Byron Matthews had 22 years of experience as a truck driver when he decided to open a small business with his wife, Cristy. Matthews Family Trucking, based in Beloit, WI, opened in June 2020. However, these two entrepreneurs were no strangers to small business.
The couple owns three other businesses in the Beloit area as well: B&C Fitz, a clothing store offering fresh designs; B&C Hand Wash, a full-detail car wash service; and B&C Sports Bar. Byron said, “Our brand is going up everywhere. I want people to know we’re here and running good legitimate Black businesses. That’s always been a dream of mine. I just want to create a better business image of Black businesses.”
Accomplishment with UW-La Crosse SBDC
- Financial projections
- Business strategy
- Profit and loss statements
The trucking company began with Byron as the sole employee with one semi-trailer. Now, just over a year later, the business has grown to employ ten drivers and possess eight trucks of its own. Byron cited the biggest obstacle as an entrepreneur as funding, especially due to the company’s rapid growth. He started the business being 100% funded by himself personally, but as the business grew, he knew he needed assistance.
He worked with Genia Stevens at Rock County Jumpstart, which is a program that provides Black entrepreneurs with training and other resources needed to start, grow and sustain a successful business. Genia then referred him to the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in La Crosse for more guidance.
Mike Walker, a consultant at the SBDC, assisted Byron with business strategy and financial projections. Byron said, “Working with Mike has been wonderful! He really helped with my profit and loss statements as well as my overall business structure. He was great at helping me prepare to get funded.”
Byron saw the high demand for trucking, especially during the COVID pandemic. The business, located in the Gateway Business Park, was busy transporting COVID vaccinations all over the United States from October 2020 through February 2021.
And the expansion keeps continuing! The couple recently purchased eight acres of land and hopes to have a $2 million facility up and running soon. We can’t wait to see what these motivated small business owners do next!