Jerry Westin was a successful business owner. He sold his business and retired at age 50.
Sometimes a great business idea just falls in your lap.
Over the years Jerry had dealt with moles and gophers that had taken up residence in his yard. Always the outdoorsman (Jerry has been an avid fisherman and hunter since he was a child) Jerry saw the critters as a personal challenge. Over the years he became quite adept at trapping the little lawn wreckers.
Now, several years into retirement, Jerry’s next door neighbor has a mole ruining his lawn and remembers Jerry mentioning he had successfully trapped moles in his yard and he asked Jerry if he would attempt to catch the culprit borrowing through his yard. Jerry caught the mole the next day.
This is where the business idea fell into Jerry’s lap.
The neighbor was amazed, he told Jerry that the year before and had paid an exterminator $150 and the exterminator never even killed the mole.
Jerry heard the $150 fee and quickly calculated the time he spent… it didn’t take long to determine that he could “earn some extra” money trappingmole and gophers… and he loved the excitement and challenge of out witting the little lawn wreckers.
A business was born…
No business plan. No marketing plan, he just placed a small ad on Craig’s List.
Jerry did realize that if he was going to start a little mole trapping business he was going to need a couple of things:
1. A catchy name- he settled on Grandpa’s Mole Service.
2. A money back-guarantee. Jerry knew that nobody wanted to pay someone for their time. People wanted to pay for results.
If he was going to offer a money-back guarantee Jerry decided he should learn more about trapping moles and gophers. A simple Google search resulted in an abundance of helpful resources. A few hours or reading and watching videos and less than $100 worth of traps and equipment and Jerry was in business.
He bought a $2 million dollar liability insurance policy for about $500 and a couple of city business licenses for the cities he worked in, they were less than $100 each.
Over time Jerry had little website made and he experimented with different ads and ads in different places. He found Yelp and Google AdWords both worked well for him.
Within a couple of years he had 320 customers!
Jerry also discover that even though he had elected to take Social Security at 62 by working he was adding to his monthly SS payments for the rest of his life… a nice little bonus!
Jerry did what I and many other successful EE’s have done…
- He pursued work that he really enjoyed doing.
- He started with a very small investment of money.
- He invested his time to develop his skills.
- He controlled his work hours, he said he could have earned “$70,000 easy”, but he valued his non-work time so he limited his business hours and the number of days and weeks he would work… he controlled his business, and he didn’t let his business control him.
You can visit Jerry’s website at- http://www.moleservice.com/