Entrepreneurs seeking to enter the junk removal industry often face the decision of whether to buy into an existing franchise or start their own business from scratch. Both options have their pros and cons. In this article, we’ll explore the options involved in this decision and try to help you determine which path is best suited for your entrepreneurial journey. 

Established Brand and Support

One of the biggest advantages of buying into a junk removal franchise (and it’s a big one) is gaining access to an established brand. Franchises often come with a recognized name, established marketing strategies, and a proven business model. 

This can provide a significant head start in terms of customer recognition and trust. Additionally, franchises typically offer training, operational support, and ongoing guidance, which can be invaluable, especially for first-time business owners.

Imagine moving to a new city and getting a craving for Cheesecake. If you’re like most people, The Cheesecake Factory is the first thing that comes to mind. So, you get on Google and type in “Cheesecake near me”, and you find 2 options; 1) The Cheesecake Factory and 2) Cheesecakes Are Us.

Maybe they both share the same 5-Star rating, so which one do you choose, and why?

Most people will choose the least risky between the two, and that means going with the brand name you know and trust. The same is true in the junk removal industry.

Reduced Risk and Faster Growth

Buying into a franchise will (most likely) reduce the risk associated with starting a business from scratch. Franchises have already tested their concepts, fine-tuned their operations, and established a track record of success. This can greatly increase your chances of success and minimize the trial and error phase. 

Additionally, franchises may have exclusive territories, ensuring limited competition. With the right franchise, you can experience faster growth as you leverage the brand’s reputation and existing customer base.

What you don’t know will most likely bite you in the hiney. (Why do I love that word so much?)

For example, do you know the difference between a recycling center, a transfer station, and a landfill? 


Just knowing these varied options can save you a ton of time and money. This is just one small example of why it’s oftentimes a no-brainer to go with a franchise vs starting from scratch.

Higher Initial Investment

One consideration when buying into a franchise is the higher initial investment required. Franchises almost always require an upfront franchise fee, ongoing royalties, and advertising contributions. 

The initial investment can be substantial, and it’s crucial to carefully analyze the financial impact. 

There are junk removal franchises that you can buy into with upfront franchise fees as low as $25k, and some as high as $100k+ and total investments exceeding $400k.

In most cases, the high numbers also reflect the purchase of a brand new truck(s) depending on the desires of the franchisee.

However, it’s important to note that this investment provides access to an established brand, support, and a proven business model, potentially offsetting the higher upfront costs in the long run.

Flexibility and Creative Control

Starting a junk removal business from scratch offers the advantage of flexibility and creative control. You have the freedom to shape your brand, establish your own processes, and adapt to market demands as you see fit. 

Starting from scratch allows you to create a business that aligns precisely with your vision, values, and target market. 

However, it’s important to acknowledge that this route requires extensive research, careful planning, and the ability to build your brand and customer base from the ground up.

By starting your own business, you can decide if you want to offer services that a franchise may not approve, such as stump grinding, pressure washing, dumpster rentals, and more.

Self-Reliance and Independence

Entrepreneurs who prefer self-reliance and independence may lean towards starting a junk removal business from scratch. This path allows for complete ownership and decision-making authority. 

Starting from scratch requires a hands-on approach, where you are responsible for every aspect of the business. This can be an exciting and rewarding experience for those who are passionate about building something from the ground up and value complete control over their operations.

However, this can also be a huge risk and not conducive to some. If you’re not used to putting processes and systems in place, or you’re not great with organization, planning, and admin tasks in general, a franchise is probably the better option.

If you want to grow your business, as we all do, be prepared to invest a substantial amount of time putting all of your thoughts, ideas, challenges, processes, and procedures on paper.

What’s Next? 

Deciding whether to buy into a junk removal franchise or start one from scratch depends on your individual circumstances, goals, and preferences. 

Franchises offer established brands, support, and reduced risk while starting from scratch provides flexibility and creative control. Carefully weigh the pros and cons, conduct thorough research, and choose the path that aligns best with your entrepreneurial vision.

Remember, success in the junk removal industry ultimately boils down to your dedication, hard work, and commitment to providing excellent service to your customers.

If you would like some recommendations within this space, we would be happy to discuss this with you. (Before we started Service Raider, we started a junk removal business in Charlotte, NC, which is now a franchise system, so we know the space well.

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