More than just junk removal

Story by Cori Picard, Staff Writer

Kyle Sulerud had no idea he would eventually own his own garbage removal business after graduating in 2013.

Sulerud, who graduated with two bachelor degrees in public communication and business administration, stumbled into his current position after working with friend Jake Halls in a foreclosure servicing business.

“Jake wanted to start his own foreclosure business after working for the banks, and he asked me if I wanted to do it with him,” Sulerud said. “I did, and we started that about a year ago. During the winter months, business slowed down, and that’s kind of how we found this junk removal idea.”

Halls and Sulerud, both 30 years old, began assisting customers in removing unwanted junk from homes and yards in March of this year.
About a month ago, they opened a new office in Duluth, Minn. Sulerud, a native of Duluth, spends most of his time there while Halls stays in Eau Claire.

“When we started doing junk removal jobs for people at their homes and businesses, we felt much more appreciated,” Halls said. “We enjoyed helping people and decided that’s what we needed to focus on.”

A simple removal service, intended to eliminate furniture, trash, appliances, and old electronics turned into a customer-based business for both.

“We make it a goal to go above and beyond for every customer,” Sulerud said. “It’s pretty easy to move garbage out of someone’s house, there are plenty of people who do it, but when a customer calls us they know they’re getting a professional level of service.”

That professional attitude Sulerud and Halls strive for in their business has paid off. Sulerud said his customers are very receptive and they’ve had success at their new store in Duluth.

One Eau Claire customer was thoroughly impressed with Sulerud’s work, in part because she taught Sulerud leadership skills in her management class at Eau Claire.

Associate professor of marketing and management Rhetta Standifer did not realize she was contacting Sulerud’s business when she called up Eau Claire Junk Removal to move a few things from her home.

“They were fantastic,” Standifer said. “I could see him interact with his employees and how they interacted with me, and it was just really cool to see a student in the field applying concepts we talked about
in class.”

Standifer said ideas like effective communication, motivation and creating a positive work environment were discussed in her class with Sulerud, and those concepts directly relate to starting a business.

“A lot of the courses we do in the management area lend themselves to entrepreneurial work,” she said. “Kyle was a great student, he participated, he was outgoing, he did very well.”

Sulerud and Halls are happy with where their endeavor is going and is optimistic about continued success in Eau Claire and Duluth.

“Trying to get rid of junk can be a huge hassle for people,” Halls said. “And we aim to make this process as simple as possible.”