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June 4, 2021

Thinking of Someday Selling Your Business, Then You Better Have An Exit Plan With Bryan Clayton

Thinking of Someday Selling Your Business, Then You Better Have An Exit Plan With Bryan Clayton

This episode features Bryan Clayton of GreenPal, the "uber" for lawncare. A successful entrepreneur, Bryan has built not one, but two multi-million-dollar companies.

Listen as Andy and Bryan discuss what he considers essential in order to grow a multi-million-dollar business along what you need to consider if you are ever thinking about someday selling your business.

A fascinating story of how he started his business, bootstrapping the business and eventually selling for millions of dollars. 

In addition, this episode discusses ways to differentiate your business including knowing what you are selling, what problem you are solving for your customers and how to find productive employees. 

Finally, learn lessons from him selling his first business and the mistakes that you should avoid if you ever decide to sell.

Episode Action Items:

To learn more about Bryan or connect to his company visit https://www.yourgreenpal.com

ABOUT THE HOST:

Andy Splichal - Make Each Click Count PodcastAndy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.

Transcript

Andy Splichal  0:02  

Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast. This is your host Andy Splichal. And today we are happy to welcome our next guest to discuss the topic of Thinking of Sunday Selling Your Business Then you Better Have an Exit Plan. He is the CEO and co-founder of GreenPal. It's an online marketplace that connects homeowners with local lawn care professionals. GreenPal, which has been called the Uber for lawn care by Entrepreneur Magazine, has over 100,000 active users completing thousands of transactions per day. Now before GreenPal, he founded Peach Tree Incorporated, one of the largest landscaping companies in the state of Tennessee grown it to over 10 million a year in annual revenue before it was acquired by Lusa holdings in 2013. A big welcome to our guest, Bryan Clayton. Hi, Bryan.

 

Bryan Clayton  2:46  

Andy, thanks for having me on. Great to be here.

 

Andy Splichal  2:50  

Well, thank you for joining us. Now before we dive into today's topic, let's first hear your backstory and a little bit that what ultimately led you to do what you are doing now.

 

Bryan Clayton  3:02  

Yeah, so currently, I am CEO and co-founder of like you said, GreenPal, the Uber of lawn mowing, been at this business for eight years, several 100,000 people using the app to get their lawn cut and doing around $20 million a year in revenue through the marketplace. And we're kind of an eight year overnight success. And before GreenPal I actually had a landscaping company which was where I started cutting grass in high school as a way to make extra cash. And this little by little stuck with this little lawn mowing business all through high school and all through college. And when I graduated college had to make a decision was I going to take a pay cut and go into the job market or stick with this lawn mowing business I had didn't really want to be a lawn guy, but made a plan. And this worked hard and got lucky. And over a 15 year period of time built that lawn mowing business into one of the largest landscaping companies in the state of Tennessee where I live and got it over 150 employees over $10 million a year in revenue. And in 2013, I was able to get the business sold to one of the largest landscaping companies in the United States. And after that I took some time off kind of retired, actually, I didn't have to work anymore, which was nice and got bored. And I thought okay, well he started the next business and what's that going to be and the idea for green power was kind of solving my own problem. I knew how hard it was for lawn care services to grow their business and to get connected with good customers. And I saw how hard it was for homeowners to hire reliable lawn care service. And so I thought okay, an app needs to make all of this easier and more streamlined. And so that was the idea for green power and recruited two co founders and went to work and we haven't looked back since. 

 

Andy Splichal  4:40  

So 15 years on your first company. So that's another overnight success?

 

Bryan Clayton  4:46  

Yeah, in the first you know, in both businesses, the first five years were really hard, really difficult getting those companies going really difficult making the transition from like doing all the work myself to try to get people on team with me. And for the first, you know, six, seven years of the first company, I was mowing grass, I was executing the service all and trying to grow it off of its own revenues. So both were tough. But, you know, you kind of take take business like a video game, almost you break it down into levels, and you just focus on one level at a time and try to get to that level. And don't even worry about anything else. That's something that's made sense to me looking back on 20 years of business to the rearview mirror is just like, really just breaking it down to one manageable level at a time and get through that level and then get to the next level.

