Guest post by Andrea Martins, Co-Founder GreenSocks
1. What is GreenSocks?
GreenSocks is a two-sided marketplace for lawn care services. On the customer side, we save mowing customers the hassle of finding and managing someone to mow their lawn. On the provider side, we find guaranteed jobs for mowing guys and we save them the expense of buying a traditional mowing franchise.
2. Why are you building this startup?
We’re motivated by the idea of disrupting an old-style industry. Plus, as consumers, we loved the idea of an online service where we could easily book lawn mowing (and other home services) and then have someone else take care of the jobs for us - like magic - without ever needing to talk to the service guys!
3. What impact or legacy do you hope to make in the market and in the business world?
We don’t think it’s fair that independent lawn mowing guys are paying expensive franchise fees to get help with customer acquisition, customer service, payment chasing and invoices. Our ideal legacy is to give mowing providers another option - one with no expensive upfront fees - one that is affordable to everyone.
4. You’re currently 1 of the 5 teams on the River City Labs (powered by muru-D) startup accelerator program in Brisbane. What are 3 early learnings can you share?
(a) The importance of focus. Guest speaker Mick Liubinskas form muru-D Sydney taught us that most businesses have too many features and try to serve too many people at once. Mick challenged us to narrow in on only one very small niche within our existing niche, rather than trying to service everyone.
(b) Get repeats/referrals. Guest speaker Paul Bennetts from AirTree Ventures shared with us his tip about what makes a startup valuable. He said if you focus on building and measuring repeats/referrals, and notice a positive anomaly in your results compared to others, this is an indication your company is potentially destined for great things.
(c) How to grab a journalist’s attention. Guest speaker Caitlin Fitzsimmons, Deputy Editor BRW, reminded us that journalists love to write about: awesome traction or revenue results; good news about investment rounds; interesting founder backstories; and/or bounce-back stories that educate and inspire others.
To see what else we’ve been learning, come visit our startup blog. This is where we’re trying to #payitforward to Australia’s startup community by sharing the best gems of wisdom from our accelerator experience.
5. Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?
Apart from the fact that Visual Studio is the best code editor in the world (it’s true!), there are so many reasons to turn to Microsoft for support in building your startup. In our case, it’s not just the awesome products, but it’s Microsoft Australia’s generous networking connections within the business ecosystem. Plus the incredible freebie package they offer for accelerator startups, which is a godsend for shoestring-budget-startups like ours!