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It is wonderful that your son is so industrious that he wants to be an entrepreneur. There is a lot of money to be earned in the lawn care businesses by young people because there are so many big companies providing this service that charge prices a lot higher than what your son would have to charge to make a enough money to put himself through college.
If he already has a lawnmower then all he needs is business. And to get business I believe he only needs a little flyer with his picture on it describing his services. It will cost him about $30 to have a bunch printed up at the local copy center or Kinko's.
My son printed up a flyer and used it when he was in high school one summer and looking for work. He and his friend spent one Saturday morning going door to door handing them out. With about 3 hours of work he generated about $1,500 worth of business. He made an average of about $16 per hour. It was a lot more than the entry level jobs he was being offered that paid only $7 to $8 per hour. I estimated that he could have a $200,000 business doing this and hire his friends at $7 per hour to do the actual work and he could be management and just concentrate on getting customers and making sure the jobs got done properly.
Your son can do something similar to get the business going by just canvassing different neighborhoods when he needs more customers.
Here are more sources that can be of help for his venture.
Although this program is mostly for teens who live in rural areas, I have known teens in urban areas who were able to get funding for lawn service businesses. So it may be worth a try.
You can be as young as 12 and get $5,000 to start a business. The program is aimed at youth in rural areas, but you never know where you can use this. Maybe you can set up a distributorship for your products in a small town using your nephew who lives in that small town you never visit. Put this aside, you never know when someone in your family may need this. It's part of the Farm Operating Loan program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture at 202-720-1632 or http://www.fsa.usda.gov/dafl/youth%20loans.htm
Question: Do you know what is better than a $100,000 government grant? Answer: A $100,000 government contract. Because with a grant you are most likely to get it once and with a contract you can keep getting it over and over again. Question: Do you know who buys more of anything than anyone else in the world? Answer: The government, including federal, state, local and county.
Someone has to sell all those products and services to the government and it might as well be you. You just have to find out who in the government buys your product and figure out the paperwork on how to get paid.
But don't worry too much about the work required and the paperwork involved, because there are offices that will help you do all this and they will do it FOR FREE. Find your local, state and federal financed Small Business Development Center office by contacting 800-8-ASK-SBA or http://www.sba.gov/sbdc/sbdcnear.html. Or you can also contact one of the local free offices financed by the Department Defense's Defense Logistics Agency at 703- 767-1661 or www.dla.mil/db. Tell them you need help selling to the government.
But remember one thing. Selling to the government is like going elephant hunting. When you bag one of these babies you have meat for a long time.
The government will give you:
The money is in the form of tax credits on your federal and/or your state income taxes. If you are paying any taxes than this is truly free money because it is taken right off your tax bill. To find out about every tax credit at your state level contact your state Department of Revenue by calling 411 and asking for the state capital operator, or go to www.govengine.com and click on your state and start looking for the Department of Revenue. For information on all federal tax credits contact Internal Revenue Service, 202-622-5000 or 800-829-1040 (Business Tax Questions) or go to www.irs.ustreas.gov/formspubs/
Do you have a supplier in another state that owes you money and won't pay you back? Well, you don't have to hire an attorney and pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get back your money. Try calling the attorney general's office in the state of your supplier and complain about how a company in their state mistreated you. Many of these offices will investigate, for free, by contacting the business in question. No matter who is right in the matter the supplier does not likely want a government office on their back because this government office can put them out of business. The smartest business decision is to just give you the money owed and have the problem go away.
Maybe your credit card company does not treat you right and holds back money you think is due to you. Maybe your health insurance company will not pay a claim you think is covered in your policy. Maybe the package delivery service or airline shipping your product did you wrong. Maybe the radio station running your ads cheated you. All of these problems can be handled more effectively, and FOR FREE, by contacting the government agency that regulates the business you are dealing with. All businesses are regulated by some agency. If your customers have a problem with you they can contact the state attorney general's office or the postal inspector if you sent a product by mail. So why hire an attorney who will charge you $200 and hour to get you satisfaction, when you can call a government office who will do the job for free. And don't forget, a business can fight an attorney because the worst they have to lose is that they have to pay what they owe you. But it does not pay a business to fight a government agency, because a government agency has the power to put them out of business.
To find who regulates a specific business call 411 and ask for your state capital operator. Then ask for the office that regulates the profession or organization that hurt you. Or go to www.govengine.com and start by looking for the office of attorney general. You can also try the Consumer Action Website at www.consumeraction.gov/
Maybe you don't need a bunch of money to get your idea off the ground. Maybe all you need is just a few thousand dollars to get your idea to go. Well, there are hundreds of non-profit organizations that offer small grants and easy loans aimed at people who would never be able to get money from traditional sources. It is difficult to locate all of these groups around the country but two good starting places are: 1) Association for Enterprise Opportunity at 703-841-7760 or http://www.aeoworks.org/index.php/site/page/category/find/ and 2) The Foundation Center at 212-620-4230 or www.fdncenter.org
Wow. You are probably tired just from reading all this, and you haven't even started any of the real work yet. That's the problem with life nowadays. It's a lot bigger and complicated than it used to be. When I grew up in the 50s there used to be just one place to turn to for help, and that one person seemed to know it all. Now times have changed. No one person knows everything anymore. Life's become so complex. Even I, who have been studying money programs for over 25 years, am likely to be the best one in the country at it, still don't feel like I know it all.
You can't trust a "no" answer anymore. No, just means that they don't know anything. It seems that success in this world goes to those who don't take no for an answer and find a way to solve the problem no matter what the experts say. The experts are wrong too many times to trust them completely.
It's fun to continue to learn new sources of help and new skills for finding money. I always believe that the sources you identify this time and don't use will be of value to you some time in the future, but you just don't know it yet.
I hope our sources give you some help. Hang in there; it's a big world and there are lots of sources waiting to help you, but they won't come looking for you, you have to go looking for them.
Matthew LeskoEntrepreneur and Best Selling Authorwww.lesko.com