Your favorite meal, a car service, and even your new car can be ordered in the palm of your hand. And now, lawn care services like mowing, trimming and even snow plowing can, too. On-demand lawn care apps, deemed the “Uber” of lawn care, offer a different type of business model for those wanting to get involved in the green industry.
For Richard Vonderau of Cleveland, he makes the bulk of his money from an on-demand lawn care app. “I have about 94 recurring jobs through the app,” he says. And, it’s proven to be a better alternative for him than his previous experience in the industry.
Vonderau has been involved in the green industry for 21 years, and he says business hadn’t been as good as it is now that he uses an app-based service to find his clients.
“The money is always there,” he says. “It’s my bread and butter for income.” With the app Vonderau uses, there’s no need to search for your own clients, they essentially come to you – no marketing is required on the end of the field worker.
Pay day is every day. And, when it comes to getting paid, there’s no invoicing, calling or knocking on doors to get what you earned. “You don’t have to hunt your money down,” he says.
With two decades of experience, Vonderau knows the struggle that comes with trying to be profitable, and time is money. Through the app, time spent quoting jobs only to get turned down is entirely eliminated. “I’d show up and tell them how much it costs and then I have to waste my time driving there, too, for them to say, ‘Let’s try again next year,’” he says.
One of the perks that comes along with the app, he says, is that he’s also able to service his own clients on the side. While he usually works jobs on about 75 houses a week for the app, he still has clients he mows for as well.
“I can work it so that I get paid every single day of the week,” he says. If he takes a job on a Monday, he knows he will see the paycheck on Wednesday. Wednesday jobs mean Friday paychecks and Friday jobs pay out on Mondays.”
With these apps, most of the service providers are contracted employees, or, in tax terms, a 1099 employee. Your income is definitely still taxable as a contractor for a lawn care app, but according to tax law, your employer doesn’t have to send you a 1099 form if you made less than $600 during the year. Contractors can find apps that employ their service providers like traditional W-2 employees as well.
One program offers employee training and onboarding just like traditional jobs would, but with the flexibility to make your own hours and work more independently.
To get involved with these apps, not much is required aside from insurance and a lawn mower. Vonderau says the app he uses just requires service providers to be insured and have the tools to complete the job – even if that’s just a normal pick up truck and a push mower. With his client base, Vonderau has professional tools like a larger zero-turn mower.
Reviews are everything when it comes to these on-demand apps. It’s how service providers build their clientele and score better jobs. Vonderau says the app he uses also lets a homeowner request the same provider for repeat service – something Vonderau sees often with his clients. “It’s simple: Good ratings equal more jobs and previous customers,” he says.