Following a six year career in the Army as a diesel mechanic, James Melton, Owner of Junk Monkey Services, moved to the Sunshine State where he spent five years with Waste Management. While working in that role and in his current full-time job servicing portable toilets at construction sites, Melton couldn't help but notice the abundance of trash often left behind by renters and those simply wanting to declutter. By the time he helped a friend move, and witnessed firsthand the stuff left behind, he had an idea.
"I'd see so much stuff put out on the curb," he said. "A lot of times, the garbage crews won't take huge piles of trash. This stuff can sit by the curb for a long time unless the owner does something about it. That's where the idea to start a private junk removal business came from."
Melton continued, "Once I had the idea, I started to look into what others were doing. I joined a junk removal forum on Facebook and researched the different aspects of it. I noticed that by providing exceptional customer service and by donating or recycling as much junk as possible, we'd stand out from the competition."
When Melton launched the business in October 2019, he started with a small trailer towed by his wife's minivan. Although not ideal, it got the job done. Despite still working a full-time job, Melton has grown the business through a combination of social media marketing, online advertising and by focusing on building relationships with Realtors, General Contractors and others.
"There's a lot of competition, but there's always someone wanting to get rid of junk," Melton said. "I focus on great service and providing my customers with an affordable price. Because of my full-time job, I'm only able to work nights and weekends. My ultimate goal is to be able to operate Junk Monkey Services on a full-time basis."
What advice does Melton have for aspiring entrepreneurs? Advice? "If you start a business, it's important to understand that you will work hard," he said. "It's also natural to be scared you're going to fail and that you won't be able to pay your bills, but don't let fear stop you. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Our biggest failure is ourselves. Don't let yourself get in the way. Lastly, learn and understand the cash part and know that most businesses don't succeed overnight. It takes time."