A Few Minutes

Young Jared Hatcher has big plans
Jared Hatcher: Young Man, Big PlansBusinesses keep this entrepreneurial teen busy

By Tony Bridges

{mosimage}Leisure time isn’t a priority for Jared Hatcher.

He owns two small businesses in Tallahassee and has plans to one day leverage them into a successful land development company. Hatcher figures the harder he works now, the sooner he will reach his goal – so he puts in 60-plus hours a week and studies for his real estate license between jobs.

All of this is hardly surprising for a person with ambition, except that Hatcher is only 19 – and already has been at it for two years.

“I don’t really think of it as unusual,” he said. “I love to work, and I love business.”

His entrepreneurial spirit comes from his parents and his grandfather, Tallahassee real estate trader Jimmy Hatcher Sr., according to the young business owner.

Hatcher said he used to spend summers working on his grandfather’s property in Liberty County. When he wasn’t mowing the fields or feeding the horses and pigs, he’d accompany Jimmy Hatcher Sr. to business meetings. That taught him how to be mature and responsible, he said.

Hatcher’s first experience with self-employment was at 13, washing cars for the people who lived in his northwest Tallahassee neighborhood. His prices were “ridiculously cheap,” as he puts it – $5 for the outside, $10 for inside and out.

By the time he was 14 or 15, he knew he wanted to be his own boss. Hatcher’s method for picking business opportunities is simple: figure out what people need and give it to them. When he was 17, he decided that was lawn maintenance for his friends, family and neighbors. His mother had been home-schooling him since eighth grade, so he had the flexibility to work around his studies.

Hatcher started out with an electric weed trimmer and a push lawn mower, which he rolled from job to job. The job went so well that, by the time he turned 18, he was grossing $50,000 a year. He upgraded his equipment, bought a truck and added a trailer with a custom logo on the side – the name “Mowing Masters” on a field of flowers. He hired part-timers to help with all the work.

With the lawn business growing like summer grass, Hatcher decided to add another business. The need this time: a reliable and reasonably priced moving service aimed at people making small, local moves. Moving Masters was launched in January. By June, Hatcher had handled seven or eight jobs and had a new ad coming out in the Yellow Pages.

But the lawn and moving businesses are just prelude, Hatcher said. The next step is a real estate license so he can start buying and selling commercial property just as his grandfather did. From there, he plans to work toward a general contractor’s license so he can get into the construction business. And finally, he wants to develop property of his own.

“I’d really like to build houses, especially affordable housing,” Hatcher said. “It’s a need.”


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