Entrepreneur Profile: Matt Fiore
West Side Movers has established itself as one of the premier moving companies in all of New York. It started off as a small business, but now it has expanded all throughout the Northeast. With Matt Fiore at the horns of the operation, West Side continues to out-do itself and expand throughout the Big Apple.
Elite was able to catch up with Matt Fiore, the CEO of West Side Movers, and get to know more about him and his business.
What would you say is your biggest inspiration?
My number one inspiration is my dad, Steve Fiore who started West Side Movers at age 23 with a $2000 loan from my mom back in 1972. The moving industry had a very bad reputation back then – known for stealing, lying, low balling, and holding belongings hostage. He wanted to build a company that was different by maintaining high integrity and employing good people in the neighborhood who he felt could be trusted moving others valuable possessions. He also revolutionized the box business by being the first to sell boxes and moving supplies at retail to the public in New York City. I think about his accomplishments everyday on my walk to work and what I can do to leave my stamp on West Side Movers and the moving industry as a whole.
When it comes to expanding your business, networking is crucial. Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs on networking?
In conjunction with using social media to network, I decided to volunteer as an assistant coach with the West Side Little League, an organization I grew up being a part of. Staying involved with Little League is a lot of fun and giving back to my community is really important to me. It has also given me the opportunity to network with parents who have become great clients and invaluable sources of referrals. I also joined a networking group comprised of many different types of professionals that meets weekly for breakfast to pass referrals to one another.
Managing your own business is not easy, especially when you start right out of college. How would you say that you had to adjust and adapt to a life that was very different from what you were used to?
I can remember feeling overwhelmed after graduation because I had just spent the past four years knowing I wanted to take West Side Movers to another level, and I felt pressured to prove myself. I had taken courses in IT, Psychology, and Entrepreneurship, and along the way came up with ideas on how to improve the company ranging from simple ideas to ideas that were totally out of the box. I wasn’t sure exactly where to begin applying my ideas while playing a key role in operating the company. I ended up collaborating with my team on the readily achievable goals first, which had to do with digital systems and improved internal communication. Looking back, the biggest adjustment I made after college was to not over analyze my ideas, but rather to be clear of my options and to go with my gut on which would be the most beneficial to West Side Movers.
When you first started managing your business, were you expecting that it would become not only your full-time occupation, but also a growing company?
Before stepping into a management role, I spent many summers learning all the aspects of our family’s business and had jobs ranging from stocking the store and basement, to riding shotgun in the delivery van, and working on actual moves. These jobs have helped me to truly understand the business, and have served to be extremely important in helping me to form relationships with all of my employees. When the time came to step into a leadership role I knew I wanted a career as an entrepreneur, and I saw West Side Movers as an opportunity to apply my ideas. I have always been excited and inspired to help West Side Movers grow while still maintaining our high-quality reputation.
What would you say is your biggest achievement so far on your journey?
One of my most rewarding achievements has definitely been the launch of our new website (www.westsidemovers.com) that has produced significant web traffic and a noticeable increase in business. The new website is easier for clients to navigate and includes helpful information on the moving process and details the range of services offered. Importantly, it conveys our core values of providing great customer service. It also features the rebirth of our logo which is comprised of several graphic elements used throughout our 40 year history.
West Side Movers has definitely become a household name. I see the trucks all over the city. How have you managed to keep modest and stay in pursuit of developing your brand to its full potential?
As happy as I am with our success so far, I believe there’s still plenty of room for growth. We’re licensed to move people all over the country, but our focus has always been on providing top service here in New York City. Branding our service is based on the consistency of our quality and we understand that each move counts toward positive word of mouth and repeat business, which is key to our growth strategy.
5, 10, 50 years down the line, where do you see yourself? West Side Movers?
I’ll always be with West Side Movers, wherever it takes me.