ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – A local teenage entrepreneur is expanding his lawn care business and gaining experience and mentorship along the way.
Lawrence Hoye, 14, will be a high school freshman next week. But unlike most kids his age, he owns his own business and employs five people, including his mother.
“It doesn’t feel real,” Hoye said. “I worked hard and I did what I deserved.”
Hoye started Hoye Creek Lawn and Landscaping LLC. two years ago. But it wasn’t until last winter that business really started to pick up.
“You get in over your head and you have to really think about what you’re going to do going forward to make it work,” he said.
Hoye said he was inundated with calls from potential clients after his story first aired on News 4 in February. It was the same story that caught the eye of JaRon Dent, owner of Dent Lawncare LLC., based out of the Metro East.
“I thought, I started at 12 and somebody helped me, so let me help this kid,” he said. “So I approached him, arranged a meeting, went and saw him, I liked his ambition, I liked his drive and I liked his energy.”
Dent has helped Hoye provide the necessary equipment for lawn care during the summer and fall, although Hoye pays for everything himself. They have handled large properties during the summer together so Hoye can learn more about the business.
“I’m showing him the business side,” he said. “The better equipment you have, the more efficient you become. I’ve also talked to him about how to work together as a team, schedule meetings and always overestimate.”
Hoye said the insider knowledge has helped him stay organized, adding that scheduling appointments has helped him relax his busy schedule.
“That’s the most important thing,” he said. “Because without that, it’s pretty crazy, and you have to stay organized in order to better serve customers.”
By February, Hoye was saving up for a truck and trailer, allowing him to more easily transport his equipment. However, at the age of 14, his mother drives him to each of his jobs.
“Earlier this summer, her car crashed,” he said. “My business took a downturn, but I didn’t let that stop me at all.”
A few weeks later, with Dent’s help, Hoye bought a small mower. It became his mode of transportation around the neighborhood to continue his work and marketing efforts.
“I have a lot of customers in my neighborhood and I even got a commercial,” he said. “So I just drove the mower onto the sidewalk and hitched my equipment to a little trailer I found at Home Depot to get to work and hand out my business cards to people.”
Hoye said after a lot of blood, sweat and tears this summer, he is officially a truck owner. He received the keys on Sunday, and while he still can’t drive, he’s excited about the opportunity to serve customers more efficiently.
“I have come this far and I will always understand, I will be a millionaire, I know I will be,” he said.
His mentor, Dent, has complete faith in his mentee.
“We need more kids out of the house, working in the yard, learning a skill, learning a trade and not necessarily on video games or computers,” Dent said. “With a kid as focused and driven as him, why not help him?”
Hoye said that despite school starting soon, he plans to continue serving his customers as much as possible. His hopeful business remains strong during the fall and winter months.
To contact Hoye, email him at email@example.com or text him at 314-793-6473.
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