Ryan Tabb was working for a trash pickup company when he realized the demand for bulk item removal in metro Atlanta could support a small business.

After taking classes from the UGA Small Business Development Center in DeKalb, he met with an SBDC faculty member who helped him create a business plan.

Tabb launched Peachtree Junk Removal in 2009 with two employees, continuing to work with the SBDC.

The UGA SBDC experts helped Tabb review his financials and plan his management and growth strategies. They helped him develop marketing plans, research territories, do invoicing, put billing systems in order and clean up accounts receivable. They also recommended GrowSmart, an SBDC training program that helps businesses expand.

“Seamlessly, their attention helped us find the best practices for small businesses and, early on, for developing a business,” Tabb said. “They helped set us off on the right course. The more successful businesses are those that start out following proven principles. We were seeking that, and they’ve been a good source for us.”

The first five years the business was slow.

“The economy wasn’t too generous,” Tabb said “There was not a lot to work with.”

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But the UGA SBDC stayed with Tabb, acting as a sounding board for decisions about his company. By its 10-year mark, the business had doubled, achieving more than a million dollars in sales.

Recently, Tabb talked with Ruby Riesinger, area director of the DeKalb SBDC office, about expending, promoting the businesses through social media and an application for Covid relief funding.

“We’ve also talked about the day-to-day running of the business, expanded roles for employees and growth issues,” Riesinger said. “They’re figuring out how to grow effectively because they have the demand.”

Peachtree Junk Removal now has 18 full-time employees and over a million dollars in annual sales.

“We’ve grown getting rid of Atlanta’s unwanted junk from basements, garages and storage spaces,” Tabb said. “These experts listen. You can sound out ideas and they offer a neutral perspective, outside of your company, that works to help improve your business and you.”

“Through several SBDC consultants, the company has started, grown, added employees and revenue and weathered a pandemic. Ryan is expecting to further expand,” Riesinger said. “He is a true believer in our services and a constant referral to other new clients.”