Bo Lais, CEO/Founder of Lula, here to answer your questions. So Ask Me Anything!

blais
Feb 5, 2018

My name is Bo Lais, and I am the Founder and CEO of Lula, an up and coming on-demand home services startup based in Kansas City. As a serial entrepreneur, I have been at the forefront of several successful startups. After starting a digital media agency, I went on to become an early shareholder and partner of a multi-million dollar company. A background in user experience design combined with an inclination towards business and the services industry has led me to my newest venture. Lula is an innovative new technology that instantly connects homeowners with the professionals they need when they need them. Now that we have put together the team and the strategies, we are ready to take Lula to the next level.

Ask me anything. You can ask me about web development or business strategy. You can ask me about my businesses and how I achieved success. If you want, you can even ask me about my golf game (and I will tell you about my slice). I am open to any questions about my background and my entrepreneurial journey.


Conversation (105)

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How about medical services? Does Lula offer something doctors on call or when people are looking for health consultation?
Feb 23, 11:35AM EST0 Reply

Does Lula offer discount vouchers as well? What are some great promos you offer to customers?

Feb 22, 7:15PM EST0 Reply

Do you personally use Lula? What are some of the services you have already tried?

Feb 21, 12:57PM EST0 Reply

Of course! I built Lula out of a personal need for the solution. I have used Lula for Leaf Removal, Gutter Cleaning, Lawn Mowing, Electrician, and HVAC service call. I usually never tell the providers that show up that I am the founder of Lula so that I can experience everything from end to end as any of our customers would.

Feb 21, 1:03PM EST0 Reply

What are some of the basic components of a website that make it user-friendly?

Feb 21, 11:59AM EST0 Reply

Hello,

Great question. As a software architect I have created thousands of websites over the past 20 years. The basic components that every web designer should pay attention to when creating a user-friendly website are:1. Space - Using space appropriately is important because it dictates the user flow and focus.

2. Simple Navigation - When I see websites that over complicate the site navigation it bothers me as it's usually completely unnecessary. If you confuse people they will just leave to never be seen again. Anything that is not important you should put in a nice informational footer not the main menu.

3. Call to Actions (CTA's) - Make sure to have appropriate call to actions, but don't overwhelm the user. Make sure what's most important for each page is your Call to Action which can be easily found above the fold (top half of your website that is naturally viewed when loaded onto the users screen).

4. Great Images - Believe it or not but you could have a beautifully architected website but poor quality images or over used stock images can quickly turn that beautiful website into an eye sore. Make sure to use great photography for any photos, and create or use great vector images for illustration purposes.

5. Font Pairing - This is something so many people simply ignore. There are fonts that play well together and all font styles can pull a different emotion out of the site users. Find a font that enforces your brand and pulls the emotion you want out of the audience. Then make sure to pair that font with nice complementing font styles.

These are the basics, but I could probably list 15-20 items that should be addressed for a pixel perfect website design.

Thanks!

Bo

Feb 22, 12:59PM EST0 Reply

Are most of your staff in-house or do you hire freelancers as well?

Feb 21, 9:21AM EST0 Reply

Hello, all of our staff is in-house except the branding agency we hired to help us with our brand identity. We knew what our brand promise was, but we had a hard time expressing that. We are actually about to lauch a complete new website with our new branding that better expresses what Lula's promise is to our users.I've used freelancers in the past but it's very difficult to work in that manner in some cases. However, I don't recommend hiring people on payroll until you absolutely need them because that's very expensive. Best to keep your overhead low until you find that product market fit and are ready to turn the heat up!

Feb 21, 10:18AM EST0 Reply

What are some of the top services users are looking for in Lula?

Feb 20, 4:49PM EST0 Reply

We are constantly rolling out new services and each vertical has it's peak times but we see Handyman and Home Cleaning as our top 2 most consistent services requested on the platform. However, HVAC in the peak times of summer/winter are super busy as well for Lula for that vertical.

Feb 20, 5:00PM EST0 Reply

What's your ultimate goal for Lula? Would you like to see it working for a worldwide market?

Feb 20, 4:07PM EST0 Reply

I would like to successfully be operating in 20 city markets by the end of 2022 with growth continuing each passing month. Ultimately, I'd like to be acquired by a very large company that could help fuel the growth for a world wide opportunity.

Feb 20, 4:26PM EST0 Reply

As an experienced startup founder, what advice would you give to a younger version of yourself along the entrepreneurial journey?

Feb 18, 12:04AM EST0 Reply

Don't get too high nor too low. Try to stay even keeled because it's a marathon not a sprint. Never let emotions control the situation.

Feb 20, 4:24PM EST0 Reply

What are your first 5 emotions/feelings which come to your mind when you think about your entrepreneurial journey so far?

Feb 17, 10:10PM EST0 Reply

1. Excitement - If you aren't excited then you shouldn't be doing it.

2. Joy - Having joy for life and the fact that you are able to be part of something that could possibly change the world.

3. Anxiety - Being a little anxious is natural and will make you sharp.

4. Trust - You have to trust the team you put around you.5. Worry - You have to worry just enough to keep you wondering what your competitors are doing as well as focusing on product market fit.

Feb 20, 4:23PM EST0 Reply

How high is demand for home services among the elderly relative to other demographic segments?

Feb 16, 5:34PM EST0 Reply

The demand is actually quite high for elderly that live without assisted living. However, we don't see much of our user demographic over the age of 55 as they aren't quite as tech savvy as the younger generations.

Feb 16, 6:10PM EST0 Reply

What did you have to give up to be where you are at now on your entrepreneurial journey?

