Homegrown Business: Alex Ryzer, co-founder of LocalStudent

LocalStudent is an online platform that helps homeowners hire students for on-demand services, allowing them to have the flexible work hours they need. We spoke with co-founder Alex Ryzer to find out more.

LocalStudent

What is your business called and what does it do?

My business is called LocalStudent. Our website localstudent.ca allows homeowners to hire students for on-demand services, with the click of a button. Currently, we offer leaf cleanup, lawn mowing and snow removal services.

What made you want to do this work?
What problem did you want to solve with the business?

In my case, these two questions go hand in hand. Back when I was in university, me and many other students were faced with a similar problem, student jobs just aren’t good. Most student jobs pay minimum wage, have strict work hours, and just don’t provide students with the flexibility they need. We set out to solve this issue by creating LocalStudent.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

We offer our services to all homeowners across the Greater Toronto Area and select regions including Ottawa, Barrie, and Hamilton. Though we offer our services to all homeowners, we work with many senior citizens or people with disabilities that make this kind of work challenging. We also service many small businesses in Toronto as well.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

LocalStudent helps take care of all the administrative work associated with these jobs so that students just have to focus on working. LocalStudent offers free quotes to any potential customers, collects and processes their payment, and resolves any disputes to make it easy for students to just focus on completing their jobs. By taking care of all of this LocalStudent removes the hassle many students face not knowing when or if they will be paid. Given that we follow an Uber model, we collect a percentage of each transaction.

Where in Toronto can we find your profession?

As we begin our leaf cleanup services this fall we are excited to offer our services all throughout the GTA as well as in select regions including Ottawa, Barrie, London, and Hamilton.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

I think the most important question a customer can ask when they book any service-based job is asking how long they’ve done it for, and asking for some examples of previous work. At LocalStudent we have been servicing properties for over 2 years and have serviced thousands of properties across the GTA. We proudly share over 100 reviews from happy customers serviced by us.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

I think my favourite part about what I do is getting to hear the impact LocalStudent has on students. I’ve talked personally with many of our students and I love getting to hear how much LocalStudent has changed the way they work for the better. The worst part about what I do comes from the struggles of working remotely, as our management team no longer works with each other in person.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

I bought a new lawnmower…. my old one just wasn’t cutting it.
Bonus pun: Just leaf your raking to us!

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?

A business that I personally love is La Fornarina Molisana Bakery in Concord (just a few minutes north of Toronto). They are an authentic Italian restaurant that makes some of the best Italian food in Toronto. The staff and owners are extremely friendly, and they have a huge selection of authentic homemade Italian food.