We are excited to welcome Matthew as our new business librarian consultant!
Matthew joined the Poudre River Public Library from Loveland Public Library where he managed various library services, programs, and outreach initiatives.
“I truly appreciate the spirit of entrepreneurship
throughout our community,” says Matthew West. “It’s a testament to a business
ecosystem that understands and values startups and small businesses. I’m
excited to be part of that system and help people successfully create and grow
Matthew brings a deep knowledge of data and market analysis, strategic planning, and research to his work as a Business Librarian. He is located at the Harmony Library and is available for one-on-one meetings to discuss business research and analysis and to teach methods for effectively using the many free business resources available at the libraries.
When Katie Straubel moved from
Florida to Colorado in 2001, she took a job doing house-cleaning to make ends
meet. Eight years later, she earned a
history degree from CSU, while continuing to work in the cleaning industry.
Today, she is the proud confident owner of Clean Bees, a Northern Colorado
cleaning company with 35 employees and over $1M in annual sales!
Katie says “I worked in the
restaurant business, and learned customer service. Our clients find us, because they want to own
their time, not clean. Our ideal
customers are dual-income homeowners in their 40s and 50s. When pricing jobs, we consider the frequency,
size, and scope of the home. In 2020, I want our managers spending more time in
the field to better understand our customers.”
Katie worked on two critical
areas, recruiting/training/retaining staff and learning how to pay
herself. She comments on her employee
“secret sauce” – “I respect the trade, and genuinely invite
them in like they’re family. We’re not
so big that we can’t have connection. We
hug them, and hold them tight.” Katie built a management team, including a
general manager, office manager, sales manager, and trainers.
“My accountant Paul Matonis (also
an SBDC instructor) said I needed some financial help, and I relied on the
SBDC”. SBDC consultant Andrea Grant met
with Katie for one-on-one sessions, to better understand her accounting
information. Katie says “I’m
super-grateful for Andrea. She’s caring, sincere, a wealth of information, and
really trying to help out people.”
Three years ago, Katie joined the
LoCo Think Tank, a growing peer-to-peer advisory group, that’s also been
When asked about her 2020 hot list, Katie says, “I’m looking at some org-chart tweaks, but my worry level is nothing compared to what it used to be. I have a sense of peace that I didn’t have for so long. With my stress level down, I think more clearly.”
Outside of Clean Bees, Katie gardens, raises chickens, and hosts dinners with her partner and ten-year old son.
The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network is a partnership between the State of Colorado, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Small Business Administration (SBA), Colorado’s institutions of higher education, local economic development organizations and local chambers of commerce. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration.