While a majority of his peers were toiling with video games and other common childhood pursuits, eight-year-old Ryan Stadel was becoming the youngest businessman on his block.
“When I was a kid,” Stadel, now 22, recalls, “my neighbor asked me if I could mow his yard when he went away on vacation. I took a lot of pride in my work and mowed it nicely. He came back and said, ‘Oh, my gosh! It looks great. Can you keep doing it?'”
So consistently impressive was Stadel’s work in the Landisville, Pennsylvania community that word soon spread about the landscaping wunderkind for hire.
“The next thing I knew,” Stadel says, “other neighbors started asking if I would mow their yards. When I was sixteen, I saved enough money to buy my first truck and my first trailer and a riding tractor.”
With 10 employees and 150 clients, Stadel has big plans for Stadel Lawn & Landscaping. For that reason, Ryan shared his wish with Intuit’s Small Business Big Wishes campaign in hopes of mowing down a few obstacles next year.
“My employees and I spend countless hours splitting wood by hand,” Stadel said in his wish entry. “With $5,000, we could purchase a wood splitter and also put more money toward marketing. We would also love to put our logo on t-shirts and our trucks.”
Following a tremendous outpouring of fan support online, Stadel recently learned that his wish was picked to be granted.
“This is phenomenal,” the youthful entrepreneur says. “It will really help my business grow as a company. I want to cry right now. You have no idea how overwhelmed I am and how awesome this is!”
In addition to the time and cost savings that will come from having a wood splitter, Stadel will also be afforded his first real shot at professionally marketing his enterprise.
“I’ve never advertised,” Stadel admits. “Everything has been word of mouth. I don’t have any extra money laying around for putting logos on my truck, making T-shirts, and business cards to expand my business. And I think this would be an awesome way to get to that next level as a small business owner.”
Do You Have a Small Business Wish?
Have a wish? It just may come true! During the month of December, Intuit will grant one wish a day for 15 days to deserving small businesses. Submit your wish online for a chance to win. Winners will be selected based on the number of votes each wish receives, the wish’s feasibility, and the transformational impact it would have on the business. To learn more, click here.
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