Madeleine Costa, Founder and CEO of Succeeding Small, understands that starting and scaling a small business can be a whirlwind. From gaining momentum in sales, hiring a team, and implementing systems, a lot of foundational work happens in the growing stage of entrepreneurship. As exhilarating as those first few years are, growing pains are real. Madeleine believes you can learn a lot from other small business owners’ stories. That is why Matthew Biera is a guest on this week’s podcast episode!
Matthew Biera is the Founder and CEO of Colorado Junk Removal. He hit the ground running when he started his company. He grew so fast that he had to scale back and analyze his systems to build a sustainable, successful business.
Madeleine and Matthew discuss lessons learned while scaling their small businesses. Plus, how the secret to speedy success might actually be slowing down. By the end of this episode, you might want to take a look and see which areas of your small business you can scale back.
How to Make Plans for Scaling a Small Business Upwards
“I kind of dive in head first,” says Matthew Biera about creating plans for the future to grow his business. This resulted in his company growing too quickly initially, which was hard for him to sustain. That is when Matthew scaled back his business to make it sustainable. “Now we’re at a pretty steady pace, and it’s going to be time to make some changes here pretty soon,” he says.
“To me, steady is not growth, even though we got systems and policies and procedures in place. Now we have a little bit of money in the bank in order to be comfortable with rolling the dice and taking a gamble on something. But again, last year I just tried to grow too quickly. I’m trying to do it smarter this time,” expresses Matthew. “But with growth, it’s just going to be continuing doing what we’re doing, continuing giving good service, continuing going above and beyond.”
Matthew describes what his plans are to grow his business soon. He even gives examples of ways this steady growth can be implemented in his own business. “With junk removal, there are all different kinds of paths that we can take. We can get a thrift store later on. Or we can partner up with somebody for donating things. We can partner with somebody to help battered women or children get the things that they need that our customers are just getting rid of.”
Madeleine also describes her own struggles with having to scale down her business. “Jumping the gun and doing too many things too quickly can actually be to your detriment, especially from a financial perspective, if all of that is just costing so much money and it’s preventing you from accomplishing specific goals,” she expresses, “Making the decision to scale back in order to jump forward is a hard decision to make for small business owners.”
Matthew describes how contradicting this can be as a small business owner because you want to see your business grow and flourish to the biggest it can be. However, Matthew expresses how that may not always be the case. “Someone said a business is like a bush. They say it grows to a certain point and then you have to trim back a little bit before it’ll grow more.”
How to Evaluate Your Systems to Make the Decision to Scale Back
“For me, it’s just having a little bit of patience,” Matthew describes when deciding to grow his small business. He also describes how he grew so fast, that he did not have time to add fundamental internal structure to his business. “We didn’t have policies and procedures in place. How am I gonna be able to coach? And how am I gonna be able to discipline? How am I gonna be able to praise? And how am I gonna be able to do any of that without policies and procedures in place?” Matthew explains.
Madeleine adds to this by expressing, “The key to creating a successful environment and culture is when you’re able to pass down your knowledge onto somebody else, and they have instructions and guidelines and integrity standards to follow through with things.”
Matthew explains why scaling back can be so hard for him personally, and why he thinks it is hard for small business owners in general, “It comes naturally. We go above and beyond. We give, and we bend over backward for the customers. That’s how we’re programmed; we’re people pleasers. So we just think since it comes so naturally, we think we will tell people what we expect, and we just expect it to be done. And it doesn’t always work out that way.”
How to Start Scaling A Small Business Upwards
“Make sure you have your policies and procedures in place,” Matthew expresses that before you can even start to consider scaling a small business, you must have policies and procedures in place. Madeleine agrees and expresses how hard putting systems in place can be for business owners, “I’m such a visionary person. Like I live happily in the clouds, and I can make plans, and I know what to do, and I do them. I don’t need anything in front of me to know what I have to accomplish. So trying to actually translate that to somebody else was like pulling teeth for me.”
In this situation, Matthew recommends having written policies and procedures that help business owners hold their employees accountable. Madeleine agrees, stating, “We had to go and create instructions for everything that we do on a daily basis. For all of our services. We have a starting point. We have subtasks of all the different things that are involved in that particular service that we offer. And so when, whenever we make that new hire, they can follow those guidelines and it keeps them accountable. And that keeps our work up to standard and makes sure that things don’t get missed.”
“That took forever to build,” Madeleine reflects. “It took us a long time to really perfect that, and that’s okay. And your processes change over time, especially when people have new ideas and can make things better. I don’t believe those should be super strict and permanent. I am always open to being improved in that way, but that’s a large reason on how we are able to provide replicable services and actually get results and keep the customers happy and, you know, follow through with what we say we are going to do.”
Start Small, Dream Big
What is the best advice Matthew can give on scaling a small business upwards? Never stop doing or dreaming. “To me, I’m just getting started, I haven’t even gotten anywhere… I have goals in the future to franchise Colorado Junk Removal and have a warehouse where we can store all our trucks and extra stuff. But to tell you the truth, I don’t know how big I will ever really want it to be, and if I’ll ever quit, I think I’ll just keep going and going and going and just see how big I can really make this.”
Learn More About Matthew Biera and Colorado Junk Removal
Matthew does not shy away from social media or his digital presence. He has a YouTube Channel for Colorado Junk Removal that explains his process and allows him to express his humor!
Colorado Junk Removal is a reliable and affordable junk removal company in Colorado Springs. Matthew prides himself on his customer service, explaining that if you need the garage swept after they remove all your stuff, he will gladly stay and do it for you.