Local Services Marketplace Expansion Playbook

Local Services Marketplace Expansion Playbook

Blog Post
August 21, 2021

This is a blog post that provides a summary from a recent group chat with Jeremy Yamaguchi, who's the CEO of Lawn Love. Lawn Love is a leading on-demand marketplace for local lawn & gardening services. It went through Y Combinator in 2014, raised from notable investors like Alexis Ohanian, and was recently acquired in August of 2021. At the time it was acquired, Lawn Love scaled to 120+ markets and a team of over 100 employees.

Once you initially launch a local services marketplace and have traction, it can be somewhat challenging to think through the best markets to expand into, then how you can do so. On a recent group chat that we had, Jeremy Yamaguchi from Lawn Love shared with us how they thought through this, some of their key learnings, and then shared some tips with us. He also shared how they iterated on this with each new market launch and eventually created a playbook that allowed them to successfully scale to 120+ markets. The following are some of the key takeaways from the group chat:

How Lawn Love first identified new markets & opportunities

1. First, they tried to determine the potential demand of a new market by researching the existing search volume that takes places in each specific location. After determining potential demand, they would then find data on the density of the location to approximate the latent demand.
2. To help further define a market opportunity, they used an open source data set (from NASA) of greenery coverage mapping to approximate the average lawn density per market.
3. Using both supply & demand data as signals, they would then identify the most promising markets, prioritize them, and plan their market expansion accordingly.

The Lawn Love new market launch & expansion playbook

1. Create landing page(s) for the new market and location specifically with SEO optimized content & info (see example here).
2. Localized business information on Lawn Love and begin running ad campaigns.
3. Start supply outreach to get initial supplier quantity needed in order to fulfill the demand needs.
4. Once initial supply & demand was built, they would flip the switch on paid marketing to drive demand at scale.
5. 3-4 months after starting ad campaigns, the new market would start to have liquidity.

While every marketplace is highly nuanced and different, the above can be referenced when thinking through how you can identify new market opportunities, prioritize them, and then launch into new markets with your local services marketplace.

Note that you can also see the video highlight clip for the group chat where Jeremy explains more on this in video format here. You can also see a discussion about this with other marketplace founders in the community here.