Entrepreneurship has no Age: Burel Brothers’ Company takes off in Community
September 19, 2018
Flat tires, truck problems, trailer flats, losing clients, and more. This is just some of what the Burel brothers experience on a typical work day. And no, this isn’t just any minimum wage job. Two of Duncanville’s own, brothers Kory and Koby Burel, have proved that that they can not only be high school students but be entrepreneurs at the same time as they run their own company.
The brothers, currently Juniors at DHS, built their own lawn care company, KRB Lawn Care Service, and have maintained it for almost four years. They began by simply asking neighbors if they could mow their lawns and have now built a small empire with 75 clients and their own crew.
“It all started by us walking around our neighborhood, knocking on doors,” Koby Burel said. “When we started we got about three yes’ and 50 no’s. We wanted to go make our own money so we don’t have to ask our parents for money.”
The brothers had only one piece of equipment each, provided by their father, when they first began mowing laws. This equipment, that they refer to as “residential”, lasted them for about a year and a half. Now, as their business grows, they have gathered more tools and upgraded to commercial equipment.
“The first two years were like the down years but this year and the past year were the up years that we started to build and see change,” Kory Burel said. “Before I had never cut a yard in my life and never knew how. But I had the mindset that I’m different, I could see myself being different so I wanted to be different at this young age.”
Photo by Arley Martinez
While the brothers work together and call each other business partners, they both manage different aspects of the company. Koby does the scheduling, while Kory does the finances.
“Our parents know our business is ours,” Koby said. “We try to stay away from investors because we’d like to do everything on our own and just deal with things as we go”
As co-business owners, the Burel brothers experience every typical business experience that you could imagine. Along with the obstacles mentioned before, they’ve even faced the issue of having friends work for them without wanting to put in the work. In turn, they have established their own way of doing things and remaining professional.
“We train pay attention to everything about our staff: attitude, how they treat the equipment, if one of our clients would come out how theywould talk to them,” Kory said. “We have fired people before. If you don’t fit the requirements for the things we look at–we call you and tell you. It’s more about the tempo. We don’t expect Day 1 for you to move fast but Day 5 we want you to move fast.”
Because they are so young and not the typical image of entrepreneurs, the brothers also experience unconventional obstacles in their company.
“Some people try to pull things on us because we’re young,” Koby said. “We keep up with all payments. If you haven’t paid us and we cut your yard and you don’t keep in communication with us, every day is a $5 late fee. We do have contracts stating late fees, payments, rules, rates.”
Despite some difficulties they face, the brothers take pride in their customer service, sometimes giving free cuts to committed clients.
“We’ve had to do cancellation fees,” Kory said. “We’ve actually pulled up to a yard and got a text to not worry about the yard even after confirmation the day before.”
Photo by Arley Martinez
Like any siblings Koby and Kory still have their disagreements, but they always find a way to come to an agreement when it comes to business conflicts. In one instance when a staff member attempted to fight Kory, he said his brother and himself easily came to a neutral agreement not to keep the crew member.
“The hardest thing working with my brother is disagreeing with him,” Koby said. “We disagree on a lot of things but at the end of the day we know we’re business partners, brothers and we just have to get through it.”
During the months that they are not in school, the Burel brothers work almost full time in KRB Law Care, sometimes up to a full 7 days a week. On some off days they do typical high school activities like going to the mall with friends, but on other off days they are still working to better their business doing things like cleaning equipment or going through scheduling to make sure everything matches up.
“Our goal for the year is to run with two different crews,” Koby said. “Right now we have one truck and one trailer for work but next year we want to run with two. We have one more year in high school. Our goal is by the end of our senior year to have 6 trucks out taking over Dallas.”
Although they have thought about the option of just working and not attending college, both boys now have the same mindset about their future in education.
“I want to go to college to get the experience,” Kory said. “I might be a business major, get a business degree.”
Even with their plans for college in the coming years, the brothers are not done expanding their entrepreneurship and even have plans to take on another moving company in a business partnership with their dad in the coming months.
“We hit a lot of bumps in the road, even losing some of our profit, but just in a four month period, we have made more than $14,000,” Kory said. “We want to build and start our staff how we started. We want to get them out there at a young age so when they build up for a few years they can be in the position that we’re in. If anyone is looking to start a business, it’s gonna take some time to grow up and rise.”
The two brothers have much to look forward to as they expand KRB– a lawn care business started by just three yes’ and the boys’ initials and now growing to include a variety of staff and clientele.
“We weren’t experts when we first started,” Koby said. “You just have to build up to not being perfect but being close to perfect. There’s no age limit to starting a business so don’t get discouraged. There’s been many times people have talked down on us or had something negative to say but we still kept going and looked past the obstacles.”