Cameron Weston took the time-honoured tradition of making a few bucks mowing neighbours’ lawns to the next level this summer.
Weston, 17, decided to found his own lawn care company to make a few extra bucks and complete his capstone project at the same time. For the last few weeks, he’s been using his own equipment to cut lawns under the name Teen Lawn Care.
“I was looking for a summer job, wanted to make some money and I also had a Capstone project for school so I figured starting a lawnmowing business would help with all that,” Weston said. “I figured it would be a good experience for me.”
Weston has been cutting his neighbours’ lawns in the Horse Lake area since he was 14. So trying his hand at something bigger seemed a natural step.
Since setting up his company, Weston said he’s found it very interesting and has learned a lot about running a business. He started by purchasing a pickup truck and trailer for $2,300 to haul his lawnmower, weedwhacker and lawn tractor, which he got for free from a friend.
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“(The starter money) came from doing lawns, saving up money from birthdays and Christmases and not buying a whole lot of anything. I was just saving it for something,” Weston said. “It felt good to put it into something I figured could make me a bunch of money.”
After that investment, he registered his company with the Canada Revenue Agency, made himself a logo and launched a Facebook page. His parents, who both own small businesses themselves, gave him advice on how best to run things and supervised him putting in the 40 hours needed for his capstone project.
Initially, Weston said he got a lot of requests to mow lawns from all over Horse Lake and a few in 100 Mile House. He doesn’t find the work itself hard but does his best to meet each customer’s different expectations for their lawns.
Weston charges $17 an hour for clients who provide a lawnmower and gas or $25 if he provides the equipment to cover costs. The costs are negotiable, he said, depending on what type of equipment he needs to use.
Business has slowed down lately, which Weston attributes to the fact that summer in the Cariboo is coming to an end. Weston said he may keep the company going in the fall but doesn’t intend to bring the company back for a second summer.
“I’m probably going to move on but it will look really good on a resume and it’s good experience for later on in life. I’m thinking of becoming a mechanic, I’m really into that kind of stuff.”