Tips for Gaining High-Profit Margins in Pest Control Business
Pest control businesses face a lot of challenges. Demanding customers, heavy regulations, high employee turnover, and cut-throat competition underpin the industry. It’s a complex business to manage.
Here are a few tips from industry experts to overcome the odds and become a champion in the game.
1. Focus on the Value Offering
The decision to start a pest control business is easy, but identifying a value proposition is difficult. The pest control business involves many players who provide more or less similar services. So merely advertising your products or services won’t do anything great. Sometimes, even differentiated offerings vis-à-vis competitors may not appeal to customers.
- Highlight the value on offer: Convince customers that your product or service delivers the best value. Identify some niche USP such as “a green pest control business using eco-friendly chemicals.”
- Think beyond the immediate benefit to the customer: The ultimate value could be “giving customers peace of mind.” This requires providing the most seamless and efficient service. Position your business to be the only option that saves the customer from their pest problem. Offering a pest-free guarantee for 100 days, for example, reinforces the commitment.
- Have a flexible business plan: The pest control business is seasonal. Different pests emerge at different times of the year. Ants, wasps, beetles, centipedes, silverfish, cockroaches, and bedbugs present themselves all year round, while ladybugs, beetles, and spiders are a seasonal menace. Pigeons, sparrows, groundhogs and other wildlife are also seasonal, relative to the geographical area. Again, residential, commercial, and industrial needs to control pests may vary. Offer services to cater to the varying requirements of customers.
2. Get the Required Licenses
Pest control is a business highly governed by rules and regulations. These regulations depend on the area of operations.
To earn customers’ trust and to run your business smoothly, you need to comply with the relevant standards. Local and federal rules regulate the usage of various chemicals, while environment regulatory bodies enforce standards to prevent any environmental or health hazards. That’s why the pest control industry needs various types of licenses to operate.
A license requires undertaking approved courses on chemicals, labels, pests, equipment, and legislation. Studying about chemicals and their usage is useful anyway, to identify the most potent chemical for any problem. Illegal/ improper application of chemicals results in severe penalties leading to loss of reputation.
Register your business with the local government and follow the standards enforced by the rule of the state. You also need to cooperate with the site inspection, audits, and license tests that will help you run your pest control business smoothly.
3. Give Priority to Grassroots Advertising
Effective advertising is a prerequisite for the success of any business. The sad fact is that a major portion of the advertising budget does not translate to more clients.
- Word-of-mouth referrals: The best ads that work are the local referrals and word-of-mouth promotions that go a long way in securing more orders for pest control. Coax existing customers to give word of mouth referrals. Offering referral bonuses, discounts, or loyalty points to return businesses are time tested mantras for success.
- Invest in online marketing: Along with offline methods, you also need to invest in online resources. Start a website, maintain an active blog, and be active with a Yelp profile, Google My Business Account, or a Facebook Business Page. A Google Business listing helps the business list the first page of Google search. It also gives space to manage reviews.
- Manage Reviews proactively: Send customers a follow-up email after the job is done, soliciting their feedback. If the feedback is positive, ask for a review. Studies reveal that, if the customers are not satisfied, 13% of them will tell 15 or even more people that they are unhappy. Do not let negative reviews deter you. A good response to a negative review demonstrates professionalism. It may also convince a prospect of how your business deals with difficult situations.
- Do not miss any networking opportunity: Always carry attractive business cards. While stopping people on the streets, an elevator pitch might seem like going overboard, but always remain ready to talk about the business and the value on offer when an opportunity presents itself.
Keep track of customers and reach out to them with promotional offers the same season, next year.
Related Reading: Pest Control Marketing Tips to Scale Your Business
4. Get the Basics Right
Get the basic groundwork done before starting operations.
- Identify and register the business name: Opt for a professional business name that has a better recall value among your customers.
- Open a bank account: Maintaining a separate bank account for the business keeps bookkeeping clean and tidy. It also allows for easy monitoring of business cash flow.
- Take liability insurance: Pest control business owners deal with chemicals and heavy-duty equipment. Compliance with environmental and industry standards is a statutory requirement. All these involve considerable risks, and violation attracts heavy fines.
- List out your resources/ equipment: Prepare a list of the tools, chemicals, and equipment required to undertake a thorough job. Start minimal, with basic equipment and chemicals, and work the way up.
- Transportation: Invest in a good truck, van, or trailer. The vehicle decal is a good advertisement trick for pest control businesses. Opt for a reliable vehicle type to transport chemicals and the workers safely and reliably.
- Worker uniforms: Most chemicals used in pest control businesses are safe and not toxic. Still, opt for the heaviest PPE regulation clothing recommendation on the most intense chemical used, to avoid any risk of chemical exposure for your staff. Having professional uniforms for your field service staff enhances your image among customers.
5. A Field Service Software
- Gather all contact information in a CRM: A good CRM offers a single view of the customer and tracks your teams. The CRM also takes care of client notes, chemical usage, and other issues. These are critical requirements to run the business successfully.
- Invest in a good field service management software: Keeping track of the technicians operating in the pest control business is a tough ask. A good field service management suite offers live tracking of field personnel. It gives both supervisors and clients real-time updates on work progress and status of service requests. It also highlights the trouble-spots that require proactive intervention. Field service software also helps in automating tasks like billing, reporting, and other routine tasks, that will improve your efficiency manifold. You can also assign the right worker to the right task and trigger reminders and follow-ups using field service software.
Set up a robust computing and accounting system, integrated with the CRM and field management suite. Finally, you need to get your enterprise systems up and running before starting your operations.
Related Reading: Choosing the Best Software for Your Pest Control Business
The role of a robust field service software like ReachOut is indispensable to ensure the seamless operation of your business and increase customer satisfaction. ReachOut provides customer management solutions, Inspection and Work Order management tools, remote and offline support, and a plethora of services that enable you to stay in control of your team and processes. Contact Us to learn how ReachOut can impact your bottom line.
Aarathy is a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at ReachOut Suite. She is majorly into content marketing and focuses on getting the messaging right across a host of marketing collaterals. While not working on content, you can find her juggling SEO, social media, branding and more. She enjoys exploring new frontiers in digital marketing and the associated challenges keep her going.
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