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Laborjack excels with “muscle for hire”


Spurred by a supportive Fort Collins business community, skillful website programming and some guerrilla marketing, the ambitious co-founders of Laborjack are making a name for themselves as “muscle for hire” in the temporary manual labor market on the northern Front Range.

Both Colorado State University graduates in finance, business partners Blake Craig, 32, and Josh Moser, 26, remember well the days as college students struggling to earn money during flexible hours between classes and studies. Now they are growing their Fort Collins-based business via the friendly, hard-working vibe of select college students providing on-demand labor services in the college towns of Fort Collins, Boulder, Greeley and Denver.

The company has eight employees, including Craig and Moser, and provided work for 1,800 people this year through the end of third quarter 2021. In January, Laborjack expanded into the Phoenix market and has plans to tackle Colorado Springs and Salt Lake City next.

The entrepreneurs originally met in 2016 at a 3 Day Startup hosted at CSU. Craig, who was working as a real estate agent, pitched an idea of “Uber for movers” with the labor-only business model of students with good attitudes helping nearby residents move.

The owners say they “completely bootstrapped from the beginning,” starting slow and reinvesting all proceeds back into the business. Laborjack (a play on the word lumberjack) started from ads placed on Craigslist, and the moving services soon grew into call-backs for landscaping and day labor for odd jobs. By February 2019, the owners were able to pay themselves a salary. This June, Laborjack reported revenues up around 90% year over year.

Some 80% of Laborjack employees are college students or recent graduates as well as gig workers from the artistic community who need extra work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the current tagline “finding reliable help just got easier,” Laborjack functions through an online platform where individuals book help, workers accept jobs and payments are processed.

At networking events, Craig and Moser sport matching bright red or plaid suits. They find the eye-catching advertising inspires people to double take and approach them to talk.

“You got to find fun and carry a good attitude no matter the situation,” Craig said