Ken Whitaker and his landscaping company, The Backyard Barber Landscaping LLC, have been providing high quality landscaping and French Drain services to customers in Western Pennsylvania since 2017. Over the years, Ken has built a steady client list and has found partnerships with other companies to provide additional services.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ken’s business continued to grow steadily. With the additional services The Backyard Barber Landscaping began to offer, Ken often needed to rent equipment for certain types of jobs. This cut into his profit margins and growth of his business. It was at this time that Ken decided he needed to speak to someone about securing an SBA loan. When Ken contacted the Washington County Council on Economic Development for a microloan, they referred him to the Pitt SBDC.
While working with the SBDC on his business plan, Ken realized that it made much more sense to secure a microloan to purchase equipment that he would typically rent to perform services that are requested the most. When working on the financial projections for his loan application, this idea was even further cemented as they found that the company’s profits would be greater with the reduction of rental expenses he incurred each month. In November 2021, Ken was approved for an SBA microloan for $50,000, and he began planning the business’s future capital investments for 2022.
The University of Pittsburgh and Ken will continue to work together in the areas of marketing, promotion, social media, and various other tactics that will bring in even more clients to come to know The Backyard Barber Landscaping. The SBDC is confident that Ken and the landscaping business will continue to provide some of the best landscaping services in the region.