Many of those who lose their jobs during a recession will find it tough to find another job and may start to think about investing in their own business with whatever redundancy pay they may have received. This can be a golden opportunity to become your own boss, but it takes hard work, determination and perseverance to make a new business successful and it rarely happens overnight.
It is always tempting when thinking about starting a business to do something you have always loved doing – make your hobby your job. But, sadly, in the majority of these cases the businesses just don’t succeed. This is mainly because they have been embarked upon with a personal bias and not from a purely business perspective. Whatever decision you might make about going it alone, that decision must always be a business one first and foremost.
The best approach to starting your own business is to research all those services or products that are required in both good and bad economic times.
A house clearance business is one such service that will always be in demand. More and more people are looking for this service sometimes simply to get their houses ready for sale. Or they might have moved and settled permanently abroad and now wish someone to clear out the house in readiness for selling it. Establishing a good business relationship with local estate agents can lead to regular business referrals.
But house clearance is most particularly required after a death in the family. The bereaved often do not want to clear the house at such an emotional time, and the act of disposing of a loved one’s belongings can be overwhelming. Relatives can struggle to sort out the belongings of the deceased whilst coping with their grief and the ongoing demands of work and family life. Or there may simply be no emotional ties and the deceased is a distant relative in another part of the country.
Whatever the reason, there is a booming business clearing out other people’s unwanted belongings.
Whilst local auctioneers do sometimes offer house clearance services, they are really looking for valuable items to sell in their auctions and are not usually interested in the junk. So if you are embarking on this type of business then you need to be prepared to clear everything and often to deal with people at a difficult time in their lives.
Many items that are unwanted by one individual can still be recycled or donated to charity so be sure to consider these options where possible.
To distinguish your business from the rogue element that operate bogus house clearance services it is worth joining the UK House Clearance Association.
Every member of the association makes some key commitments, which are simply good business practice:
· To provide a clear description, price and timetable for the house clearance to be carried out.
· To guarantee full liability insurance.
· To hold a current waste carrier’s license issued by the Environment Agency.
· To be courteous, competent, and committed to providing a high standard of service.
· To deal promptly and sympathetically with anything that may go wrong.
If you think this might be the business for you then it is a relatively easy business to start up with little capital outlay (so you might actually be able to save some of that redundancy cash). There are just some simple steps to take towards being your own boss:
Obtain liability insurance
When you are entering someone’s house and likely to be moving large and heavy objects, you must have the appropriate insurance against damaging either the fabric of the building or persons within it.
Obtain a waste carrier’s license from the Environment Agency
Dumping waste at municipal sites on a commercial basis requires a license. These are inexpensive and last for 3 years so apply for one well in advance of clearing that first house.
Decide which vehicle you need
If you don’t already own a van, you will definitely need one, but while you are still testing out your business idea, why not hire a van instead of buying one. That way you can decide which type of van is most suitable in your local area.
Advertise in the local press and online
The advantage of a small business like house clearance is that you can avoid expensive advertising costs by advertising your services in local publications and at local venues.
House Clearance is just one small business idea that is a service required whatever the economic climate and it is simple and inexpensive to start up. But there are many other such businesses that could mean the start of a new life as your own boss.