Kyle Boland is the owner of Boland Lawn Service in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
A Green Bay Packers fan, Boland grew up in Independence, Wisconsin, a remote city with a population of just over 1,000 people.
“It’s the stereotypical small town,” Boland says of Independence.
“Everybody knows everybody.”
In addition to huddling around the TV every Sunday to watch Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers quarterback the Packers to victory, during high school Boland was involved in baseball and golf.
“I wasn’t very good at baseball though,” he says with a laugh.
After high school, Boland left western Wisconsin, crossing the border into Minnesota and enrolling at St. Cloud State University, a college known primarily for attracting party-happy undergraduates, but Boland’s decision to become a Husky had nothing to do with extracurriculars.
“St. Cloud State was the closest school that had an aviation program,” Boland says, before remarking how his time in St. Cloud was unpredictably “awkward,” and unlike what he anticipated.
“I wasn’t comfortable in St. Cloud because that town couldn’t decide if it was a small town or a big city.”
With nearly 70,000 people living in St. Cloud, the city is big enough to be considered a suburb of the Twin Cities, but since it’s located roughly 75 minutes north of Minneapolis, many consider it to be a rural town, making Boland’s assessment of St. Cloud fair.
After receiving his college diploma, Boland didn’t immediately go into aviation.
Actually, he didn’t get involved with airplanes or air traffic control at all.
That’s because he began delivering packages for FedEx, a job Boland says he took in order to pay his bills.
“And then I continued driving with them because it was a stable source of income,” he adds.
But by 2016, Boland, who by then relocated to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, wanted to explore alternative ways to generate income.
This led to him purchasing a lawnmower and a trailer.
From there, he began cutting lawns after his shifts at FedEx ended, and soon he began to consider that cutting lawns could eventually be more than a side hustle.
“The goal was to build a lawncare business, but I was too scared to actually take it to the next level,” Boland reveals.
“So for a number of years I worked full-time at FedEx. I would get done at 5:30 every day, and then I would be out mowing lawns until 9 P.M.”
In fact, it wasn’t until the spring of 2022 that Boland stopped agonizing over what could go wrong, and instead chose to envision all that could go right if he committed himself to becoming a full-fledged entrepreneur.
“You have to try things and see what happens,” Boland says of what ultimately led to him delving into entrepreneurship.
“You have to go for it. If you’re going to do something, do it, otherwise you might as well quit.”
For context, it wasn’t like Boland had to completely revamp his life in order to build his lawncare business.
He still worked at FedEx in 2022, albeit part-time, because he needed to gauge if he could actually run his own company.
“I just wanted to see where things could go with the lawncare business, and then reassess once the year was over,” Boland explains.
“If it didn’t work out, I could always go back to FedEx and work there full-time.”
Fortunately for Boland, things did work out.
The more lawns he cut, the more his name was passed around Eau Claire by homeowners who were impressed with Boland’s workmanship and professionalism.
Boland says there is no secret formula to cutting lawn, but his meticulous attention to detail has made his work stand out amongst his local competition, many of whom don’t treat their clients’ lawns as if it were their own.
“With Boland Lawn Service, you get what you pay for,” the Independence native says.
“I provide a service that appeals to people who truly care about their grass. Not everyone cares how their grass is cut, but I want my clients to look at their grass every week and be happy with my work.”
Of course, sometimes accidents happen when Boland is cutting grass, and when these incidents occur, Boland says he does whatever he can to remedy the situation.
“There was one time that I ran over a woman’s downspout,” Boland mentions, recalling a moment when he accidentally damaged a portion of a client’s gutter system.
While some lawncare companies in Eau Claire may have ignored the damaged downspout, Boland did the exact opposite.
“Actually, as soon as I ran over the downspout I went and showed it to my client because she was home. Even if she wasn’t home, I would have sent her photos so that she knew what was going on,” Boland says.
“And by that same time the next day I had already went to Menards and rectified the issue. I did this because what happened was my fault, and so I took full ownership, but unfortunately, not all lawncare companies would do the same.”
At present, Boland Lawn Service is not the cheapest service available to homeowners in Eau Claire, but they’re also not the most expensive.
That being said, for Boland, maximizing profits isn’t why he got into the lawncare industry.
Rather, he simply wants to give homeowners a great service, at a price that is fair for both parties.
“People want to come home and not have to worry about their lawn,” Boland says.
“I know I’m not the lowest price in Eau Claire, but if I can make homeowners look at their lawn and feel like they’re getting a professional service, then I’m doing my job correctly.”
While Boland Lawn Service specializes in residential lawncare, they also offer commercial services to companies who have larger properties or are looking to outsource their lawncare.
“I do both, but at the moment a lot of my work is residential,” Boland says.
“I like doing residential lawns though, because homeowners take pride in their lawn, and that motivates me even more to offer them an excellent service.”
As for the future of Boland Lawn Service, Boland says by the end of 2023 his aim is to have the business be completely self-sustainable, at which point he will be looking to hire a few employees.
“From there, I still haven’t determined how many crews I would like to have, but ideally it would be two crews,” Boland says.
“At that size we could service more homeowners, but we wouldn’t get too big and risk compromising the quality of work that is being performed on a daily basis.”
From driving a FedEx truck, to owning a lawncare business.
It’s been quite the evolution for Boland, but this whirlwind of change would never have happened if he didn’t take massive action.
“If you’re stuck in a rut, you have to make one change: make a decision, follow through on that decision, and then see where it goes from there,” Boland advises.
“You have to make a move because if you keep doing the same thing you’ve always been doing, you’re never going to get anywhere. Whether it be a big change or a small change, just do something, and don’t look back.” QS
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