Talking Trash

Back in January, I came across the Junk Guys while looking for an appliance removal service for my condo renovation. One of the guys who showed up was Matt Montoya, cofounder of the Junk Guys and a former manager at an auto glass company. Matt and his brothers-in-law Maurice and Weston were in the process of growing their junk removal service in Phoenix, and had just ventured out into the world of self-entrepreneurship in 2005.

Needless to say, it was nice to meet former closet entrepreneurs who had taken a business idea and made it happen. I of course took the opportunity to ask if they would like to be featured on the closet blog which was still in its infancy at the time (I think I only had posted 3 or 4 times). Matt and I exchanged a few emails, and he gladly answered all of the questions I had about his small business startup experience.

Actually, Matt was the first self-entrepreneur that I interviewed for the closet blog. I never got the chance to follow up with him, yet I thought it would be cool to post his response since it is the first official interview I ever did. So without further delay, here’s my first closet blog interview in all its amateurish glory, enjoy!

1) What did you do before you set out to start your own business?
I managed an auto glass company. Another member managed for a beer distributor, and the other member worked for a beer distributor.

2) Why did you decide to start your own business?
Like many people, we dreamed of owning a business for the challenge and the potential payoff.

3) What obstacles if any did you encounter and what did you do to overcome them?
The main obstacles were time and cash flow. We left our jobs one member at a time. As for the cash flow, we found inexpensive ways to build the company from scratch. Mainly we performed the duties ourselves.

4) Why did you choose your particular industry?
We were remodeling a house/real estate investment and we had to transport truckloads of debris to the landfill. We realized that a service could be marketed here. So we researched the industry and jumped in.

5) Did you benchmark your competition?
We have at least one specific competitor that has been a useful model. We recommend looking at the best and worst companies here.

6) Would you do anything differently if you had to do it all over again?
At this point, I don’t think we would have done anything differently. Our company is still young though. This may change.

7) Did your previous career assist you in any way?
Our previous careers definitely help in this business. The industries are not related at all. Management experience has been valuable. You must understand the needs of your customers, and you must see as an owner sees.

8) How did it feel to take the plunge, what did you do to make it all happen?
Taking the plunge felt wonderful! In preparation we planned to be optimistic and realistic. We plan to learn and persevere. Mistakes will happen to educate.

9) How is your business going so far, how does the future look?
The business is going well and growing quickly.

10) Feel free to add any other things that might be useful for people trying to start their own business.
The sooner you begin, the closer you are to your success. The main difference between you and the people who own businesses is that they have begun.


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  1. This article is lame. If you’re going to interview somebody “entreprenuerial” why don’t you focus on somebody with a unique idea, instead of somebody that merely ripped off an idea and a business model from someone else? Must be a personal friend of yours.

  2. TOMAS

    Well I can’t say he’s a personal friend of mine; I definitely would’ve typed up a better interview had that been the case (check out the other interviews to see what I’m talking about).

    As for the Junk Guys ripping off an idea and business model from someone else, I can’t say I completely agree with you. Since when has picking up trash been someone’s idea?

    Be it a “lame” idea, these guys are still out to make something happen for themselves. If they can build success out of it, then their business idea was unique enough to beat out the current competition.

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