LawnStarter: High vendor standards differentiate service

Updated Feb 14, 2017
LawnStarter is committed to hiring reputable lawn care companies and its providers have an average of 12 years in business. Photo: LawnStarterLawnStarter is committed to hiring reputable lawn care companies and its providers have an average of 12 years in business.
Photo: LawnStarter

A lot of platforms that put customers and service providers together are called the Uber of this or that industry, but LawnStarter says it’s highly selective in choosing companies to cut homeowners’ yards.

LawnStarter was founded in 2013 and the online service has since raised $7 million in funding. The business currently operates in 13 markets in nine states.

LawnStarter enables users to schedule lawn maintenance with a professional lawn care company – a company, LawnStarter says, that it has vetted.

The service’s most recent expansion involved metro markets in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as Tampa and Tallahassee, Florida.

Zak CocosZak Cocos

To help with this growth, LawnStarter has hired Zak Cocos as vice president of growth. He will be responsible for expanding the user base via technical and digital marketing.

Cocos previously worked for Indeed, where he progressed from intern to senior director of growth marketing in less than six years. As senior director of growth marketing, he was able to boost website traffic from 80 million unique visitors per month to more than 200 million unique visitors per month.

“I’m attracted to the focus that LawnStarter has on using data to make marketing and product decisions, and on building the process that enables us to do that,” Cocos said. “As we grow, LawnStarter is invested in building the right team to help expand our culture of testing and data-driven decisions.”

Cocos will focus on search engine optimization and doubling down on the digital channels LawnStarter currently uses.

“We want to be everywhere digitally,” he said. “People are looking for lawn care services online.”

LawnStarter targets those people by promising to schedule a trusted lawn care company to serve them. The transaction occurs through the LawnStarter app or website. LawnStarter professionals are required to be licensed and insured and have a minimum rating of 4.75/5 stars.

Currently, several thousand lawn care providers work with LawnStarter. The online service says it’s looking for 100 more to help meet the needs in Austin, Texas. Due to the company’s high standards in landscaping companies, it is focused on manageable growth.

“We are very focused on maintaining the quality of the company,” Cocos said. “It will be a challenge.”

According to Cocos, lawn care providers can benefit from partnering with LawnStarter for several reasons, including ease of use.

“When you’re a provider, we’ll give you a call and you have one person throughout the entire process,” he said. “You’ve got you’re one representative to contact if you have any questions.”

Another benefit is the guaranteed payments. Customers pay online with a credit card so the provider doesn’t have to worry about the hassle of invoices or following up with delinquent payments. Cocos estimates that providers see a 25 percent business increase once they join LawnStarter.

“In our first year of using LawnStarter, we’ve doubled our customer base,” said Heather Bahr, co-owner of Bahr’s Lawn and Landscape based in Monroe, North Carolina. “We were able to both turn mowing into a full-time business for both of us, and invest our profits to expand our business into lighting and irrigation.”

You can click here to check out LawnStarter’s website.

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