Richmond high school student already a successful entrepreneur
By Jeff Morris
Like any small business owner, Wade Bradford finds himself juggling his time.
What makes the Richmond business owner unique, however, is that he is still a high school student.
What started out as a 14-year-old cutting five lawns in his neighbourhood in 2017 has grown into a bustling snow removal, lawn maintenance and landscaping company.
“I didn’t even have a licence so my parents had drive me everywhere,” Bradford said. “That’s how they became involved.
In 2018, Lawn and Order was born. The shield the logo and the name is a tribute to Bradford’s father, who is a police officer. Bradford said he would not have been able to get the company off the ground without his help. Bradford doubled the number of lawns he looked after, and added spring and fall clean-ups. He also added snow removal, using a four-wheeler and snowblowers.
The following year, Bradford, at 16, registered Lawn and Order as a company and obtained insurance. He also continued to expand his growing business.
“In 2019, I maintained a healthy number of lawns while buying more specialized gear to help me grow into a variety of softscape services,” he said. “In the winter, I grew my snow customers, clearing them with a 30hp tractor and a snowblower.”
Bradford said he was “just like the bigger guys, just smaller.”
While 2020 was a challenging year for many, it was an exciting year for Bradford.
“I finally got my G2 license, which allowed me to take on more work,” he said. He also traded in his small tractor for two 60hp Massey Ferguson tractors.
Lawn and Order offers a full array of services year round.
“We offer spring clean-ups, lawn care (mowing, aerating, dethatching topdressing seeding) aggregate and soil delivery, dumpster rental, some tree removal, hedge trimming, tractor work and Fall Cleanups. I have the only debris loader setup in the village to collect leaves. In the winter I offer Snow clearing for residential drives and small commercial lots.”
Bradford is one of only two commercially insured snow removal contractors who can apply salt.
During the winter months, Bradford and his father use the tractors. On average, they make two visits to each household during a snowfall. He says the support of his family has been crucial for his success.
“My mom keeps close tabs on the financial books and my dad helps out with showing me how to plan, organize operations and equipment maintenance,” he said. “My whole family has supported me. You may even see my grandparents the odd time helping. It gives them joy to be able to help and support me.”
Bradford said his biggest challenge is time management.
“I am still in high school so I have to balance time between work, school and being a teenager,” he said. “I have also had to become more outgoing.”
Bradford’s long term plans are “to continue to grow and become a turfgrass specialist company offering a variety of specialized services.”
With the success he has had as a young entrepreneur, and with the support of his family, there is little reason to doubt that this unique business from Richmond will continue to grow and flourish for years to come.
For more information, visit lawnandorderottawa.ca