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Got a van? Boost your income

by constructaquote - 28 July 2016


Has business been a bit slow? Take control and use your van to get a new income stream moving.

If you’ve got a van you can cash in on all kinds of services that depend on those hardworking four wheels.

We’ve put together five, quick to start, low overhead ideas for getting your van working for you, that you can get going with right away.

Rubbish removal

It may seem to be an easy one this, but it’s a service that many people – both residential and commercial – need. There’s not much needed apart from willing hands to lift and carry and your van. You shouldn’t need any extras to your van insurance, although it’s wise to check, as you’re not carrying anything of value.  You can always give constructaquote.com a call to check what your policy covers you for, we’re happy to help.

It is very important, if you do intend to carry out waste removal, that you are aware of the laws and regulations that surround waste managment.  The Waste Regulation and Crime Team of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has been kind enough to provide us with all the information you need and what is required to ensure you comply with the law below.

Anyone producing, keeping, treating or disposing of waste, or having control of waste as a broker or dealer, needs to be aware of the Waste Duty of Care set out in Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.  Amongst other things the Duty of Care specifies that waste must only be transferred to an authorised person, and that on the transfer of waste a written description (commonly described as a waste transfer note) must be completed.

A summary guide on the Duty of Care for businesses is available on the Environment Agency website here.  The legal requirements for the registration of carriers, brokers & dealers is set out in Part 8 of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.

The Environment Agency runs the waste carrier, broker and dealer register/registration system for England – details and online registration are available here.  The details that need to be recorded in a written description or waste transfer note when waste changes hand, details of how long these need to be stored for etc are set out in Part 9 of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.  A model waste transfer note is available on the Environment Agency website here.

Householders have a reduced duty of care – whilst they don’t need to complete waste transfer notes they must still check that anyone they give their waste to is authorised to receive it (i.e. registered with the Environment Agency).
As far as the disposal of any waste collected is concerned this must go to a licensed or exempt site authorised to accept the type of waste involved, it cannot simply be taken to a local authority Household Waste Recycling Centre”.

Promote your service in local shops or a business card through the door – make sure you include your contact details, include charges, the area you cover and the days and hours you work.

Clean out garages and lofts

To win customers over you’ll need to have a good reputation and be seen as trustworthy. Get recommendations and testimonials. Make sure you’re well presented, polite and you have branding that inspires confidence. You’ll need some stuff – ladders, boxes, tape and may also need cleaning equipment if you’re offering to leave spaces clean and clear. You’ll need to get specialist insurance to make sure you are covered for any damage to the home owners, the property or contents. Because there are costs involved you’ll need to commit to this as a second income stream and put some work into getting it up and running as a business.

Use your van to win new clients

If you are a tradesman and in the middle of a quiet patch you can use your van to help you get your foot in the door with construction companies. Offer to do a run or two for the site manager for free – or for the cost of fuel – in exchange for an intro to the person who hires and a chance to deliver your sales pitch to them. It gives you a good way to introduce yourself and you’ll make friends by being helpful. Make sure you leave a business card and agree you’ll call them back in the following weeks to check on opportunities. May seem to be a long shot but you’ll be getting your face known.  Check on your existing van insurance to make sure that you’re covered for carrying stock or tools that could cost you if they are lost, nicked or damaged.

Offer a furniture/DIY delivery service

Chances are you’ve been to Ikea or your local B&Q and found yourself with a purchase you can’t fit in your car, and then been shocked at how much the store wants to charge you for delivery. There’s an opportunity to do store deliveries – either by simply advertising at the collection point – several companies will let you do this. Or by being recommended by the store. Put ads up where you can – check and see if you can put them in stores like Ikea, Wilkes & B&Q. If you want to get this going as a more profitable way of generating cash, offer to put flat packs together as well. You will need to get some type of courier insurance and if you are going to assemble furniture in their home then maybe some form of liability insurance, you can get great deals on both through constructaquote.com.

Give gardeners a hand with a garden centre collect and deliver service.

You can save people struggling with pots and plants and getting their cars dirty, by offering a simple delivery service from your local garden centres. Similar to the furniture collection service, you’ll need to have the right insurance in place to protect you and your customers from accidents and mishaps you can’t plan for.

All of these are simple, unskilled tasks that depend on your trusty van. Be sure to check your insurance before you start offering services that could backfire and cost you a fortune if something broke, or you had an accident and damaged goods, property or worst of all, a person. constructaquote.com specialise in getting the best priced insurance for all trades and a quick call can help you get set up with what you need quickly and cheaply. Give us a call and we’ll give you great advice and find you the best deal on all your insurance needs.