Shaping the Landscape (Excerpt from: The Carnation- Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity Publication) | Raleigh Lawn Care

by / Friday, 30 November 2012 / Published in In The News

Shaping the Landscape (Excerpt from: The Carnation- Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity Publication) By: By Nick Gerhardt – Fall 2010 pg. 12-13

Success in start-ups happens in a very real way even for those still amidst the undergraduate experience. Ryan Walsh, NC State ’09, is only a junior, but owns and operates Capital City Groundskeeping. The gig may sound like just mowing lawns – something Walsh has been doing for cash since age 12 – but they only mow two days out of the week. Nevermind the fact they still conquer 56 yards in those two days, leaving the rest of the company’s time open for projects. While specializing in all the trimmings of your standard high end landscaping business, Capital City has secured a slew of residential customers in North Raleigh as well as several commercial real estate properties. He even does work on campus. However, trimming the campus hedges, so to speak, is as close a tie with the entrepreneurial program Walsh has had thus far. Like Ian Swain, he never took any classes before diving headlong into what has developed into a very successful business. “I’ve been doing this for nine years, from when I was 12, and now it’s so big… I always just wanted to make some money. I can’t see myself working for anybody else,” Walsh said. “Business and that kind of stuff is just kind of common sense to me. Why would I need to teach a fish to swim? I’m already at that point, why would I need to sit there and learn out of a book to do it when I’m already there?” Walsh said. North Carolina State offers an entrepreneurship major, which Walsh admits intrigues him. “I’m kind of looking at that,” he said, and he left it at that. While Walsh credits the Fraternity with helping to round him out from a business perspective, his business has had more of an impact on the Fraternity. “I have a few Fraternity brothers that help me. I try to keep those guys busy, they want some money too,” Walsh said. The Fraternity experience had a measurable impact on all of these undergraduate small business starters. Two work for him full time, while others help out as the need arises. Currently the Secretary, he credits his local chapter with allowing him to take a step back at times, meet new people, make some friends, and really open up for the first time. “It’s always good to have your best friends working for you, and at the same time you can always go and have fun with them too,” Walsh said. Capital City Groundskeeping has enjoyed commendable success in the community already, having been featured in the Raleigh News and Observer as well as North Carolina State University’s Technician, among other accolades. Walsh still has a sizable chunk of schooling ahead of him, leaving him with a bit of a quandary. “[The company is] at a point where I could just hold my customers now and wait it out until school’s over, or I could hire some crews and allow it to expand. I’m trying to find what’s right for me and the company.” He seems inclined at the moment to pursue expansion as he finishes out his Turf Management degree.

Undergraduate Entrepreneurs: From backpacks to briefcases by Nick Gerhardt, Missouri ’08 | Raleigh Lawn Care