What It's About
A couple of friends hack the Airbnb model by introducing it to a broken lawn care industry revolutionizing the way people hire lawn care vendors.
Words of Wisdom
Gene and Bryan felt certain that this was something that would be beneficial for both vendors and homeowners, but they decided to canvas and go door-to-door around the suburbs of Nashville to see if they were on the right track. It turns out that they were right!
After three whole weeks going door-to-door under the hot Tennessee sun, they discovered that their potential customers were tired of the status quo and would love to have another option available to them. And Bryan’s connections in the lawn care industry were ready to try something new as well. They had the research they needed, so all that was left to do was throw a website up and get started.
They decided that they needed to create a recognizable visual champion that stood for the hardworking lawn service professionals that participate in the GreenPal community, and "Gary" was born.
The name they gave Gary was inspired by one of GreenPal’s earliest vendors who joined their community after he was laid off in 2011 from the trucking industry. To date, he has grown his company to over 100 customers on the GreenPal network, and his story serves as the inspiration for why the team started GreenPal in the first place—to help hard working small business owners easily connect with homeowners that need a reliable lawn care provider. Plus... Gary the GreenPal has a nice ring to it.
Notes from Chris
Gene Caballero is no stranger to hard work. He spends most of his days working as a corporate sales coach for a Fortune 50 company. But when he isn’t punching his time slip in the corporate world, he’s building an empire with three of his friends revolutionizing the lawn care industry. This will probably be Gene’s last year at his corporate job since GreenPal has grown around 300% each year, and since this trend shows no sign of slowing continuing, he expects he’ll have to go "all in" very soon. Like so many of our stories, the success of GreenPal—which is getting quite large—is the result of spotting a problem in the industry and creating solutions to address it. When you think about a big problem like this, there are essentially two ways to go about solving it:
1. Focusing hyper-locally and deciding to fix the problem within the bounds of a city or region (like Christopher did with the cleaning business in Ep. 87).
2. Create technology that will make this service applicable more broadly, which is essentially what Gene and his friends did.Option two brings you more possibilities, but it's also a lot more challenging to implement. Generally, it requires partnerships, start-up capital in order to develop that technology, and it's also just a more technologically intensive approach overall. There are always going to be pros and cons to each approach, so it's good to be aware of them, know what resources are available to you, start with intention, and then get to work.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- GreenPal: Learn more about what Gene and the rest of the GreenPal team are up to
- Strategic Decisions for Multisided Platforms: Interested in pursuing a multisided platform side hustle yourself? Learn more about best practices here
- College Student Earns $20,000 a Month Cleaning Houses: A Washington, D.C. student identifies problems in the cleaning industry, then starts a customer service-driven company.
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