A New Year. A New Chapter
Our first year.
This is the third day of January 2013. It is also my birthday. We started J & H Junk Removal four years ago. January third 2012, my husband Joe and I went shopping for our trailer. Being novices, we were going to purchase this small trailer with low sides in Sanford. Fortunately, we decided to look around. We drove to Deland and there she was. a used beautiful 10 by 6 trailer, with not only high sides, a pull down in the back. The price was extremely reasonable. Sold! We were on our way.
Okay we have the truck, we have the hook-up and now the trailer. The name was simple. J & H, Joe and Heidi. (It wasn't for a year until I realized they also represented Junk and Handyman. ) We are on our way. Where, we weren't sure. But it's a start.
Now we had our name, the next step was to let people know we were in existence. We went to a printer and ordered a few flyers and a some rather plain business cards. There, now we are legit. In fact we did go to the Business Center and saw Joe Roy. We filed and paid for all the papers, permits etc. Yes, we are really legit. Now what?
How would people know about us? The Flagler Chamber of Commerce, of course. Off I went and we signed up. We also visited all the three leads groups they had, twice. We decided on TGIF, the Friday's leads group. It was the biggest, the friendliest and the most fun. Also when I first went in The president, Gaylee Tillotson had introduced herself to me personally and mentioned she managed a storage company, Top Shelf Storage. They may be able to use our services from time to time. Another member introduced herself as Annette Gardinal, realtor and owner of Remax Flagstaff Realty. My first two contacts and now good friends who have helped us a great deal over the past four years.
We joined Friday's Leads Group and of course we were shy. Not to worry. A lovely lady introduced herself to me named Rose Chumaceiro.
"I'm sorry what was your last name again?"
"No worries, everyone just calls me Avon Rose."
The next thing I know, Rose has introduced me to everyone. She brought me to many leads groups. A woman's group on Wednesday afternoon, several others on Thursdays. and finally one she just started on Tuesday. Noticing my shyness. I know, those of you who know me now probably don't believe it, but I was shy. She brought me to a group to overcome my anxiety speaking in front of people. I met so many amazing people and businesses. Thank You Rose.
Eventually I narrowed it down to TGIF and Roses group on Tuesdays. It started with just a few ladies. Fran Greene, Sally Thyer, and Nadine King, Rose and myself. We were the first. It was these ladies to guide me and tell me you need to have at least a minimum to make it worth your effort. You can still do a free estimate, but then you need to have a minimum. Our minimum started at $25.00. Yup.
We used to ride around town and look for foreclosed homes or homes that had realtor locks on them. We would place our flyers and cards on the doors. Did this work? I have no idea. But it kept us busy. Then we went to The Palm Coast Observer, a local paper. We told the editor, Brian McMillian our plans for J & H Junk Removal, LLC.
"Hmm, Okay, I'll have my writer Mike Cavaliere get in touch with you."
Well, Mike did. We met in Starbucks and he interviewed us and took a great photo of us.
We got our first call. A lovely lady moving in the P section. For those of you who do not live in Palm Coast, we all refer to different neighborhoods by letters because all the streets start with that letter. We removed her large heavy organ. Yes, our first twenty-five dollars.
We can't live on this, now what? Well, networking of course. The Chamber has an event once a month called After Hours. This is an event held at a certain business which is a member of The Chamber of Commerce, and other business congregate to network and introduce their own businesses to each other. Did I mention I used to be shy? And my Hubby was even shyer. The first one was very scary. But they became fun after awhile. In fact, now they are like hanging out with good friends.
I then learned about another event which took place once a month as well, Entrepreneur Night. Well, aren't we entrepreneurs? This event was very similar to the After Hours, however there was no charge, you only paid for drinks or if you wanted to buy food from the restaurant it was being held at. Usually free appetizers. How could this be a bad thing? It wasn't. However being a newbie, I had to go up and introduce our company. Yikes. Give me another glass of wine please. It turned out I was addicted. It is fun telling little old me owns and operates a Junk removal company. Especially at an event where I am dressed up.
Eventually, I learned a lot about social media. I learned to talk to people. They do not bite. They want to explain their businesses to us as much as we want them to learn about us. Some businesses go together like salt and pepper, and some more like water and vinegar, but that is good. You meet so many people. You make amazing friends.
Our first year had a lot of ups and downs. A lot of learning, well, we are always learning. Each year after the first we added new things and cut out things that didn't work. It is all good. We just got to keep going forward, learn from our mistakes and enjoy life.
We at J & H Junk Removal, LLC.
Wish everyone a Happy Healthy Prosperous New Year.