Anna’s careful observation and thorough market analysis enabled her to identify a customer need that she could remedy – quality and reliable lawn care.
Prior to the Summer Company program, Anna frequently took care of her parents’ and neighbours’ lawns, and knew that the independent and outdoors nature of the work suited her interests. To participate in the program, Anna had to overcome challenges regarding Hornepayne’s location – this town of 1,050 people is located 400 kilometers from the regional program provider. Anna used frequent emails, telephone calls, and Skype conversations to ensure that her business and her participation in the program ran smoothly.
Once Anna decided to launch her business, she quickly found that there was high demand for her services. Living in a small town with an ageing and traveling population, word quickly got around about Anna’s Lawn Care. She diversified her business, accepting commercial contracts as well as residential jobs, and adding garden care and hedge trimming to her revenue streams. Soon she found herself working an average of 42 hour weeks and using rainy days to manage her marketing and bookkeeping activities. While Anna advertised via flyers and Facebook, she found that her most effective marketing strategy was to always be seen hard at work. She received positive feedback from customers and community members on her unflagging work ethic and conscientious attitude on the job.
Anna’s biggest challenge was learning proper maintenance on her lawn equipment. Replacing oil and cautiously changing mower blades quickly became routine. Anna intends to continue with her business part-time as she returns to high school in the fall.
Anna provided this testimonial about her experience:
“This summer I owned and operated Anna’s Lawn Care, a small lawn care business in Hornepayne, ON. I provided services such as lawn mowing, hedge trimming, and garden maintenance to the community. In the duration of my the summer I learned valuable lessons in both garage work and administrative things, for example, I now know how to change oil and fuel filters and calculate profit margins. By owning my own business I was exposed to a large variety of challenges, but with the help of my program coordinator, mentor, and others who generously volunteered their time (often for things that were trivial to them), I was able to overcome all of my roadblocks and run a very successful business!”