What started out as an aspiration of an eighth-grader at Severna Park Middle School has evolved into being nominated and selected for a regional award by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Baltimore District.
Zachary Yeatman, now a senior at Severna Park High School, was recently named the 2023 Maryland Rising Star Student Entrepreneur.
“When I was in eighth grade, I asked my friend Julian Murphy if he wanted to start a power-washing business,” Yeatman said. “We even came up with a name for the company, JZ Power Washing, because of our two first initials.”
Murphy is now Yeatman’s full-time assistant.
“As a kid, I constantly needed something to do,” Yeatman said. “I love to keep busy, and this company is keeping me very busy.”
Yeatman’s ambition caught the attention of the high school staff, and he received encouragement from faculty members to apply for the award.
“Mrs. [Heather] Barnstead and Mrs. [Annie] Houghton spoke with me and wanted to nominate me for the award,” Yeatman said. “Also, my homeroom teacher, Mrs. [Kimberly] Hunter, was very supportive and she was a very nice teacher.”
Yeatman completed the applications, and after a few months, he received an email stating that he was invited to a ceremony at the Windsor Mill, Maryland-based Martin’s West in June.
During his last year of high school, Yeatman has balanced his schoolwork with growing his business. His daily schedule involves going to school until 1:30pm and then hustling to his appointments. Yeatman is usually booked about a week out with new clients. He looks forward to the summer as he believes his business will skyrocket through next year. Some of the anticipated growth will result from marketing efforts, including social media platforms, signs and flyers.
“It’s crazy to think back when I was a sophomore, I had a small engine repair business and one of my clients named Kenny Christian asked me if I wanted to help with his power-washing business,” Yeatman said. “I helped for three months and then went on my own.”
Yeatman has reinvested his profits into new equipment and marketing efforts. Last winter, he added a service of hanging holiday lights for area residents.
“It’s ironic, but I’m terrified of heights, but I just focus on the job at hand and we had almost 20 gigs last winter hanging lights,” Yeatman said.
In addition to graduation and receiving the business award, Yeatman will be honored by the Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon.
“Since 1985, the chamber has nominated small businesses for this award and we’ve had great success with our nominees,” said Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce CEO Liz League. “It’s really a big deal and it’s great that Zach is being recognized for his accomplishments at such a young age. Our mission is to promote our small businesses and help them pursue their passion.”
Yeatman plans on taking a gap year between high school and college to concentrate on his business and then possibly attend Catholic University of America.
His upcoming weeks will be busy with high school graduation, the chamber luncheon and receiving the regional small-business award. At just 18 years old, Yeatman aims to keep rising in the Severna Park community.