This conversation is part of an ongoing series in celebration of National Small Business Week. Each day we’ll feature a different entrepreneur that we have served through our brick-and-mortar Centers and other small business programs. Learn more about our small business programming and meet the other entrepreneurs here.
Neal Mcleod Jr. and his father Neal Mcleod Sr. own CTK Trucking, a waste removal and delivery service that has been in business for three years. CTK worked with the team at the Manhattan Industrial Business Service Providers Program to secure funding for licenses, and to become M/WBE certified. Read the interview below to learn more about how CTK impacts its community, and why they love the freedom of being their own boss.
What made you want to own your own business? What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?
It was the opportunity to be business partners with my father, as well as the chance to have the flexibility of working for myself. What was intriguing about starting my own business was the fact that I could establish a platform that would allow me to have an untapped income- the possibility of an unlimited earning potential.
What was your biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?
Our biggest challenges are insuring the business in NYC and reaching out to more clients. In both of those paths, I subcontracted each of those things out. It’s receiving help from others that has helped me grow my business. Getting referrals from previously satisfied clients is invaluable and a testament to the quality of our work.
What services did you receive at the Center, and how has that support helped you grow your business?
The team at the Center played a crucial part in allowing me to start and grow my business. When I came to the Center and said I needed funding…to be honest, I didn’t think it was possible to receive any funding. The staff helped me out, and with that funding I was able to get the licensing I needed to run my company. Without that I wouldn’t be where I am today. I was also able to get M/WBE certified and I now have contracts with the city, allowing me to further grow my business.
What are your plans for the future of your business?
I plan on purchasing at least one more truck this year; Maybe even purchasing one or two dump trucks. I plan on expanding and getting contracts with construction companies. I plan on extending and expanding the current services we offer. We won’t be doing only junk removal, which is what we primarily do, instead we’ll also do some light demolition and we’ll be carting for construction companies. I want to be able to continue creating good job opportunities for New Yorkers.
What does owning a business mean to your family and future?
It means freedom. I won’t say financial freedom right now. But the freedom to work when you want. The freedom to control your own future.
How does your business impact your community? How are you involved in your community?
We help keep our community clean. A lot of people say “hey well I have this, and I don’t want to leave this on the street. Can you come help us out?” I’m very proud to say that we’ve also hired two local guys from my neighborhood.
What advice do you have for other business owners, or people considering becoming entrepreneurs?
Whatever industry you get into, make sure you do your homework. I did my homework, but I miscalculated a lot of potential costs. It’s not easy doing business in NYC – it’s a whole different ball game; but I’m a better business owner because of it. Utilize the resources that are available to you, realize it’s hard work, but your success will make it worthwhile.