Feb 16, 2:13AM EST0 Reply

I don't necessarily think it's about giving something up but choosing how you spend your time more appropriately. I have two kids and it's important to me I see their recitals, band events, sporting events, etc. So it's really about spending time on things that really matter in life and spend less time on things that don't. I will say that I have given up plenty of hours of sleep!!! 

Feb 16, 4:26PM EST0 Reply

What are all of the types of services that you provide?

Feb 15, 2:14PM EST0 Reply

Great question! We are planning on rolling out many verticals related to Professional Home Services in Kansas City over the next couple of months but right now we have: HVAC, Home Cleaning, Lawn Care, Carpet Cleaning, Electrical, Plumbing, Junk Removal, Lock Smith, and Dog Walking. We hope to add dry cleaning service and many more by Summer of 2018!

Feb 15, 2:21PM EST0 Reply

What're some of the most important lessons you learned during your entrepreneurial journey?

Feb 14, 11:09AM EST0 Reply

I've learned a lot of life lessons in general but through this entrepreneurial journey I've learned that hard work usually does pay off. You will find a lot of people willing to help you as long as you are willing to help yourself and put in the work/time. As Jim Rohn once said "The wind blows the same on us all, you just have to set your sail in the direction you want to go in life.". I also want to say that surrounding yourself with successful people and a great team is a necessity to being successful in your own right.

Feb 14, 11:18AM EST0 Reply

How long have you been operating the Bitcoin mining and do you have any long term plans for that as well?

Feb 10, 7:43PM EST0 Reply

Hello Katie, I have been in bitcoin mining since late 2015 and it's more of a hobby than anything but my mining farm does currently produce over $6k/month in revenue. 

Feb 13, 10:56AM EST0 Reply

What's your citeria of selecting right Service Provider in Lula? What are the key factors you emphasis on while picking the right company?

Feb 10, 11:08AM EST0 Reply

Hi there, I hit on this question a bit in some previous responses. We are currently servicing Kansas City only, but have plans to expand to 2-3 additional cities in 2019. We do have a vigorous vetting process which requires us to view reviews from at least 3 different sources, professional license verification, General Liability Insurance verification, Better Business Bureau review, background checks, sex offender checks, pictures of equipment, and more. We only require professional license for HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical.Thanks,Bo

Feb 13, 10:55AM EST0 Reply

Who's your favorite golfer and why is he/she your favorite?

Feb 9, 12:58PM EST0 Reply

I like this question! Austin Cook is one of my favorite professional golfers although I love all the Arkansas Razorback golfers that have turned pro in the last decade. I love Austin's mental game and he strikes the ball with such purity it's an amazing thing to watch. I was able to follow him and watch him up close and personal in the College Golf National Championship half a decade ago. He's a super nice guy, great golfer, and overall good person. My brother is the associate head coach at University of Arkansas so I get to meet and spend a little time with these great golfers that the University of Arkansas keeps producing. Brad McMakin and Barrett Lais have done a phenomenal job recruiting great  talent at UofA and then really getting the best golf out of their players in the University of Arkansas program. I enjoy watching all the University of Arkansas golfers in both college and pro. Austin Cook happens to be someone I was able to watch in person on several occassions and his game is on point. It so happens that Austin also just recently one his first PGA Tour event this past Novemeber. If you haven't watched him play yet, then I highly suggest doing so. He's a great golfer and human being.

Feb 9, 1:30PM EST0 Reply

As an experienced enterpreneur and startup owner do you (or did you in the past) collaborating with other companies? I am thinking about some partners programs or so.

Feb 9, 6:10AM EST0 Reply

Short answer is YES! Partnerships are very important. For example, we have partners with a smart living property management tech company called homebase.ai. We are doing a revenue share with them and it opens our product up to all their tenants and they expect to be in over 20,000 units by the end of 2018! You can't be successful alone, everyone needs help along the way. Partnerships are a great way to expand your product offering quickly.

Feb 9, 11:27AM EST0 Reply

How do you pick the vendors for all the services you provide? Do you do any research on the best service providers for that particular niche? What's the process like?

Feb 9, 3:42AM EST0 Reply

Hello,

We have marketing campaigns geared toward getting in front of professional service providers both large and small. However, just because a service provider signs up (or honestly it's an application process) doesn't mean they will get approved to use Lula's platform. We have a vigorous vetting process which requires us to view reviews from at least 3 different reputable sources, do professional license verification, check General Liability Insurance policy, review submissions on the Better Business Bureau, background checks, sex offender checks, pictures of equipment, and more. Thanks,

Bo

Feb 9, 11:24AM EST0 Reply

How often do you play golf? And do you get your ideas while you are playing a game? 

Feb 8, 9:00AM EST0 Reply

I try to play 1-2 times a month when the weather is nice. I like to discuss business on the golf course as well as ideas. With that said, the majority of my ideas seem to come to me while I sleep or when I'm in the shower. For whatever reason as soon as I step in the shower my brain starts going wild with ideas. So much so that I will put my phone on a shelf in the bathroom and yell at Siri to take notes for me if I want to get a good idea saved before I started thinking about something else.

Feb 8, 10:54AM EST0 Reply

Over time, has your approach changed as an entrepreneur? For example, did you manage your very first project in a different way than you are currently managing Lula?

Feb 6, 9:10PM EST0 Reply

Hi there!Everyday is a learning experience. I have made a lot of mistakes along the way but each mistake was a learning experience. I didn't have many processes in place with my first startup and it created chaos and onboarding new employees was painfully slow. Although, I don't believe in putting too many processes and procedures in place that could possibly hinder productivity I do think it's very important to have some in place. I especially find this true for onboarding new employees so they know exactly what to do to be successful at their position from day 1. 

Feb 7, 11:36AM EST0 Reply
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