While summer may seem like it is a long ways away, three young Martensville residents are already hard at work making plans to expand their lawn mowing business. The Grass Barbers is run by cousins; Smith (14) and Hudson (13) Boutin and Ethan Pierce (14), who started the business in 2016. Since inception, the three have proven their entrepreneurial spirit by growing their business each year.
The idea behind the business initially started when the three boys wanted to earn some extra money, so they began cutting grass for family members. At the time, Smith’s father Ryan would drive the trio to each of their jobs in order to help them haul their equipment. They saw that there was a demand for their services, and thus, they soon grew from working for relatives, to bringing on new clients.
In 2017 the business was given the name ‘The Grass Barbers’ and the three boys attended the Martensville Community Expo to help spread the word within the community. They created a website, made T-shirts and handed out business cards and flyers while going door-to-door promoting their services. This proved to be a successful marketing strategy, as they saw immediate growth.
With savings from their 2017 season, The Grass Barbers purchased two trailers for hauling equipment with their bicycles prior to summer 2018. The trailers, which don the business name and logo, have gained much exposure for the young entrepreneurs, as they often have people approaching them asking if they are available.
During their busy season, the three typically work approximately four mornings a week and cut five to six lawns per day. While this keeps them busy, the three have big plans for the future of their company. “We are really happy with the success that we have seen, but it is not where I want it to be yet. We want it to be even bigger, so we are now looking into a franchising option for people. Our plan is to have an online store set up so people can buy trailers, T-shirts, business cards and more from our website and then they would pay us a monthly fee so we can make a profit based on that. It will give other kids a chance to make some extra money as well,” Smith explained. According to Smith’s father, the monthly fees would cover advertising, phone and website costs. Plans for franchising are not set in stone at this time, but plans are in the works for this year.
Through all of their hard work, the boys gained attention from local media and from there, they were contacted by Maureen and Gord Haddock who were organizing the first ever ‘Get a Bigger Wagon Young Entrepreneur Awards’. The trio worked together to create a biography to submit for the awards. The event was held at the Edwards School of Business where it was announced that The Grass Barbers were the winners of the 13-15 year old category. “Maureen and Gord wanted to start an award for young entrepreneurs who started their own business and give them a reward for being entrepreneurial. This was the first year that the event was held and we were really surprised and happy to hear them call our names,” Ethan said. With their award, the business was provided with $1000 to go towards growth, and also had a plaque with their business name installed at the Edwards School of Business. With the prize money, the cousins plan to purchase more trailers for the franchises, do more marketing and build a store on their website to sell The Grass Barber items.
Since they started the business, Hudson, Ethan and Smith have learned many lessons about being entrepreneurs and have made changes to their business model based on these lessons. Smith noted that some of the things that he has learned over the years is how to talk to customers with confidence and also the dedication that it takes in order to be successful. “With our business, we are always working on some of the nicest days of summer, so there are times that you don’t want to work and want to enjoy the weather, but we made a commitment to our customers, so we make sure that we get out there and get our jobs done,” Smith explained.
For Ethan, he felt as though he has learned much about the marketing aspect of business. “Basically learning how to get the word out to people and how you try to do everything that you can in order to see your business succeed. We did the Expo, went in the parade and did an interview on CTV to work at getting our name out there as much as we can.”
Hudson is grateful for the lesson he learned about how work can actually be fun, especially when you are working with your family members. He also stated that one of the things that stands out most for him is the gratitude that they feel for each of their customers for supporting them. “Getting up and going to work can be really enjoyable and being able to see the faces of our customers who are really happy with the work that we did is really nice. We are really thankful to all of our clients who got us to cut their lawn and helped us grow our business.”