Barry Hartman’s path of life could have been very different. The former professional snowboarder, who travelled the world representing a variety of sponsors, broke his ankle off the slopes while playing soccer. He therefore turned his attention to a marketing and management course at Kwantlen Polytechnic University when he met business partner, Scott Foran.
Discovering the Value of Junk
While writing a marketing assignment for Victoria’s Secret, as part of their studies, Barry and Scott hit it off and decided to explore business ideas they could launch together. After seeing a used trailer for sale on the side of the road one day, they decided to look into the world of junk removal. While not a completely new idea for a business, they realized that they could diversify their business in two ways: The first to charge by weight of material removed and the second to recycle as much of that junk as possible.
Under the guidance of Small Business BC’s Business Plan Advisors, Barry and Scott wrote their business plan and presented it to Futurpreneur for financing. They were approved, and with the money purchased their pickup truck and trailer and started the business in the basement of Barry’s parents’ home in 2011.
Sometimes Opposites Attract
The pair has an interesting partnership. When asked to describe each other’s skills, Barry comments “I have never seen someone so determined to help people out and get the job done, while ensuring the reputation of the company is never sacrificed.” While Barry’s ambition for the company was to create opportunities, for employees, for partners and for the community. Scott explains, “Barry’s greatest strength is his ability to plan for the future. He has a unique ability to set a vision and make sure the company hits its goals by any means necessary.”
With quite opposite personalities their combined efforts have resulted in a highly systemized, self-sustaining organization that has employed a great team. Opening the business with just the two of them in 2011, they now employ seven people in Greater Vancouver.
The pair’s success was recognized at the 2015 Small Business BC Awards, when they were named finalists in the Best Online Marketer and Best Community Impact award categories. An opportunity they saw to show the business community the hard work that their company had put forward, allowing them to meet people that they would not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet.
Prior to the Small Business Awards, the pair also won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Richmond and Delta Chamber of Commerce Awards and were voted Best Junk Removal Company by their peers on Homestars.com, the online directory for renovators, repairman and retailers.
Their values and success have not gone unnoticed by the local and national press either. With recent articles in The Vancouver Sun and National Post, and segments on CityTV’s Breakfast Television and CTV’s Steele on Your Side, their reputation continues to grow.
Finding Support for Their Business
However, 505-Junk’s journey couldn’t have been done without the support of their friends and family, who have been their number one supporters since day one. And for Barry it’s his family that inspires him every day. “My parents, Barbara and Ted Hartman, have taught me so many lessons on values and entrepreneurship that I could write a book,” he laughs. “They are extremely selfless, which is very inspiring.”
They have also continued their relationship with Small Business BC over the last four years, attending seminars on HR, financing and cash management strategies and of course many of our networking events. Barry comments, “We could not be where we are today without the initial support of Futurpreneur and the unlimited knowledge of Small Business BC.”
The Future of 505-Junk
So, what does the future hold for 505-Junk? “We’re in the midst of creating a head office and separating the Vancouver business as a franchise, and opening a Victoria location,” explains Scott.
And while developing their business they’re also investing in their team, empowering them with leadership roles and training to manage the day-to-day operations of the business. “Once the business model has proven to be scalable and profitable in Victoria, we intend on expanding by opening locations throughout Canada.”
The Importance of Strategic Planning
Their ability to develop the business this way is down to their commitment to strategic planning. From the beginning, the pair have lived by their business plan and vision, developing that plan as the business grows. Part of this process has included diligently documenting and organizing all their systems, policies, marketing, job descriptions, HR policies and day-to-day activities. This has created a smoother process for them as they replicate their business model in Victoria, simply referring back to the manuals and documentation of their Vancouver operation.
A Team Who Love What They Do
“Our biggest success has been growing 505-Junk into a systemized self-sustaining organization that is capable of employing great people,” says Barry. “It keeps everyone motivated, disciplined and eager to help our clients. Having our employees tell us that they love their job and hearing from our clients that love our staff, means everything to me!”