Aug 8, 2017
We’re back with a brand new episode! On today’s episode, Matt Cellura joins Kevin to talk about his entrepreneurial ventures with Good Nature Organic Lawn Care. Matt shares his story of how he got started in the business, as well as what their future plans for the company are. He talks about some of the challenges of expanding a small business, as well as the unique components of their company that set them apart from others.
[:32] Matt shares his lifeline. He grew up in Northeast Ohio, and received his Finance degree from Ohio University. He took his first job out of college working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car as part of their management training program. Though he left that job because it wasn’t what he really wanted to do, he gained experiences that have benefitted him even to today.
[2:15] As he started to think about what he really wanted to do, he realized he wanted to do something that would make an impact, or be part of something that was growing. This is where he got his entrepreneurial start. He teamed up with an acquaintance-turned-business partner and began managing the operations for Good Nature, an organic lawn care company. When they decided to expand, Matt founded the Columbus branch in 2008. Since then, they’ve grown to service about 2000 clients in the central Ohio area.
[5:15] When they were brainstorming different cities to which to expand, Columbus seemed like a fast-growing, fast-paced city that would have the customer-base they would look for.
[6:57] The year at a glance: They try to get started at the end of February or the beginning of March, but it really depends on the weather. The spring is their big burst of new customers; the summer is still busy, but it steadies out a bit. Late summer and early fall is another busy time as they add a new group of services. They end before the holidays in December, and then use the off-months to focus on their processes as a business, and tune-up whatever needs to be addressed, whether it be equipment or business aspects.
[9:10] One of the biggest struggles was when they needed to bring on a lot more people — finding and retaining good people can be hard. Delegating work was also a struggle, but necessary to continue to grow the business.
[10:45] Outside of the business, Matt is very interested in EO, after having his first introduction while he was in Cleveland. He also participates in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Matt has two kids, and enjoys spending time with his family, and doing projects around the house.
[12:51] One of their goals at Good Nature is to open their next office. Ideally they would hire internally, but they have also entertained the idea of franchising. Their focus is on expanding, but to do it in a way that won’t require a large investment. Hopefully they will be able to launch another branch next year. Another project is getting all their processes in line as if they were a franchise, to make it easier to possibly hand off to someone else to get a new branch started.
[15:25] At Good Nature, they don’t really compare themselves to the large commercial lawn care companies, because they are quite different in terms of product and focus. As they are building their brand, they have become one of the largest organic lawn care companies in the nation. While they still want to expand, it is important that they keep their impact a priority.
[17:24] The approach they take at Good Nature is soil health first. By creating a healthy soil with microbiology and earthworms, it encourages activity that is beneficial for grass and other plants on the properties they work with. Traditionally lawn care products generally are always fighting symptoms. At Good Nature, the goal is to create a sustainable lawn that has less issues over time. Matt talks about some of the other differences that make their company unique.
[20:47] Is there anything members of EO can help you with? Matt is interested in pulling from other people’s experience, in terms of expanding a business, and how to get everything together to give, to make it easier for a new person to get a new office up and running.
[23:59] They do try to advertise the benefits of the products they use, but they also want people to know about their commitment to customer service, and this is where they try to keep their focus. Other marketing they do is try to partner up with services that support similar aims and go to events that may attract people who would be interested in their products.
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