 

Andy Splichal  5:33  

You know, I mean, that's, that's a great point. And it's no secret, most of my listeners aren't in Ecommerce. And so to them, they might be wondering, what does your business have to do with them. But in fact, you started a business, you bootstrapped it, it was a service, and you've sold it. And that's the dream of many starting their business and Ecommerce or not. And it's really what I personally would like to learn more about. So you started this first business, just mowing grass in high school?

 

Bryan Clayton  6:06  

That's right, yeah. And, you know, I didn't ever have any real big plans to grow it like I did until after I graduated college. And I made a real business plan, I made a real plan on how I was going to differentiate the business from competitors in the marketplace, how I was going to grow it, you know, and actually, this was mid, the mid 2000s, ecommerce was kind of part of that I was, I was executing better on a local search engine optimization strategy than my competitors were. And so that was one way I was able to grow the business and really had a better online presence than a lot of the competitors and my little local market had. So that was one thing I was able to do to kind of differentiate my my business from others. And, and yeah, growing that thing, little by little from just me and a push mower to me and a helper, me and three employees, 5- 10 employees, 20 - 30 40 - 50, eventually, over 150 people, this little by little. growing the business debt free was a big help. And ultimately, so they kind of helped me get the business sold. And in taking, like the long game, and just doing the right thing for our customers on a consistent basis is what enabled me to build an eight figure business and get it sold.

 

Andy Splichal  7:19  

And what was the biggest problem that you are solving for your customers, so what was making you unique versus your competitors out there when you grew to the 150?

 

Bryan Clayton  7:32  

Yeah, so you know, whether it be my traditional landscaping company back then, or, or my current company now GreenPal, you know, we're in the business of selling time, it's really what we what we sell, you know, we offer a convenience, we offer a service, and at the end of the day, we're selling time back to people. And so that was one thing that we learned early on was to not think about ourselves as a grass cutting service, but to think of ourselves as, as something that that looking at it the way that our customers did. So, you know, that helps you figure out how to differentiate yourself in the marketplace and not compete on price, if you can think of ways to save your customer time. And that could mean like just being consistent showing up on the days that they expect you to in doing a good job and making it to where you you offer them proactive customer service, so they don't have to waste time calling you and, and telling you why you suck or, or, or figuring out ways to like align what it is that you do that is aligned with what it is they're trying to do. And so always like looking for different ways to market the service. Not in a straightforward fashion, but one that aligns to what your customers or your users are looking for, is how I approach to building that first company and how we approach building the second company GreenPal.

 

Andy Splichal  8:50  

That's gold, that's gold and you weren't selling grass cutting you were you were selling time and and so often people confuse the with what they're selling right with what they are really selling. That's a fantastic point. Now, how did you you mentioned some SEO but how were you advertising Peach Tree that that allowed you to grow to such a large number?

 

Bryan Clayton  9:15  

Yes, you know, so, you know, in the early days, it was very much hand to hand combat. It was flyers, it was it was word of mouth but that only got me so far that only got me to like you know 300k, 500k in revenue, I really had to figure out a way to create a sales process that that worked and that took a long time. You know for me I was doing a lot of the sales myself and I think every founder if you're if you're doing like a direct sales approach to growing your business you kind of need to run that yourself for a while so you understand how to how it works and how you're going to build out a sales team around you. So for me, you know like it was me dialing for dollars I would cold call, you know other businesses in our marketplace in our market and that around Nashville, Tennessee. See, you know, pitching them on the idea of us doing their landscaping maintenance for them. And, and it was just through trial and error over a long period of time I began to understand, okay, this is how we can differentiate the business from competitors that we have. And this is how we can outsell them and not necessarily have to compete on price. And it was only then that I learned how to do it, then I was then able to build out a sales team around me. And I began to understand that we had to be good at consistently making the landscaping beautiful for our customers, but we had to be really good at sales too. And if we weren't good at sales, then then it didn't really matter. And we had to be a sales organization. And, and so that took took like, five, six years for me to learn. And I did it the wrong way every which way you could do it until I figured out what worked. And ultimately what I figured out was is that you can't motivate unmotivated people. And so for the longest time, I was hiring, you know, people that had industry experience, but they just really weren't motivated or ambitious. And, and what I unlocked was, was I just needed to look for the most motivated ambitious salesperson I can find. And I can teach them the industry and teach them my system. And that took a long time to learn.

