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 Building a Family Business

1/8/2019 12:00 AM

​Back in 2013 I was looking for a way to make some money for the occasional gas station slushie or WWE action figure. So, my dad got me into lawn mowing. I started with the neighbor's lawn, mowing every week for a year. Then I mowed my other neighbor’s lawn and saved all the money I made that year. I enjoyed the business at the time and decided to expand. So at the end of that year I bought a 1996 White by MTD LT-165 with a 46 inch deck. Then I bought a little garden trailer to pull around the push mower and a string trimmer. With the new equipment I went from two lawns to 10 in just one month. The next year, I bought a second rider, a 1997 White by MTD LT-145 with a 42 inch deck. From there, we expanded our business to service 15 lawns. With the addition of the second rider, I hired my little brother, Jackson (who wanted money to buy new shoes), to come along and make money with me. After that year we decided we had tapped the neighborhood market and needed to expand outside our neighborhood.

In early 2017 I bought a trailer to haul around our lawn equipment and serve our growing customer base. We steadily grew from 15 to 50 clients, with some commercial contracts as well. This massive expansion allowed me to buy a car and maintain our work truck, mowers and trailer.

In 2018 we bought all new equipment to replace the old, worn down tractors. These new tractors help us serve our customers at a quicker pace since the new riders have larger decks (54" and 46") and bagger systems. With the money made from the business, I am able to have a job while focusing on school (since there is minimal overlap between the two).

If it wasn't for the excellent students and staff at both Thurgood Marshall School and Auburn High School for continuing to push and encourage my business, it might not be at the level it is today. My best buddies in the Gifted Academy are also my biggest supporters. Joshua Harper, Drake Vaughan and Evan Walling constantly ask about my business and allow me to bounce ideas off of them, like my recent fertilizing campaign. Zeke Stockton is another large supporter. He always gives constructive criticism about my ideas. Preston Sims is also fantastic. He encourages me and supports my business throughout the year.

My brother and I will continue to mow and serve customers from the Rockford region for years to come – not just because of the money, but because of the priceless family time we spend together on the job.

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