“I don’t think there’s one aspect of our business Northern Initiatives hasn’t helped us with.”
– Barrett Kaib, Co-Owner of Busy Boys Home Solutions
Mutual respect and teamwork contribute to the success of any business partnership. Aaron Beutenmiller and Barrett Kaib got a head start cultivating those qualities as Wildcat hockey teammates at Northern Michigan University. Now the duo continues to put them into practice as co-owners of Busy Boys Home Solutions.
Their business plan took root in 2016, while they were still in college. Beutenmiller, originally from outside Ann Arbor, and Kaib, from Pittsburgh, had landscaping and handyman experience between them.
“A couple of months before we graduated, we decided to respond to ads for help with side jobs that were posted on the NMU student message board,” said Kaib. “All of a sudden, we both had a bunch of clients, so we figured we would join forces and start something to see if we could make a business out of it. Aaron had a truck at the time to handle bigger jobs, which worked great until we were able to trade up for a better truck. We formed an LLC in late May after graduation, started piecing together our team after that first summer and bought a snow plow before the first winter.”
Busy Boys offers landscaping services in the summer and snow plowing in winter. But, as the name implies, the company stays active year-round with general “handyman” tasks. These range from painting and pressure washing/staining to installing patios, decks and retaining walls. Their clients range from home and business owners to commercial realtors.
Just as hockey players can maximize their individual talents and team success under the guidance of an effective coach, Busy Boys benefitted from the support of Northern Initiatives. In its initial stages, the company was limited in how many jobs it could accept because of equipment and staffing. Kaib said Northern Initiatives helped the business secure a loan to double its efforts with a second lawnmower and part-time landscaping team.
“They’ve been absolutely unbelievable; I don’t think there’s one aspect of our business Northern Initiatives hasn’t helped us with,” he added. “They helped us break down where we were at, where we needed to go and the materials we’d need to accomplish those goals. They led us through a rebranding process with a new logo, website and Yelp and Facebook presence. They consulted with us on marketing projections, accounting and bookkeeping, and covered the details of government business fees, how payroll works and other topics we needed to learn about. I can’t say enough about how they’ve helped us move the business forward. What we really like is that they have great personnel who offers guidance, but we’re responsible for doing the work.”
They can’t influence the weather and its impact on outdoor jobs, but the co-owners are in control of Busy Boys’ destiny. They are better equipped for a promising future, thanks to the support of Northern Initiatives.
Busy Boys Impacts:
- Jobs Created: 2 Full-Time, 5 Part-Time