(Alexis Allison | Fort Worth Report)

Editor’s note: Made in Tarrant is an occasional Q&A series on small business started in Tarrant County.

Optimized Waste Removal  

  • What: Company provides waste removal to apartments in North Texas. ​
  • Who: Micah Stateson, founder and president 
  • Company founded: June 2020
  • No. of employees:
  • Contact: www.optimizedwasteremoval.com and 833-832-6697

FWR interview with Micah Stateson

How did you come up with the idea for Optimized Waste Renewal? 

“I was living in an apartment that had the service and I was looking at it and I was like, ‘This makes sense.’ 

“You just pick up trash and make sure people show up, and it’s a good opportunity to work hard and create a pretty good little business.” 

Have you always been an entrepreneur? 

“My mom says when I dusted the house, she said I did a good job and I asked if I could charge the neighbors. And I was a 5- or 6-year-old. So I’ve always had the desire to start a business.” 

How did you research the business opportunity? 

“I talked to a lot of potential customers before I had a business and then I got a feel for: Is this actually a market? Because what I do is very niche. But at the same time, my largest competitor services 1.3 million people a night. So that’s how many people they handle. So there actually is demand for the service.” 

What are your goals? 

“I want to get DFW up to about 30,000 units. And then from there it could potentially expand to other Texas markets.” 

How did you finance the business? 

“We decided to go slow and self-finance. So my nights and weekends, I would work on the business, but I still had my day job. And then what we got, we put back into the business. So right now we’re debt-free and have 100% ownership.” 

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned as a startup? 

“I still feel like the ignorance curve is straight up. I underestimated almost every aspect of this business, the good and the bad.” 

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs? 

“A whole bunch of little things really add up that you just didn’t understand. Starting a business, there’s so many small little details, just compliance from a human resources perspective with hiring people in the state and managing payroll and on top of that, cash flow and just because you send someone an invoice doesn’t mean you get paid right away, you know? You have a 9 to 5, you’re going to get your check every Friday or every other Friday, whatever the system is. Here, someone might be 30, 60 days late, but you want to keep that good relationship. And so I think just cash flow is a big thing. And then just how to go out and make sure you’re treating people with respect because everybody comes from different perspectives and your workers have a different perspective than your customers and you just want to make sure you’re delivering a service better than anyone else.”

How did Accelerate Fort Worth help you as you started the company? 

“There’s a grind period that’s a few years, and I would say I’m mostly through it. It’s still really hard, but it can be lonely and stressful and Accelerate Fort Worth has been first and foremost to me just a place to be home, and have an entrepreneurship community. I can talk to people that have been there, done that. On top of that, is just the encouragement. There is a lot of practical advice that I can take with me.” 

“I talked to a lot of potential customers before I had a business and then I got a feel for: Is this actually a market? Because what I do is very niche. But at the same time, my largest competitor services 1.3 million people a night. So that’s how many people they handle. So there actually is demand for the service.” 

Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at bob.francis@fortworthreport.org.

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Bob Francis

Bob Francis is business editor for fortworthreport.org. He has been covering business news locally and nationally for many years. He can be reached at bob.francis@fortworthreport.org