“The decision to start my own business has turned out to be one of the best decisions I could have made,” says Chris Geldert, owner of Sunseeker Property Service. “My only regret is not starting a business sooner. Every day is a learning experience. I have a great sense of accomplishment, and I love the freedom of making my own decisions.”
In 2015, the business idea started when Chris decided to earn extra money shovelling snow for people around his neighbourhood. That spring, he printed business cards and delivered them to his customers, which generated a few lawn care contracts.
Now his business is taking off. Chris offers landscaping services such as grass cutting, lawn and flowerbed maintenance, hedge trimming, and snow removal. He also manages and maintains rental properties and offers a property checking service for vacant cottages and summer homes throughout the winter. He is based in Charlottetown, and has clients in Stratford, Cornwall, and as far east as St. Peters.
Chris is looking to hire two employees to work 40 to 50 hours a week from May to the end of October. He may hire a student as well.
“The grass cutting position is ideal for someone who enjoys working outdoors in all kinds of weather and has some mechanical aptitude.”
Responsibilities include organizing daily work routes, operating company vehicles and equipment, general routine equipment maintenance, and customer support. The ideal candidate should have a valid class 5 driver’s licence, be comfortable hauling a trailer, and have experience operating commercial lawn mowing equipment.
Chris also plans to hire a Landscape Labourer. Responsibilities include flowerbed and lawn maintenance, spreading seed, fertilizer, and lime, raking leaves, and other landscaping duties as required. Experience is preferred but training will be provided to the right individual.
Deciding on self-employment
In 2006, he took the Environmental Technology program at Holland College, and then moved to Alberta to work as an environmental consultant. Years later when he returned to PEI, he worked on the production line of a manufacturing company, but wanted to start his own business.
“A family member who has an accounting background was my mentor. He was a great help with the financial side of my business plan, and continues to be a great help whenever I have a business-related question.”
Program support when starting up
In January 2016, Chris was accepted into the SkillsPEI Self Employ PEI program, which allows participants to draw Employment Insurance for a negotiated period of time while starting their business.
“That first year, I invested my profits back into the company, which greatly helped the business progress. I now have a couple of trucks and mowers, along with all the necessary equipment and tools required to fully operate a landscaping business.”
Jobs are posted on kijijji and www.indeed.ca and the company website. To apply, email your resumé to Chris Geldert at [email protected]. For more information about Sunseeker Property Service, visit www.sunseekerpropertyservice.com or www.facebook.com/sunseekerpropertyservice.
For more about SkillsPEI programs, visit www.skillspei.ca.
The Self Employ PEI program is funded in whole or in part through the Canada-PEI labour market agreements.