How to Start a Paper-Shredding Business. Banks, hospitals and insurance companies handle highly sensitive information on a daily basis. Often, documents with personal data need to be destroyed to ensure customers' privacy and reduce the threat of identity theft. Because of this growing demand, there is a definite need for paper-shredding services.
Determine your customer base. Focus on large businesses and corporations. Small business owners and homeowners can purchase a small, personal paper shredder to meet their needs. However, larger businesses have such a high volume of waste that it's inefficient for them to spend time shredding their own documents.
Consider investing in a mobile shredder. These machines are actually built into the back of a truck trailer. Paper can be shredded at the customer's place of business and the waste deposited directly into the trailer for easy transport. The flexibility offered by a mobile shredder is a definite advantage that can put you above the competition.
Find a location. If you can't afford or don't wish to purchase a mobile shredder, you'll need to find a site for your shredding operation. A paper-shredding business can be run out of a small office or even your own home. If you choose such an option, decide whether you'll have customers bring their documents to you or if you'll go pick them up.
Adapt to your customers' needs. Don't limit yourself to paper. Some companies regularly destroy hard drives, floppy disks, data CDs and more.
Develop a confidentiality policy and communicate it to your current and potential customers. These companies are asking that their documents be shredded for a reason--the information on them is strictly private. It is absolutely vital that they can trust your company to not disclose any information.