 

Andy Splichal  11:12  

Now, so you've grown to 10 million. What made you decide it's time to sell? Or why to sell? What did that look like?

 

Bryan Clayton  11:23  

Yeah, so they kind of hit me like a ton of bricks one day, I learned something about myself that, that for me, you know, the why of running a business kind of evolves as time goes on. And, and like, in the early days of running that first company, I kind of had a chip on my shoulder. And I really wanted to wanted to prove that I could build like the biggest company in my market in my industry and, and the most profitable and the most successful and most visible and started achieving that little by little and then then I started realize, okay, well, the business is really, really is about the people that work here and the team that I have, and they're more like family and like their livelihood and creating opportunities for them. And so that kind of evolved and took on a greater meaning. And then as that kind of progressed, and I started to realize, okay, yeah, not only that, but the business is really about, about my journey. And my, you know, my life story almost in the business is the thing that's causing me to take on new challenges and learn things and, and do interesting things with my life. And I kind of had plateaued, and in that department, I had kind of plateaued in terms of where I was taking the business. And I realized, man, I may have taken this thing as far as I can. And I think it's time to do something else with my life. And that just from the moment that notion came into my brain, to the day I got the business sold was over two years. So it took a long time to get the business ready to sell to get it groomed to get it all tuned up and get it to where it could be acquired. And then running the process and all the negotiations and all of the due diligence to getting it finally sold. It was a long process and a difficult one, but it was well I'm glad glad that I did.

 

Andy Splichal  13:11  

Now let's talk about that. How did you sell it? I've never sold a $10 million in revenue business. But I assume you don't take an ad out in the classifieds. How does that work?

 

Bryan Clayton  13:22  

Yeah, you know, like the acquisitions don't happen in the landscaping business often. And so it's not it there is somewhat somewhat of a track record and somewhat of a path as Blaze, but it doesn't happen all the time. And so I kind of had a hunch that that was the case. And so I knew that I wanted to work with a broker that we knew the industry that had the Rolodex, I at least had the assumption that that was the right way to go. And I got lucky. As far as that was concerned, I worked with a guy that basically his life's work was selling landscaping companies, and he had done it for over 20 years. And he had, you know, several deals,

 

Andy Splichal  14:07  

How did you find him?

 

Bryan Clayton  14:08  

I actually found him through a conference that I went to every year that he was kind of a known commodity in the industry. And you know, we only got that kind of mindshare, just by way of multiple decades in the industry, brokering landscaping companies from one, you know, player to another. And so that was the first person I reached out to it really was the only person I talked to, to consider hiring to be a broker for our business. And had I not done that I probably most certainly would not have gotten a deal done, because he knew the players in the game and he knew kind of how to how to how to groom our presentation and what sort of certain things need to be done on the inside of the business. And so he was kind of like my shepherd, my Sherpa that kind of guided me through and got us From where we were to where we needed to be.

 

Andy Splichal  15:03  

Now, I don't want you to get into specifics. But did you get the amount of money that you thought you were going to get when you decided to sell the business?

 

Bryan Clayton  15:14  

I actually got more than I thought I was going to get only because I had never really dreamed that a business the landscaping business was sellable. I just thought it was a lifestyle business. And it was one that you you just you would run and work your butt off on and make make make a good profit. And then you could do things with that profit. But I never like in the 15 years of running it the notion of selling it never really hit me until year 13. And, and so I had pretty low expectations. And so that was good. And I think that helps kick that can help any entrepreneur when they embark on the exit process is the managing your expectations. Because it's it's really challenging to run the business day to day, grow it, keep it efficient, Keep it keep it tuned up while you're, you're exploring selling it. It's it's really, really challenging, like running, keeping, like both of those things in your head at the same time. And so for me, you know, my my expectations were managed, so I ended up getting more than I thought I would for it to be honest. But that was only because I had done a pretty good job of managing my expectations.

