DEC 18, 2013
Marketing Maven

Marketing Wisdom from the Next Generation


A few weeks ago, I found a flyer in my mailbox distributed by PLK Lawn Service. Normally, a flyer like this would just have the name of the company, phone number and email address.

Not this one.

This one also contained a list of services they provide—along with a price list. Grass cutting at $20 an hour. Pick up dog poop for $10 per each one-quarter acre. Trim trees at $0.10 per branch. Call them for a quote about power washing. There were about seven other services listed.

So, I called them.

Three teenage boys appeared at my door. When they introduced themselves, they told me how they met each other in high school. That all three of them liked to work. And they liked money. (Isn’t that business is all about anyway?)

After describing the work I wanted done, PLK Lawn Service gave me a written quote. They gave me a form to fill out so they could add my info to their database. They cut the lawn and asked me to inspect it. They wanted to know if I approved. If I would comment on what they could have done better.

They then presented me with a written invoice. I mentioned that I might not have the cash to pay them now. They said, “That’s OK, our policy is that you have seven days to pay.”

They also provided a punch-card coupon that if I pay for seven services provided, I get the eighth service free.

The point of this story? These three teenage boys had a compelling story (about the “why” of their business).

They had a business plan. They had a marketing plan. They maintained a database with which they kept track of the number times they cut the lawn. They gave out a list of services (think niche marketing).

They asked for advice—asking what they could have done to improve their services. And, they had a cash-flow plan.

Yes, I am impressed.

If three, 14-year-old boys can do it, you can, too.

When you were a young, did you start a business? Please share your story at

Karen Deis is the publisher of She is also is president of She can be contracted at or post on

Comments (1)
Ok great but add the Regulatory Rules for loans and they probably committed three felonies just in their advertising alone.
Posted by Ken | Thursday, December 19 2013 at 3:46PM ET
Add Your Comments:

Already a subscriber? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.