Meet Caleb Benson, owner of Junk Removal Pros Riverside.
Tell us about Junk Removal Pros Riverside? Who do you serve and how?
We are a junk removal company based in Riverside. We get asked for all kinds of things from carting away old furniture, clearing out storage units or houses when people are moving and can’t take everything with them, or hauling away yard debris. We have some commercial clients who will call us for bigger jobs like construction site clean ups or picking up trash after a major event or project when they don’t want it sitting around.
If someone has something they need removing, they can give us a call for a quote or just have us drop by and haul it away for them. We serve Riverside mainly but we have done jobs in Moreno Valley, Fontana, Colton, and local cities.
What was it that made you want to start this business?
I was at a crossroads in my career and had always wanted to run my own business. I had some experience in junk removal from part time work for a franchise owner while I was in college. I’ve lived in the Inland Empire for most of my life and it has some beautiful spots but I was also seeing more piles of junk that people were dumping. I kept thinking to myself that if they had an affordable option instead, they wouldn’t need to spoil the area for others. I know that’s probably a little idealistic but I wanted to build a business that can also impact the community and environment in a positive way.
What was the toughest thing you went through when opening?
That’s a great question. Probably the responsibility of knowing my family’s future rested on my ability to make this work. While I knew I had the work ethic, it’s still a lot of pressure to get things going.
If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently?
To accept that I have to spend money to make money. I would have borrowed money earlier to invest in a bigger truck. While I’m glad I went through the bootstrapping stages, I missed out on a lot of really good hauling jobs because I didn’t have the capacity to haul big jobs. Some of those customers could have turned into regular clients like commercial clean ups and renovators.
I would have found my team sooner too and expanded. Some days, I left myself exhausted trying to cover all the calls and jobs that were coming in. Sometimes I’ve used an answering service to help cover calls when I’m on a call or hauling job. It meant the caller spoke to someone helpful instead of my voicemail and more of those calls turned into business. I wish I had known about that option sooner. I’ve also been able to add guys to my team who help out on busy days or afford me the occasional day off to spend with family.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve also increased my marketing budget and it’s completely changed my perspective on investing in my business. When I first started this business, I was almost afraid to spend money and was trying to limit any kind of spending. I found the right kind of marketing partner and they’ve really helped create more calls and requests than I could ever do on my own. Now I see my marketing budget as absolutely essential because I’ve been able to track how much return I see on every dollar I spend and this service has helped us grow substantially over the past year or so.
It was really hard at the beginning but looking back, I can see that a small investment in getting help instead of trying to do it all myself has not only enabled my business to grow but they can do a better job in those areas than I can.
What's the main way your new customers find you?
It’s a combination of internet marketing and word of mouth. I would say internet marketing for residential jobs and referrals more for commercial type clients.
What are your goals for the next year?
I’m planning on investing in another truck and expanding into some additional areas. I’ve been reluctant to spread myself too thin and not be able to get to our customers quick enough with traffic and travel times. Another truck would really help with growth and being able to expand but still provide the same level of quality service our customers expect.
Call 951-338-8584 if you are looking for a good junk removal company in and around the Riverside area.