 

Andy Splichal  16:24  

Now, if you could go back, is there anything in regards to that sale that you would change?

 

Bryan Clayton  16:30  

You know, hindsight is always 2020. If I could have go go back, you know, just the the fundamental principle of the universe of being proactive and not reactive, I wish I had, instead of reacting to how I felt on a given day and deciding to sell the company, I wish I had been proactive and worked like a five year process. If I had done that I probably could have doubled or tripled my eventual outcome. Because the way you run a business that you that you are working to sell is very, very different than the way you run a lifestyle business. And so when you're running like a like a business that that maybe you've ran for a generation, or one that you have plans on like handing over to your kids, you run that business very different than one that you are grooming for sale. And so if I had made that switch five years before I sold it, and had ran the company in such such a fashion that it was more profitable on paper, and not necessarily that you take short sighted decisions, but you definitely don't make investments in the business for for a decade down the road. And I've done that I I would have really had a much better outcome. But I don't really have any regrets because it worked out. You know, after I sold the business, I was able to retire. And and then it teed me up to do really, which is what my ultimate goal was to start another company. And you know, eight years of running GreenPal, I have changed probably two or three times a competent to a completely different person. I think if you're doing business correctly, the business should cause you to evolve into a new person every three or four years, by way of skills that you're learning or better humility, or just better wisdom, better knowledge. And that's really what my soul was kind of in search of. And so in the end, I got what I wanted. But if I could have done it all over again, I would have changed the execution a bit and had a better financial outcome. 

 

Andy Splichal  18:29  

So let's talk so you sold you gotta want to cash and you took it you're just do cruised around Nashville. That's where you're located at.

 

Bryan Clayton  18:39  

Yeah, yeah, that's, that's I've lived here pretty much all my life and sold the company and, and I'll never forget the the guy that bought the business. His group was was really, really successful. He had been in the landscaping business for a long time, and took a company public at one time. And so this dude was worth like $100 million. And when he when we got the deal done, and it was after like months of fighting back and forth, and like lots of lots of due diligence, that was contentious and lots of retraining. That was that went down and it was just a really difficult transaction to get done. We finally got it done wire transfers gone, done. And now it's like I'm helping with the transition. This guy who's worth nine figures tells me he says, Okay, well congratulations, you're now a multimillionaire. And let me give you a piece of advice. It's a lot harder to hold on to a million dollars than it is to make a million dollars. And I thought wow, that really makes sense. And it's almost scary. I was like because I've really worked my ass off trying to get to this point and I don't want to go backwards. And I certainly don't ever want to go mow another yard ever again in my life. And so I I made a decision like all of my proceeds from the business I would lock down into like highly illiquid, very safe assets and investments and that's what I did and So I was kind of like the poorest millionaire you ever met, like I, you know, didn't have a whole lot of cash everything was in was in real estate and other other investments and so and so when I started GreenPal, like it had to, like we had to bootstrap it off of its own revenues and started it very, very humbly. Because I didn't have I didn't have access to all these all this cash to plow into it. And so it was good thing I did that because his advice was was right, I probably would have like, lost it all and bad advice in bad investments or, or maybe you know, plowed it all in the GreenPal and not not deployed it well, because I didn't know what I was doing. And, and so I'm glad that I got that advice. It was good advice.

 

Andy Splichal  20:44  

So tell us about GreenPal?

 

