Jonny On It is a mobile app that streamlines the process of finding and connecting realtors and homeowners with a trusted and qualified professional service provider. Through the app, users can request quotes, book, and pay for services from locksmiths, HVAC technicians, and plumbers in real-time. Our customer success representative Janelle Spanjers sat down with Jonny On It’s CEO Christian Ries to learn more about the company and their journey. It’s a pleasure to call them a client and we’re excited to congratulate them on raising $1.1 million in seed funding!
If you’d like to skip the transcript, you can watch the full interview at the bottom of this post.
Tell us a little bit about Jonny On It. Where’d the idea come from and how long have you all been around?
Jonny On It is a mobile app that connects realtors and homeowners to the service industry in real time. I founded it in 2016. I used to work in corporate America for an insurance company called AFLAC. And one day I needed a plumber to come out to our house. So I went on to the Internet, as most people do and tried to call three different plumbers. The first two didn’t respond to me, didn’t even call me back. The third one did respond and said, “Hey, I can only be there next Thursday between hours of two and five.” I had to take half a day of leave, and I didn’t enjoy the customer experience, so I set up to try and solve this problem.
How did you come up with the name Jonny On It?
Funny story. I went to my wife afterward, and I said, “Hey, I’ve got this idea to try and Uberize, the home service space,” and she’s like, “Hey, I’m all for it. Why don’t you execute one of your ideas?” So I said, “Okay, cool, I’ll do that.” I sold our car, took $10,000 equity out of it, and started Jonny On It. So for the next couple of weeks, I was spitting out names all over the place. “What about this? What about that? What about this?” And at 11:30 one night, she looked at me, and she said, “It’s Jonny On It, go to bed.” I was like, “Jonny On It, that’s actually quite catchy.” And that was it.
It is catchy! Ma-Keba and I were talking, and we were saying it sounds so familiar. It’s almost like a phrase that people say. I like it; it’s very cool. So you’ve been in business for three years? What’s been the most memorable milestone that’s happened thus far?
We’ve been building it for about two and a half years. We’ve been live on the market since January. So we’re pretty early in our lifecycle. There have been a couple of milestones. The first one is being able to take a product out and putting it into the client’s hands and watching the client use it. There’s a special feeling when you get your first client. The other one is, it’s also a pretty cool experience, or memory is building our team and then seeing our team become a family as we try and solve this problem together. So it started with me as the first person and then, we got our Co-founder, Chris Coakley involved as well. Then we got another Co-founder with Jeff Gray, who’s done a couple of exits in this space. And now we’ve got the rest of the team. It takes a family to get something like this up and running.
That’s awesome. It sounds like you have a family atmosphere going on.
We most certainly do, and culture is very important to us.
That’s great! So I know you said you have a wife and you have other stuff going on at home as well, so how do you manage that work-life balance? I know that starting a business is a lot of work.
Yes. So being an entrepreneur is weird because you don’t have regular working hours, you work all the time, and you can work all the time because there’s enough work for you to do during the day and the weekends. It’s essential to prioritize what’s important in your life. My marriage and kids are extremely important to me. So, prioritizing them, putting my computer and phone away as soon as I get home is helpful. I also try to surround myself with entrepreneurs that have done this and have gone through that battle of trying to manage the family and work balance. That’s also been a pretty key thing.
Aside from work, what do you like to do for fun? What are your hobbies?
I’m a bit of a Golfer, so golfing is a lot of my background. I used to play professionally for five years, however, now that I’ve got this company I don’t get to golf. So unfortunately golfing is not on the docket too much. Reading, spending time with my kids. We go to the park often, mostly around family time just because of that work-life balance.
That’s so awesome. I didn’t know you were a professional golfer. What’s your favorite course that you played?
Royal Dornoch in Ireland is one of my favorites. It’s just a special place.
Did you play golf in college too?
I did. I came here on a golf scholarship to Columbus State University in Georgia.
Awesome. So what’s the biggest risk that you’ve taken either in your business or your personal life?
You can call me an idiot if you like, the biggest risk is starting a company with a four-year-old and a one-year-old at home, moving from Tampa to Atlanta all at the same time on an idea, on a whim, trying to get this company up a slope, I’d say that’s pretty, pretty risky. It’s been fruitful so far, and we’re enjoying it. But yeah, you’ve got to risk it for the biscuit, so to speak.
I love that phrase! As an entrepreneur, what’s your proudest moment?
I’d have to say it’s our team being able to take an idea and then put it into the market. 28% of our customers are reoccurring customers right now. That just tickles me to death. That tells me that they enjoy using the product and that they’re coming back to use a product. Those are two key indicators for any entrepreneur, as they put something out in the market. But the biggest accomplishment is being able to put our team together.
Last question. What is your life motto? What do you live by?
I’m a man of faith. So, what we’re doing right here is cool, it’s pretty interesting. It’s fun. We have a good team, and we have a good family. But I’m not rooted in the success or failure of a company. I’m rooted in my faith, and that’s pretty important to me.