From Lawnmowing to Bootstrapping an 8-Figure Tech Company

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About Our Guest

Bryan Clayton is the Co-Founder and CEO of GreenPal, an online marketplace that connects homeowners with local lawn care professionals in the United States.

GreenPal has been called the “Uber for lawn care” by Entrepreneur Magazine and has over 100,000 active users completing thousands of transactions per day.

Before starting GreenPal, Bryan founded Peachtree Inc., one of the largest landscaping companies in the state of Tennessee, growing it to over $10 million a year in annual revenue, from 0 to 150 employees, before it was acquired by Lusa Holdings in 2013.

Bryan‘s interest and expertise are related to entrepreneurship, small business growth, marketing, and bootstrapping businesses from zero revenue to profitability and exit.

About this Episode

From Lawnmowing to Bootstrapping an 8-Figure Tech Company

Push a button, get a gardener.

While it sounds easy, Bryan Clayton can confirm that bringing this idea to life was anything but.

The entrepreneur started out mowing lawns in high school and college before starting his own lawnmowing business. He built it up to over 150 employees and an eight-figure turnover before selling it in 2013. Then he turned his eyes to tech. After all, he’d built a successful business before.

GreenPal – likened to the Uber for lawnmowing services – now has hundreds of thousands of users in the United States, but it was not an overnight success. Learn how Bryan pivoted from in-person to SaaS and how this evolution helped him grow his business acumen while also growing himself.

What you will learn in this episode

  • How to keep focused on your short-term goals and level up your business
  • The how’s and why’s of taking your business back to the studs before going to market
  • When to time your exit so you maximise value
  • The parallels between business and fitness – the case for mental health

Connect with Bryan Clayton

Show Notes

(6:35) Bryan Clayton went from mowing lawns to owning a lawnmowing business to owning a lawnmowing services app. How did he make the jump? By learning from people one level above him at every stage.

(13:12) While Bryan didn’t start his business with an exit in mind, when it came time to sell, he wishes he’d been able to have a 5-year roadmap to get the business prepared to sell.

(23:24) It took Bryan 2.5 years to take his business from thinking of exiting to ready to sell. He had to retroactively add in all these systems and processes that would make it desirable for big-name companies.

(33:11) Like most entrepreneurs, the first thing that went to the wayside as Bryan was prepping his business for sale was his physical and mental health. If he could redo it, he’d go back and prepare his body just as hard as his business.

(52:53) Bryan’s definition of success boils down to Ocean 11. While he’s not about to organise a heist, he is constantly working to bring together smart people who are good at specific things to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

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