This is Small Business Weekly, a recurring feature in which we’ll spotlight a small, independently owned business in Bethesda or Chevy Chase. Got a business you think we should check out? Drop us a line at desk[at]bethesdanow[dot]com.
A few neighbors asked 12-year-old Simon Yeo to water their plants when they were on vacation, then a few more did and a few more followed.
Four years later, the 16-year-old Chevy Chase Village resident has made an incorporated business out of it, complete with five other neighborhood teenagers working for him and about 30 clients in and around Chevy Chase.
Simon Plant Care is the work of Yeo, a 10th grader at The Field School in D.C. who has expanded the business to include snow shoveling and leaf removal.
“I didn’t mind doing it and I always wanted to start a business, so I thought I could start a business out of this,” Yeo said. “At first, I just kind of put some posters up.”
It caught on enough that Yeo decided to go through the legal steps of making the business official, something he said was surprising at first.
Each client gets a free estimate and prices start at $5 a day for small gardens and can go up to $15 a day for just a day, a week or an even longer period of time.
Yeo’s website, blog and Twitter feed all promise service tailored to each client’s tastes.
“I’ve learned a lot about having to deal with clients,” said Yeo, who plans to expand this summer.
Yeo doesn’t see it as something he’ll hold on to when he heads to college and has thought about selling the business.
“People are impressed by what we’re doing, so that kind of helps them tell their friends and their friends contact us,” Yeo said. “It just started to grow naturally. Now, we’re always busy, sometimes too busy.”