My friend Jason Mohr, who runs a business called Any Junk? (doing junk removal for households in London, Bristol and Birmingham), asked me the other day if they could have a mention in our email newsletter, in return for giving 0800handyman a mention in theirs.
But we haven't sent an e-mail newsletter for ages, because I've started to think that e-mail newsletters are too intrusive. A blog seems to be better, and those people that are really interested in what I have to say can subscribe to the RSS feed. As long as you don't mind sometimes waiting a few weeks for me to post (although, to be fair, I generally post several times a week, but just haven't for a while now. Back now.)
So I said I'd talk about junk removal and rubbish collection on my blog instead. Any Junk? seem to be doing a pretty good job in their sector doing what what we have done in ours: adding some professionalism, great service, efficient back-office systems (they use the same software as us, fancy that), and strong branding to a previously haphazard, one-man-band-dominated, sometimes dodgy, fragmented sector.
Just like in the handyman sector, the Americans are way ahead of us with junk removal. Jason has modelled his business, I think, on Got Junk?, the market leader in the US. If anyone is thinking of setting up a service business in the UK, checking out how they do it in the US is often a good place to start.
Junk removal has the added advantage of being able to play the green card. Some reasonably high percentage of everything they collect is either sold on or recycled, saving space in landfill. Jason manages to persuade everyone his business is so green that the taxpayer should actually pay for some of it - they were recently awarded a grant to buy four new trucks outright. I'm not sure if that is supposed to be public knowledge, but given that it is public money, it ought to be. And it is now. I am very cynical about taxpayers subsidising commercial businesses -- I think it is cheating -- but no doubt there is a strong economic argument for using tax money to keep junk out of landfill, blah, blah.
Anyway, if you need junk collecting or rubbish removing, do check these guys out, we've used them ourselves and they are excellent, and the chap the runs it is a good egg:
Need any oddjobs doing? Check out www.0800handyman.co.uk