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Finding a good lawn cutting contractor; or Uber of lawn care
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale

email: art@artdrysdale.com

Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at http://www.artdrysdale.com


April 3, 2016

Above, a large home lawn currently maintained by Bryan Clayton ; and below, Mr. Claytonl.



 


 



 

For as long as I have been involved in horticultural and gardening activities, I have been asked a common question from homeowner gardeners. That question was and is, “can you suggest a good, reliable landscape gardener or contractor to cut our grass, and perform other gardening activities, particularly in the spring and fall”. Over the years I have had several different replies to that question, but never what I considered a good answer!

One Nashville, Tennessee startup company, GreenPal has launched an innovative app that will spare you all these troubles by connecting you, the homeowner, directly to the best lawn care services in town. It works by simply, the homeowner posting his lawn care job on GreenPal, and several lawn care companies which have been vetted by GreenPal will start bidding for the job.

The homeowner will view individual profiles of those companies interested in taking up the job, view photos of past jobs they’ve completed alongside with previous customers’ reviews and ratings. This will allow the homeowner to select the best lawn care companies that meets his/her desires.

This app is the brainchild of Bryan Clayton, who is the CEO of GreenPal. Clayton best de-scribes his company as the “Uber of lawn care”. He founded this company after having worked in the lawn care industry for over 15 years during which he acquired a lot of experience. This is how Clayton best describes how his “Uber lawn care” app helps the homeowners, “You’d have to call around and leave a bunch of voicemails… It may take you a week or so to get quotes and how do you know you are actually getting the best price and the best quality in the market-place? You really don’t. You are kind of taking a leap of faith”.

Thus a homeowner can easily hire a lawn care service and pay for it via the app. When the vendor has completed mowing the lawn, the lawn care company will then upload a picture of the finished lawn. Then the homeowner can rate his experience with that particular vendor through GreenPal, and enjoy a 5% transaction cut.

Having worked as a lawn cutter himself since the age of 12, Clayton understands very well the plight of lawn cutters. He says, “I saw all the things that are broken with lawn care… Lawn care guys need help. They are hardworking guys, but they don’t have time to do the marketing and effectively do the bookkeeping and consumer outreach.” Sometimes the lawn mower companies have to waste gas and time while driving to faraway neighborhoods, while they could be scheduling new works within the same area. Just because they are unaware of the opportunity within their proximity, but with GreenPal this would be a thing of the past.

GreenPal also takes some security measures to ensure homeowners’ safety: they run background checks on the lawn service providers re any criminal activities, ensure they have proper equipment, talk to their previous customers and meet up with them in person. They also avail to potential customers, the individual vendor’s past works and ratings given by past customers.

Clayton’s journey to starting GreenPal startup began when he was just 12 years old, when he was taught how to mow the neighbor’s lawn properly by his father. He moved up to mowing 100 yards per week by the time he cleared high school. By the age of 25, he had established his own business with about 70 employees. His business later became a commercial landscaper company, called Peach Tree Inc. with about 125 employees on the payroll and generating annual revenue of $7 million at the time he sold it in 2013.

Now, his most recent expansion is establishing a franchise in St. Louis, Missouri which is to begin operations in April this year.

Whether this type of operation will ever unpack in Canada I have no idea, but it sounds like a good idea, I just thought you might like to hear of the concept early!

   

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