Bryan Clayton  20:46  

GreenPal. So green cars, like the Uber for lawn mowing. So if you're a homeowner, rather than calling around, trying to hassle somebody to come cut your grass, you can just download our app, and you'll get hooked up with a good lawn mowing service in less than a minute. And we've been at this thing for eight years started off really, really humbly it was it was a tough cold start getting this business going. And luckily, my naivete is what got me in the game to start green power, I had the belief that that that an app needed to exist to make this thing run smoother. But that's really all I knew. I didn't know how hard it was going to be to build a marketplace to invent a new product from scratch to execute on the technology, all at the same time. And I was confronted with that reality, like at the end of the first year, it was just like, we worked our butts off. And we only had like, literally 20 or 30 customers, and we made total, something like less than $10,000 in total revenue, didn't pay ourselves anything. My co founders are still working their day jobs nights, their nights and weekends. And we you know, we would talk to every customer that that would meet with us. And they would always tell us the same advice like, you know, I hired somebody on the app, but they didn't show up on the day they were supposed to, or maybe they showed up and they did a crappy job. Or maybe I signed up and I didn't actually get any quotes. So like, like the the workflow, the experience kept breaking down. And so people would always, like, express their frustration. But one thing we never heard was, I don't need this. We never heard that. And we never saw apathy. We just saw frustration. And so we took that as like, Okay, well, at least we now know that we're solving a problem that people will pay for, we're solving a problem that exists, we, we can see kind of a line of sight. If we take these numbers and double them like 10 times, we'll have our actual business. Let's just keep working our butts off until we get there. And that's what we did. We worked on ourselves, we learned how to build software, we worked on the business, we worked in the business. And the fact that we were just relentless and unwilling to give up was the only reason why we got through the first three or four years, which were really, really tough.

 

Andy Splichal  22:58  

Now, I assume you hit on it a little bit there. But the service piece would be I mean, I'm sure the the technology aspects difficult to but the service piece where How did you turn that around to get reliable service? Not sure lawn care professionals? I'm not sure what you call the service piece. But how did you do that? How do you get people that would be reliable?

 

Bryan Clayton  23:25  

That was one of the things that really was surprising to me, because I had 15 years of experience in the industry. And I just always saw how competitive it was my competition was always at my throat in terms of like just doing good work and under pricing us and, and like I just took that assumption to GreenPal. And I thought okay, the service provider piece will be no problem like the will give these guys and gals all the work that they want. They'll make money, they'll show up when they're supposed to they'll do a great job because it's so easy. And like that was one of the most surprising things was no actually none of that happened. Like nobody like it was hard for to get them to try it. They wouldn't bid even though it was free to bid. When they got hired they less than like 30% of time will they actually show up. And what I came to realize I was like, Holy crap, like, we are literally just dealing with the same thing. And yet the homeowners are dealing with like this shift, the burden is shifted to us now. And so we had to figure out a way to deliver a consistent experience to homeowners. All the while these aren't our employees. These are not our contractors. These are not they don't work for us. So we don't have any like agency over them. And we can't tell them what to do. And we just had to like little by little talk to our users as much as we could. And like at every moment ask ourselves why five times like, why didn't the guy show up on the day he was supposed to? Well, because he's not in that area on Thursday. Well, why did he bid on it? When he went, it was supposed to be on Thursday. And he knew he wasn't in that area well, because it wasn't really prominently displayed on the screen that they wanted him on Thursday, okay, well, we got to fix that. And like, you go through this, this, this, like exercise 1000s of times, until you get the process better and better and better. And you are able to deliver a consistent experience through technology, that that you have kind of home grown off of trial and error over many, many years. That was the only way we were able to get better and better. And it's like, the the the problems we were solving in 2013, when we started are the is the exact challenges we're dealing with. Now 2021, we are still trying to make the experience faster, quicker, smoother and more reliable, cheaper and more convenient, and more profitable for service providers. And constantly tuning and optimizing that and making it better and better is what we spend all of our energy working on. It's just that we have we have 24 employees, engineers working on this stuff full time, you know, it's a lot easier now, because I got a good team, but back then it was, it was just me and my co founders hacking on this.

 

Andy Splichal  26:05  

And so the service customer pays you and then you pay the service provider?

 

Bryan Clayton  26:11  

Yeah, so we're true marketplace, we take a small transaction fee for for every service that goes to the platform. And we integrate with stripe, which handles all of the backend financial processes. And so when the homeowner pays our service provider, a slice of the transaction goes to us. And that depends on how much work the vendor is doing on the platform. And then on the supplier side on the lawn care professional side, they can pay for some premium tools if they like to better run their business and we make money that way too.

 

Andy Splichal  26:45  

What motivates you What motivated you to create the first business? What's what motivates you and keeps you so engaged in the second one?

