published Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

SmallBiz: Chattanooga youths start lawn care, weed control business

Name: Weed Man Chattanooga Lawn Care.

Owners: Kyle Rossi, 19, and Michael White, 21.

Location: 6921 Middle Valley Road, Suite 112, Hixson.

Opened: Jan. 1.

Services: A range of lawn care, including fertilizing, weed control, pesticide and fungicide applications, aerations and seedings

Price: Packages range from $400 to $1,500 for the application of four fertilizers and three weed controls, spread out over five to six weeks. Prices vary depending on lawn size.

Staff: 8 part-time staff.

How it got started: "We always wanted to partner up and get into business," Rossi said. "We're young and we want to do something productive."

"I always wanted to do something in the lawn care industry," White added. "My dad had the lawn looking like a baseball field when I was young, and his passion sort of passed on to me."

Initial investment: $70,000 for the franchise and equipment fees.

Anticipated first year sales: $200,000 to $250,000

Five-year goal: "Our goal in five years is to establish a strong customer base that comes back to us every year because of our customer service," White said. "We want to be known as a different lawn care company. We want to provide the best service with the best quality we can. We want to meet all of our customers' expectations and needs."

Background: Neither Rossi nor White hold college degrees -- both attended college in the Midwest but didn't graduate before moving to Chattanooga and starting classes at Chattanooga State. Rossi studied business management and entrepreneurship before working for a lawn care company in Colorado. White studied marketing and has always been interested in landscaping and lawn care.

Website: www.chattanooga.weedmanusa.com

Phone: 423-315-7226

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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