How I Started A $41K/Month Residential Waste Removal Service

Dustin
Founder, SOCO Waste
$41K
revenue/mo
1
Founders
3
Employees
SOCO Waste
from Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
started December 2016
$41,000
revenue/mo
1
Founders
3
Employees
3.12M
alexa rank
694
followers
69
followers
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi! My name is Dustin Maze. I am the owner of SOCO Waste, a locally owned and operated residential waste removal business based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

how-i-started-a-41k-month-residential-waste-removal-service

Currently, we offer waste removal services such as Residential dumpster rentals, Construction dumpster rentals, junk removal, and weekly residential trash service.

This business was started in December of 2016 with my pick up truck, a $35k loan and a lot of determination!

Originally the loan provided a trailer and 5 dumpsters. We now have 51 dumpsters, two roll off dumpster delivery trucks and two residential garbage trucks. We are projecting $700-800k in sales for 2020.

how-i-started-a-41k-month-residential-waste-removal-service

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I came to the realization that I had a problem with staying at a job for more than 6 months. I would come in to work every day, learn the job, and about 6 months later I would be sitting there bored and wondering why they didn’t do things a certain way to make the business more efficient.

I tried working everywhere from door to door sales, fast food, shipping companies and at one point I was even an O.T.R. truck driver!

Eventually, I would find another job and move on because being inefficient wasn’t me!

One of the last jobs I had was for a waste management company and I realized I loved being outside all day, getting paid to work out and it never got old but what did get old was the fact I would be working for someone else and I could be building something great doing what I love. So while I continued to work I started to plan the future digging into the waste industry market and doing research on the equipment I would need along with figuring out my cost of fuel, insurance, maintenance, landfill fees and any other cost I could think of.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

I knew the market I was getting into had been around for years so I had to figure out how I would differentiate myself from others.

Do your homework and plan for failure. If you plan for the worst the odds are you will be better off when struggles come by.

I chose first to provide better customer service! No one likes fees! We like to inform our customers about hazardous waste and where it can be taken for free or at low cost. We also chose to tell customers ahead what not to do to save money and avoid fees! This way we can provide waste services at the affordable price customers are looking for with no hidden fees.

Then I went to work on the name.

First I wanted to stand out from the rest of the competition so we chose a name that screamed local so we chose SOCO Waste (Southern Colorado Waste and Recycling Services L.L.C.).

Then we went to work on the logo. It started out rough but we got it where it needed to be by adding a little local touch to it!

how-i-started-a-41k-month-residential-waste-removal-service

Describe the process of launching the business.

At first, I didn’t have the money for advertisements other than yard signs so I thought to myself how can I get the word out for free? Well, I used social media and free buy and sell sites that I posted on every day.

Once we had the first 5 dumpsters moving we used 0 interest credit cards to fund more until it became a repetitive cycle and we could afford more ads. Then we were recommended to a friend for our website needs. The business has grown and changed ever since.

From watching other businesses along with my own I found the best way to get a business off the ground is to literally stand at the top of the mountain, pound your chest and scream so everyone knows about the service you can provide!

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

We have tried everything from mailers, flyers on doors, actually walking up and talking to potential clients.

We believe word of mouth is the best form of advertisement and it works great for us because we provide a fast, friendly service with clean bins and people naturally tell their friends and anyone else who asks!

We also ask customers to like and review us on popular platforms such as Facebook and Google which helps others find us!

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We originally started SOCO Waste with the hopes of entering the weekly residential trash service market so we have done nothing but reinvest almost everything back into the business. We finally made the jump in October of 2020. We had over 1,400 Trash and recycle bins delivered. In 4 short weeks, we have delivered over 400 trash cans to residents in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area!

how-i-started-a-41k-month-residential-waste-removal-service

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Plan for the worst, what can go wrong will go wrong. Vehicle maintenance, pretrips, and post trips are important.

You cannot please everyone. You can try but there will always be the one person that you can’t help and that’s ok.

Never stop pushing. If you stop, so does your business.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We do not use many tools other than Amazon for ordering basic office supplies or tools. It saves us time and labor. For reviews, we just talk to the customers and the rest follows!

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

A good friend pointed something out about me a few years back after I asked a guy at a hotdog stand what his sales numbers were like (sales, profits, etc.) My friend looked at the guy because he was hesitant to answer and he said “Dustin is just into business and likes to do the numbers so he can learn about different types of businesses and how they operate.”

The best resource you have is yourself. If you get out and ask other business owners about their numbers and the positives and negatives of their business you’ll learn a lot and it can help you with any business you decide to operate.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Do your homework and plan for failure. If you plan for the worst the odds are you will be better off when struggles come by.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We currently have 3 employees and will be looking for another full time residential driver come this January. This person will need 3 years driving experience, a clean motor vehicle record, motivated, polite, professional and willing to learn multiple positions.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Dustin   Founder of SOCO Waste
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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