Tax Accounting Payroll Advisory             Our Offices

View Padgett President Roger Harris' congressional testimony on the impact of the Corporate Transparency Act and the BOI reporting requirements here.

Find an office
Skip to main content

How Padgett helped Jessica Riedell’s business grow

When Jessica Riedell was laid off from her former company, she didn’t see it as a closing door, but an opening one: her opportunity to start a business of her own.  

With a background in horticulture and public gardens management, Jessica quickly found her interest in residential maintenance. “Chicagoland, if you’ve never been here, is just kind of a whole ‘nother animal compared to landscaping in the rest of the world,” she said. “They have very specific kinds of planting and maintenance styles. So I took on a job with a small family-owned company that was up-and-coming in the Chicagoland area.” 

She began her career in the company’s residential maintenance branch, working in the field alongside the other landscaping crews. She soon progressed through the company, gaining valuable experience along the way. “I was eventually essentially managing my own little business of 30 to 40 clients per year,” she said. 

But a few years ago, the small company she started with was bought out. Jessica’s residential maintenance branch then closed. “The branch I was working for was not their ideal, because they do mostly commercial landscaping or large construction install jobs,” she said. “My manager at the time was saying, ‘If I was younger, I’d start my own business. There really is an opportunity here.’ And I finally picked up the hints that he was putting down and said okay, I’m going to start my own business.” 

So Jessica started The Riedell Group. But starting a business during COVID-19 wasn’t easy: “It was a lot of Zoom meetings and online communications to try and pull everything together, get everything up and running.” Thankfully, because the company she had been with was closing her branch, her non-compete contract was no longer an issue. “So I was able to call all of my customers and say, ‘Hey, this is the deal.  They’re closing their doors, but I’m going to start my own company. I want to try to keep everything the same as you’ve been doing in the past so we can keep rolling forward. Are you interested in coming on board?’” 

Almost unanimously, Jessica’s customers agreed and supported her new initiative. And because she was starting her business in the winter, she had some time to get things organized. “I needed some help in the accounting side of things. I asked a few friends and ended up hiring one accountant for the first couple of months,” Jessica said. “But it was tax season, so they were too busy. I was in the middle of trying to get my company started and nobody seemed to be able to spend the time answering what seemed to me like simple questions.” 

So she asked around some more, and was directed to Dave Gribben at Padgett Barrington. “I reached out to him and he was more than happy to spend an hour with me and consult and direct and guide me. I just felt really comfortable talking to him. That then progressed into monthly consulting and tax preparation. As we came around to the second year, it grew into a bit more reliance on Padgett to help guide us.” 

The support of Padgett and Jessica’s previous customers was key to her success. “The tough part was getting financing to just start a business,” she said. “I ended up working with my customers and setting up pre-pay programs where they would pay for their maintenance for the whole season. My clients understand business; a lot of them are running their own companies. They understand cash flow and were able to provide that money for me to get through those first few months. And Padgett helped guide me through how to set that up and account for it all correctly.” 

Now, in only her third year of business, Jessica is now set up to surpass $3 million in sales. “I didn’t have a bunch of debt and a bunch of loans, which I think was helpful,” she said. Jessica also recommends seeking advice from trusted friends and advisors. “I must’ve called like 10 or 15 other people I know in the business and asked their advice. How do you do this pricing? What’s your model based on? What payroll program do you use? What bookkeeping program do you use? Who is your accountant?” 

“I think that tenacity is the way to go,” she adds. “If you’re starting a business, take the time to do a business plan and really understand how you want your business to run and give yourself direction of where your company is going to go. There’s definitely days when it’s tough and difficult and challenging and you wish you didn’t even get up that day. But it’s all worth it when you have happy customers and beautiful landscapes and happy employees that come to work every day excited to be there.” 

Jessica views the loss of her previous job as a blessing in disguise. “I know getting let go or having a company shut down your branch can be devastating, but it was honestly the right timing and a blessing for us to be able to proceed into me owning my own business, getting to do what I wanted to do.” 


If you need a trusted advisor to help your business grow, Padgett can help! We have a nationwide network of EAs and CPAs who are ready to work with you. Find a location today!

We encourage you to contact us with any questions.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.