How Do I Start a Business

How to Start a Paper Shredding Services Business

These tips are perfect for entrepreneurial folks who want to open a paper shredding service. Make sure you consider this advice before you begin your venture.

Wondering how to start a paper shredding service? We take you step-by-step from start to success.

Paper Shredding Service

Benefits of outsourced paper shredding include security, compliance, identity protection and reduced costs.

Key Selling Points for Paper Shredding Service Startups

Although the general public may view paper shredding services as an offshoot of the janitorial or office cleaning market, industry insiders know that professional paper shredding is a vital link in the information and data security chain.

Smart business owners appreciate the fact that a single lapse in information security can destroy their reputation. To make headway in the market, your startup will need to sell business owners on the benefits of outsourced paper shredding including security, compliance, identity protection and reduced costs since outsourcing this service is less expensive than doing it in-house.

Information Destruction Services Startup Essentials

The information destruction services industry is governed by standards and certifications issued by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). As a startup company in the industry, you'll need to connect with NAID for certification, networking and best practices.

Other startup essentials include a list of services and business activities that are particularly important for success as an emerging paper shredding and information destruction provider:

  • Onsite vs. Offsite. Paper shredding providers must have the ability to provide both onsite and offsite shredding services. Some businesses are required to personally witness paper shredding while others prefer to have information destruction activities performed at a remote location. Pricing is an issue here since onsite services command higher rates than offsite services.
  • One-time vs. Scheduled. Initially, most of your customer engagements will be limited to a one-time shredding job. But to generate recurring revenue streams, you'll need to develop a system for converting one-off jobs to regularly scheduled customers.
  • Corporate vs. Community. Information security has become a mainstream issue as more and more consumers become aware of the dangers of identity theft. Although the majority of your business will come from corporate clients, consider hosting community shredding events to educate the community and attract new customers to your startup.

Tips for Generating a Top Quality Paper Shredding Company Business Plan

A good business plan is the foundation of your entrepreneurial journey. Lenders, investors and other interested parties are accustomed to seeing several key business plan elements and if your paper shredding service's plan leaves something out, it could have real consequences for your company.

If you're unfamiliar with business plan essentials, you may want to think about purchasing business plan software. The best business plan solutions can be tailored by industry, incorporating highly relevant metrics into your paper shredding service's business plan.

Our list of business plan software packages offers a comprehensive guide to the best solutions on the market.

Evaluate Competitors

Well in advance of opening a paper shredding service within your community, it's worthwhile to find out how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you get a list of local competitors in your city. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of paper shredding businesses in your town.

If there's too much competition, it may be wise to consider starting the business in a less competitive marketplace.

Finding a Non-Competitive Business Mentor

If you are interested in starting a paper shredding service, be sure to learn from folks who are already in business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. What's in it for them?

On the other hand, an individual who has a paper shredding service on the other side of the country will be much more likely to talk with you, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.

So, what can you do to find a paper shredding service entrepreneur on the other side of the country to talk to?

No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.

Reasons to Pursue a Paper Shredding Business Acquisition

More than a few experts advise prospective paper shredding service startup entrepreneurs to pursue an acquisition strategy. But what's so great about a paper shredding service acquisition?

There are a lot of reasons why it makes sense to buy a business, but the most important reason may be capital. Commercial lenders are usually more inclined to fund acquisitions than startups.

Buying a business to get acquisition capital is a legitimate ownership strategy for paper shredding service entrepreneurs.

Franchising May Be a Better Way to Go

The chances of surviving in business are greatly increased if you go the franchising route in lieu of doing everything yourself.

Prior to starting a paper shredding service, a smart move is to investigate whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might help you avoid common entrepreneurial mistakes.

The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.

Related Articles on Starting a Company

These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.

Buying vs. Starting a Business

Consideration Before Buying a Franchise

LLC Advantages

Share this article

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


Business Glossary