Over the last decade, the recycling services industry has exploded with a demand for its services. Consumers are now more aware than ever of the damage we can cause to our environment if we don't start taking some steps to minimize the amount of waste we produce. With this, someone looking to buy a business in the recycling services industry has a tremendous opportunity to run a successful small business that is in demand.
Many people think of recycling and think of a large facility that accepts trash and recycles it. While this is a big part of it and a huge part of the recycling industry, a large facility is expensive to open and operate. With that, there are fewer of them in business and even fewer listed on the business for sale market.
With that said, in this post, I will focus on 3 small business opportunities in the recycling services industry that are a bit more manageable for the average entrepreneur. These are all businesses that have the potential to take old stuff and turn it in to new money for the right entrepreneur but are sometimes overlooked as viable options simply because people don't even think about them as part of the recycling services industry.
Cloth Diaper Service
You may be thinking I've lost it with this one but the truth is a cloth diaper service is a great green and recycling business. According to the Real Diaper Association, a non-profit working to educate consumers on the benefits of cloth diapers, disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills! Once disposable diapers make it to the landfill, there is no research available that tells specifically how long it takes for the diaper to decompose but it is estimated to be anywhere from 200-500 years!
With that said most parents that know about these statistics will likely think twice about how they are diapering their child. On top of that, over the past decade there has been a push for parents to get back to basics if you will. Doctors are advising Mothers to breast feed instead of formula feed, parents are paying more attention to the types of foods they feed their children and opting for organic, etc. With this trend cloth diapering has become popular again. More parents are opting for this route as a means of being green and saving money but they need help from a cloth diaper service company to make cloth diapering a reality in our hectic world.
While I know this isn't the most glamorous business but there is potential for it to be profitable if you understand the consumer you are targeting and you are operating in the right market. A low income market would not be a good fit for this business. This business will do best in a middle to upper class neighborhood.
Ink and Toner Cartridge Recycling Business
A good portion of households have computers with printers these days and just about every business does too. With that there are a lot of ink and toner cartridges being used and discarded every day. A small business to consider is ink and toner cartridge recycling. With this you would accept empty ink and toner cartridges and refill them. You could either refill them for a charge or keep them to sell to other customers. This is a small business that can easily be run part-time out of your home office. Startups costs are relatively low usually running about $2,000 - $10,000 to buy what you need to be able to refill the cartridges. You can compete with the big box stores that offer this service by providing personal services like pickup and delivery.
Many people are still impacted by the economic changes the recession brought on and consumers are still looking for ways to cut costs and save money. Others are looking for ways to downsize. With that, another form of a recycling business is born by running an operation that recycles clothing. I don't mean you are taking old clothes and turning them into something new, instead I am referring to a consignment or used clothing store. Consignment businesses have become a popular way for people looking to downsize to make money off of perfectly good clothing that they aren't using anymore. Consignment stores and used clothing stores have also become very popular among the savvy Moms I mentioned above that are looking for ways to cut costs on the expensive things children need but quickly outgrow. The key to this business is finding consignors with nice items and then connecting with people that appreciate a quality used item.
With just about every industry there are franchises available to compete with independently owned small businesses and the same is true in the recycling services market. There are several different franchise opportunities for the small business ideas I highlighted in this post. Buying into a franchise would make getting your name out a bit easier but depending on what your vision is for the business you may not need a franchise to be successful so do your homework before you decide either way.
About The Author: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder of BizBen.com and the Director of the BizBen Network Online Community. If you are searching to buy a California recyling type of business make sure you are a part of the BizBen ProBuy Program and get the word out about your search criteria to all business brokers and agents throughout California that recycling types of businesses. Feel free to phone Peter Siegel direct at: 925-785-3118.
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