 

Bryan Clayton  26:54  

I think if you're doing business, right, I think that purpose will evolve over time. And so like the, you know, the why? The reason why you're doing what you're doing. And so my first business, you know, rewind 20 something years ago, like I mentioned, it was very much a chip on my shoulder, I just really wanted to prove that I could do it. And then that purpose kind of evolved to Well, now, you know, I'm responsible for dozens and dozens of people's livelihoods. And I better not screw this up, because I gotta make sure that they can get a paycheck. And then and then I started to realize, okay, well now this this business is like my rocket ship for, for me in life and living an interesting life. And, and that is kind of where I'm at now is that business is the thing that causes me to level up, causes me to be smarter, sharper, wiser, more humble, one of the most humbling things you can do is run a business, because the market, the marketplace is a relentless feedback machine, it'll always tell you where you suck. And so that for me is like why I love business, why I'm still in the game. And and like, I think like if I took inventory of my, my life journey, like the business that I'm working on is always going to be the thing that lends like an interesting storyline to my life. And that's why I do what I do. That's, that's, that's why I'm you know, I'll always be working on my best idea. And I'll probably be working on this business for another decade or more.

 

Andy Splichal  28:26  

Are there any books or business mentors that his inspire that attitude or helped you on your journey?

 

Bryan Clayton  28:33  

Yes, you know, I think the concept of work life balance, particularly when you're starting a new businesses is one that can I think, be ill advised. I think if you're doing business, right, particularly in the early days, yeah, you're working 40 or 50 hours a week, or maybe more. But then, but then another 3040 hours a week you need to spend on learning, because you don't know a fraction of the things you need to know to execute, at least I never, at least I never did. And so I'm always I hate reading, but I'm always forcing myself to do it. I'm always consuming as much as I can on on YouTube and on podcasts. And that's kind of how I've been able to kind of go to make the transition from a blue collar entrepreneur, you know, building a landscaping business to 100 some odd employees and selling it to then transitioning to a full on tech entrepreneur. And the only way I'll be able to do that is through blogs, podcasts and YouTube University. And so for me, I probably have 15 or 20 mentors who've never I've never met, they've never met me. But they're they're successful entrepreneurs, that that are constantly writing blogs, constantly doing interviews, give me talks at conferences, doing workshops on YouTube, or what have you that I have consumed passively over the last decade and That's what's taught me what I know. And the the advice I like, give to a lot of new entrepreneurs is like, yeah, you need a mentor. But, but one of my favorite quotes from Mark Cuban is never take advice from somebody who is not doing or hasn't already done, what it is you're trying to do. And so a lot of times, you know, we rush out to go get a mentor and and the reality is they don't have any context for what it is we're trying to do. And so Okay, well, then you need a different mentor. Well, the problem the reality is that successful entrepreneur probably doesn't have time for you. But at least you can consume, the interviews are giving on on podcasts, least you can, like, go watch the keynote talk, they gave it some conference that you didn't have the money to go to. And maybe it happened last year or two years ago. But guess what, it's on YouTube. And I think you can learn so much more doing that, then you can just hitting up people on LinkedIn asking them to pick their brain. I think you're better off just going straight to the top, get learn from the smartest people asynchronously, and let that be your mentor. And as what's worked for me.

 

Andy Splichal  31:08  

let me ask you, how do you plan to continue to grow GreenPal? How big How big do you think it can be?

 

Bryan Clayton  31:16  

You know, we're doing 20 to $30 million a year in revenue now. And so it's easy to look back and say, Wow, look how far we've come, we ended our first year was like 20 grand. And now we've we've grown so far, but it just never does feel that way you always feel like it's day one. When you're running a business like this, you always are confronted with how much further you have to go. Like the landscaping business is a $99 billion industry. And the top 10 players in the industry constitute less than $2 billion of that. So it's super, super fragmented. And like, it's our job to help organize that and make that run smoother. And so we have so much further to go in terms of that mission in terms of that goal. And so for me, like, you know, the the challenges that you face on a, on a daily basis, and, you know, year by year, they they evolve and they get to be different and our biggest challenge now is is slowly getting the the GreenPal name in the default list of options in which you do certain things. And so, you know, you Instacart for your groceries, Uber Lyft for a ride to the airport, Airbnb for for booking a night stay. DoorDash you know if he wants some Thai food and 20 minutes so until like GreenPal is is in the in the lexicon of the English language in that context, we're not done. So we got a long, long way to go to get the name there.

