Do you own or operate your own pest control business?
Running a pest control business can be highly rewarding and stressful… sometimes both at the same time. Whether you’ve been running your own pest control business for years or you’re thinking about starting your own pest control business, we have a few tips and ideas for you.
1. Don’t Charge Too Little
Carefully determine your pricing strategy
- Many pest control operators make the mistake of undervaluing their service by charging too little. When you sell your service on the price you are renting the business, when you sell your service on value, you own the business.
- By charging more for your service, your company narrative shifts to more of a quality proposition. Over time this process helps guide your company towards providing even better service. This approach leads to better customer retention and higher margins.
2. Improve Your Training
Make sure that you have solid ongoing training for your technicians and other staff
- IBISWorld’s 2017 annual report on the pest control industry identified 250 Key Success Factors for all pest control businesses. The second most important on their list was a qualified workforce. The report stated the following, “Companies that can provide effective technical training to staff will benefit greatly because their technicians are the main point of contact for customers and will determine renewal rates.”
- Each of your employees should be a part of regular training meetings that are well prepared and well presented. These meetings should be engaging, informative and they should empower your employees with knowledge to help them continue to improve and provide better service to your customers.
3. Go Digital & Generate New Leads
The advertising landscape is shifting and it’s important to develop new channels to market your business
- Customers are changing their buying habits. More and more, people are shopping online. You’ll likely be left behind if you aren’t making digital and social advertising a major part or your marketing strategy.
- Your website is one of the central components of a sound digital advertising strategy. You need a good website that highlights customer testimonials, the services you offer, and your contact information.
- Make sure you have competent help getting your website right. The central purpose of your website is to create action or drive leads. A few important rules to remember for your website are the following: make sure to start content on all pages before the fold line; make an easy top menu; do not create tabs or pop-ups with content because each page of content needs to be its own landing page; and make sure your site is mobile and SEO friendly.
- Contact local contractors, home builders, property management companies and all other local businesses in your area that can help you build strategic partnerships and generate new leads sources. Persistence and creativity is the key to building these relationships.
- Be willing to experiment with new advertising options. Make sure you are always learning more about your options, and make sure that you have a sound digital advertising strategy in place.
4. Cover Your Assets… You Know, CYA
Make sure that you have the proper licensing and insurance
- If you haven’t already, make sure that you have all the right state and industry-specific licensing to provide the services you offer. It’s also wise to make sure you have redundancy where possible with industry-specific licensing. Overkill is underrated.
- It’s a good idea to meet with at least a few different commercial insurance agents on a regular basis. Make sure that you thoroughly explain the services you offer and how you operate your company. This process will help uncover any insurance gaps in your business and help you sleep a little better at night knowing that you are properly insured to keep moving your business forward.
- You should also periodically talk to a few different accounts and attorneys to see what they could do to help your business, and to ensure that your contracts and taxes are all being handled correctly.
- Too often business owners don’t pay enough attention to these issues until something big goes wrong and then it’s too late. Make it an annual event on your calendar to review these critical areas of your business and make sure that your assets are covered.
5. Automate More
All business owners understand their time is valuable and good software can help create new efficiencies and save time
- It can be easy to make the mistake as a business owner of losing money because you were trying to save money. In other words, the old business adage of stepping over dollars to get to dimes. Software is changing the way business is done and it’s changing customer expectations. Spending more money on the right software can be a great way to grow your business, improve your margins, and do a better job of keeping your employees and customers happy.
- Studies show that millennials would rather not be called, they prefer digital communication. This means the emerging and largest purchasing group in our economy has a digital communication preference. If you want to keep these customers happy you have to incorporate software that gives them the right tools to access their account and communicate with you.
- Make sure that you have integrated software that allows you to set up automated SMS, email, and pre-recorded phone calls for reminders, collections, marketing, surveys, and follow-ups.
- If you’re still using paper for invoices, service records, renewals or reminders there is a huge opportunity for you to cut costs and improve the overall image of your company. Make sure you look for, find and leverage software that can help you automate these processes and get out of the dinosaur-era of using paper.
6. Offer Greener Options And Service
The trends are continuing to move the industry towards greener solutions, and that’s what customers want
- IBISWorld’s 2017 annual report on the pest control industry identified 250 Key Success Factors for all pest control businesses. The most important item on their list was the ability to accommodate environmental requirements. The report stated, “The ability to adopt and implement new technology in pest control is becoming increasingly important for success in the industry.”
- We recommend that all PCO’s work with the NPMA become both QualityPro Certified and GreenPro Certified. Earnestly working through the process to gain these two certifications is a great way to refine your processes and services. Additionally, having these two certifications can give you extra credibility by including them on your website and in your other marketing efforts.
7. Consider New Software Options
Briostack offers new, innovative tools specifically designed for the pest control industry
- Our pest control software was designed by Top 100 pest control owners specifically for the pest control industry. Briostack offers an entire business suite of tools designed to help pest control businesses add more customers, increase margins, and do a better job of keeping customers and employees happy.
- Using the right tools is essential to getting work done right. Briostack is intuitive and easy to use and provides end-to-end solutions that can help your company work smarter and more efficiently
According to the IBISWorld 2017 industry report, “Rising demand and service prices have resulted in historically high-profit margins for pest control companies.” This report also projects strong growth in the industry over the next five years, with industry revenue forecast to increase at a rate of 2.6% per year. The bottom line is that the pest control industry is doing historically well and the future is bright. We hope these tips and ideas will be helpful in your ongoing efforts to grow your business and reach your goals.