Our firstborn is 3 months old now and in case you weren't already aware, parenting is a full-time job. But I already have a full-time job! It feels like we need more hours in the day just to keep up.
In business, this is a good problem to have; too much work means it's time to hire. So that's exactly what we did.
Nicholas is a high school sophomore with three weeks of school left before summer break. Catie met his mother at the neighborhood book (wine) club. I met Nicholas today and he seems like a very respectful and diligent young man.
We hired Nicholas to mow our lawn.
Yes, we could still mow our own lawn. And yes, this triggers some protestant-work-ethic-induced guilt in me. But now more than ever, our time is precious and any help is a big help.
Plus, we get the opportunity to support local kid business! That's the part I'm most excited about. My brother Dan and I ran a lawn business as kids. He mowed and I whacked the weeds. We reinvested some of our revenue back into the company to buy a new gas-powered weed whacker. It was fun, and we learned a lot about business!
Last week, I told my friend Andrew that we were thinking about hiring the neighborhood kid and he really perked up. He told me how he mowed lawns when he was a kid and that one of his clients made him generate a proper, printed invoice describing the services provided or else… he wouldn't get paid! This client had all sorts of funny little requirements that in hindsight were clearly more for Andrew's benefit than his own.
I love that.
Nicholas is starting a business with us as his only client so I feel a responsibility to be a good client. I think my next step is to have him invoice his work. After that, I want to negotiate terms and pricing for him to mow and trim.
What do you think? What lessons did you learn from your childhood businesses? How can we build a business relationship with Nicholas that will help him learn those lessons?