 

Andy Splichal  32:43  

The is individual lawn care professional, a mom and pop shop, they much must not like you very much, are you ever afraid of some retribution,

 

Bryan Clayton  32:54  

The individual lawn care service that that is like an owner operator loves us, we are like a we are we are like like a gift from heaven for them because we offer them an entire business in a box. So that's really why we do what we do. We are built to enable anybody that wants to work hard in the landscaping business an opportunity to to make material income and go from like five customers to 100 customers in a year. And so they get everything handled for them in terms of new customers getting paid within 24 hours, they don't have to run on an accounts receivable thing anymore. They don't have to do bookkeeping, their routes optimized for them, like all of these things happen for them smoothly. And they can just literally just show up when they're supposed to show up and do a good job. And they and they can make material income. So you're smaller service providers like solopreneurs, maybe one helper love us, who hates us, is your big landscaping companies like like what I used to have. And the reason is, is because if you're running a big landscaping company, you're trying to figure out ways to organize labor to execute the services, and you're trying to figure out how you can make a margin off what you're paying them, and what you're able to charge your clientele and the industry is super competitive. And so the problem is, is that these crew foremen that work for these big landscaping companies might make 15 or $20 an hour. But guess what, they can download GreenPal and make $55 an hour. And so that's who hates us because it's hard for these these big companies to keep keep those types of laborers when they can go and make double the money basically working half the time, but working for themselves on an app like ours.

 

Andy Splichal  34:43  

So let me ask you I can go on there I can find somebody new to cut my grass.

 

Bryan Clayton  34:50  

Absolutely, that's what it's built for. 

 

Andy Splichal  34:51  

Find somebody to help pull some weeds.

 

Bryan Clayton  34:55  

So the grass cutting is kind of like the gateway drug. It's the it's the glue that holds everything together. So when you come to green power, he does one thing. It gets you quotes for basic lawn mowing for a weekly or every week every other week basis, and it goes out and retrieves five quotes in less than a couple of minutes. And then you can read reviews on these service providers, figure out which one you'd like to work with based off their ratings and reviews, they come out, do a great job mowing the yard for you, then if you'd like that service provider, you can book them for the rest of the season, because you're going to need them every week or every two weeks. And after you have that relationship established with them, then all of these complimentary services like seeding mulch, weed removal, Trump pruning, Gutter Cleaning, snow removal in certain markets. And then you're able to do all of these other things with that service provider or, or a different one if it didn't work out. And so we've purposely like when you're self funded, and you're bootstrapping the business off of its own revenues, you have to be really, really, really clear about your use case. And you have to be like the best in the world at one thing. And so we have found that we focus on solving the problem of my grass is four feet tall, and nobody will call me back and delivering you a good service provider to come out and take care of that for you. Then like after we've conveyed that like value proposition in less than five seconds, because you don't know what green PAL is. But you have that problem. We solve that problem for you. And then you can do all these other things. That's what creates a win win. If we try we try to put all of those services on the front end on the front door, and kind of it does everything it does nothing. And so we've learned the hard way that you have to convey what you're the best in the world at in less than three seconds. When somebody downloads your app or comes to your website, or else you're going to lose them and so when somebody comes to your website or mobile app, you need to be able to answer in three seconds. Where am I? Why am I here? And why does it matter? And that's when one of the keys to our success is being able to be dead simple, like if you have tall grass boy, do I have a product for you?

 

Andy Splichal  37:11  

That is great. That is great. You have shared so much and I thank you for your time. This has been fantastic.

 

Bryan Clayton  37:22  

Thank you. I appreciate you having me on.

 

Andy Splichal  37:24  

Yep, that is it for today. Remember if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave an honest review. And if you were looking for more information regarding GreenPal, you can find it online at www.yourgreenpal.com and I will put the link into the show notes. In addition if you're looking for more information on growing your business using Google paid ads requests to join the make each click count Facebook group I've been releasing some all new free live training it's immoral be happening soon. Meantime, remember to stay safe keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.