When Matt Jesson began mowing lawns, he never imagined his after-school job would become an industry-leading lawn care and pest control business earning more than $15 million in annual revenue.
Now Matt Jesson, President of Green Lawn Fertilizing/Green Pest Solutions in West Chester, has been named by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a National Small Business Week award winner.
On May 13, 2019, the SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania District Office presented the company with the Eastern Pennsylvania Entrepreneurial Success of the Year award, selected from nominees across 40 counties in the region.
“By far, the most challenging hurdle I’ve faced has been growing from a small business to a middle-market business,” says Jesson. “Being nominated and awarded – by the very people who helped with funding the business to get there – is incredibly rewarding.”
The company was nominated by Seedcopa, a private nonprofit that helps small to mid-sized businesses obtain government loans.
“When Green Lawn Fertilizing came to us, a traditional loan through a bank was just not possible due to the projection-based growth of the business,” says Seedcopa Managing Director Sherwood Robbins. “Now you can see that this company needed a first-class office building to grow and take its solid business to the next level. These are the companies we work with, and government loans like the SBA 504 are perfect for many of them.”
Seedcopa worked with Green Lawn Fertilizing/Green Pest Solutions to secure a loan to purchase and renovate its current headquarters in West Chester, ensuring the company would continue to expand and provide local jobs for the foreseeable future.
Since the loan funded in November 2010, Green Lawn Fertilizing/Green Pest Solutions has tripled its revenue. Employment has also increased dramatically from 38 employees in 2009 to more than 180 employees today. Employee turnover levels are considerably low compared to the general industry, as Jesson works to recruit and retain strong employees compensated with good wages and advancement opportunities.
Green Lawn Fertilizing began offering residential lawn care services in 2004. The company expanded its service offering to pest control when it started Green Pest Solutions in 2012. Today the company operates in 23 counties spanning Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Recognizing that client retention is the most significant factor for continued growth and success in the industry, Jesson champions a company-wide philosophy of delivering a superior customer experience and professionalism to maintain clients from year-to-year.
Jesson is the first to admit that growing a business is hard. “Finding and hiring great team members who can execute on our mission every day is not easy. But we’ve been very fortunate to have a great leadership team that cares about the success of our team members. We are a people business, and our team members come first.”
Green Lawn Fertilizing/Green Pest Solutions also attributes its success to strong core values focused on integrity as well as giving back to the community. Each year in early July, up to a dozen employees visit Arlington National Cemetery, where they perform lawn fertilization and service work to help maintain a dignified and manicured resting site for the service members interred there.
The company serves as a volunteer organization for Habitat for Humanity of Chester County, Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia and other community organizations such as La Mancha Animal Shelter in Coatesville, PA and the Chester County Food Bank. They also participate in Toys for Tots and support employees’ individual community service projects such as youth sports leagues through charitable donations.