Young entrepreneur thinks outside of the box
Eleven-year-old Brandon Balazs is starting up a new, innovative dog waste removal service in Tillsonburg.
He's calling it 'They Poop it and I'll Scoop it.'
The concept is simple. Brandon will visit homes on a pre-scheduled, routine basis so his customers will never have to scoop poop ever again.
"If you have a dog, you have poop," it says on his company flyer. "My goal is to give you back the fun in having a dog. It's up to me to make sure you have a poop-free backyard – safe for you, your children, and your pets. I'll scoop the poop and take it away to an area farm where it will be disposed in an environmentally safe manner."
His father Ryan got the idea when he heard about it on the radio, and they did some online research. A quick search for 'dog waste removal service' shows it's common enough in cities, mainly in the Toronto area, with companies like Poop Patrol, Nature Calls, Dr. DooDoo, Super Scoopers and The Poop Squad. A 13-year-old Woodstock entrepreneur jumped on the wagon last week with a similar company, Turd Burglar.
In Tillsonburg, with population just over 15,000, he doesn't have a lot of competition.
"No one really knows about that job here," said Brandon, who has much (unpaid) experience cleaning up after Eddie, their family Cockapoo.
The fifth grader started delivering flyers last week to about 15 homes, mostly in the north Tillsonburg area with his phone number, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and prices.
"I've dropped off a couple so far," Brandon nodded, "and I'll start whenever they want."
Prices vary depending on how many visits per week and how many dogs – $10 once a week for one dog, up to $25 for two visits per week for three dogs. He also has a one-time spring cleanup price.
"Prices are negotiable," his mother T.J. noted. "Obviously this is very new for Brandon... prices are not set in stone."
Brandon will walk or ride his bike to neighborhood homes, including the Glendale subdivision, the 'Bird' subdivision, and the VanNorman/Centennial area. His dad may drive him further afield – he already has one customer in the Annandale subdivision.
For now, it's a one-man job. But if the young entrepreneur gets too busy, he might consider adding a partner or two.
"It depends how much (business) I get. If I get a decent amount, then I'll probably ask one or two people."
And if the business doesn't work out, he expects he'll go back to doing yardwork for his family... because cutting the grass is not optional.
"Oh yeah," he laughed. "There's no if's or but's. I cut grass."