Starting a Pest Control Business

No matter what industry you’re considering, starting a business is not easy for anyone. Starting a pest control business takes this statement one step further, though, because it requires a medium-level investment and a lot of thought, not just to handle the business itself, but also to purchase the equipment and create a strong marketing presence. This brief guide, though, may help.

Because infestation is so common a problem, the number of pest control business opportunities open for investigation is virtually endless.

Starting a pest control service does require some careful planning and a license in most areas of the country. However, for an enterprising entrepreneur, this can be a small sacrifice to make, as a pest control service can be extremely profitable to own and operate. There are various types of pest controls that can form the basis of the business, such as insect or rodent control, or the business can specialize in providing all pest control services. There are also various methods now being used to control pests, such as chemical-based sprays and organic-based sprays. This will also have to be a consideration in terms of the types of methods your business will utilize.

Pest control is a lucrative business because providers are offering a service that must be performed several times per year, which offers a great chance for long-term and repeat business. Pest control tends to be heavily regulated by state departments, so there will be some hoops to jump through initially.

A pest control business is one that works for both residential and commercial customers in order to prevent and eliminate pests. From cockroaches and rats and from ants and hornets, a pest control business takes care of virtually all pests and makes a home or business safe and comfortable.

A pest control business can specialize in one skill (prevention or elimination) or in a specific pest (ant, spider, etc). Alternately, it can serve various clients with every sort of pest control need.

If you have considered owning a pest control business of any kind, you will need some skills that you may or may not currently have. Here are some of the more relevant skills required.

  • A strong stomach: A pest control business owner deals with bugs – plain and simple. If you are afraid of bugs, then you shouldn’t consider owning a pest control business. Know what you are in for before you get started.
  • Ability to be thorough: People want to know that your pest control business can take care of the pest problem completely! If you are not a thorough person, then you won’t get a lot of repeat customers knocking on your door.
  • A good knowledge base: To run a good pest control business, you will need to know a bit about each type of pests and the methods required to both eliminate and prevent infestations from occurring.

Outside of these skills, there are a few pieces of equipment you will need including:

  • Specific pest control cleaning supplies. Click here to see some of the solutions you may need. Don’t rush out and buy them all at once. Start with the bare necessities and move from there in order to stay cost-efficient.
  • Sprayers and pump guns.
  • Basic cleaning equipment.
  • A company truck (optional, although it is a great marketing investment).

Things to Consider Before Starting the Business

Will you buy an existing business or start up a new business from scratch? The course of action you choose will affect the costs you will incur and may also affect how soon you start to receive income from the venture.

Scope of Business

  • what type of pest will you deal with
  • who will be your customers – members of the public, businesses, farmers and so on
  • where will your premises be
  • will you offer an emergency call-out service
  • will you have a retailing side to your business

You will need to decide the scope of the services you are going to offer. These may include:

  • controlling existing pest problems
  • proofing premises against possible future infestations
  • offering specialist services, such as agricultural pest control, and so on.

You will have to estimate the likely level of demand for your business, bearing in mind certain things:

  • your sales will take time to build up as your business becomes known the level of local competition
  • your prices (initial discounts may attract custom from your competitors)

Expected Expenses

For most entrepreneurs, a pest control business will required a good amount of capital to get started. Since you don’t need a storefront, you cut a lot of costs right there, but you still need the equipment, which can get pricey.

The costs involved in establishing a pest control business can vary depending upon how the business will be operated, pest control equipment, the number of employees, the location, the local area market and local regulations.

Potential small business owners may seek the financial advice of other pest control specialists or the Small Business Administration for further advice. It is always important to fully consider the financial viability of all pest control business opportunities before making any serious commitment to them.

Tips and Advice

Consider working in the pest control business first, if you have not done so already. It will also give you a good feel for the business and help you succeed.

Check with your local licensing department to determine what license is required to operate a pest control business. They have a specific license required to operate a pest control business as well as for each technician to spray homes and buildings.

Decide whether you want to buy into a pest control franchise, or start your own business from the ground floor. A franchise will help you with marketing by giving you a trusted name to work under, but will generally require a large startup cost and a franchise fee.

Purchase your equipment needed to spray for pests. At minimum, you will need a vehicle suitable for commercial purposes, such as a truck or van and a sprayer. You also need to find a supplier for professional pest control chemicals. When you are just starting out, it may not be necessary to hire employees or have a retail office, although it will build credibility. At minimum, keep a cell phone for business purposes and order business cards.

Market and advertise your services. Loyal customers will usually request services every 60 to 90 days if they are satisfied with your services. It’s a good idea to start out with family and friends and ask for referrals, especially if you are on a limited budget. Newspaper ads also are effective. Contact other pest control agencies for quotes and try to price your services lower to gain an edge.

Expanding the Scope of Your Business and Services

For example, termites are a concern in home and structures, but they are also a concern in landscaping and for trees. In many cases, home and business owners would prefer to save the infested tree, and you can offer a solution for this. By expanding your services to include termite eradication, your bottom line will expand remarkably.

Business owners may also choose to provide environmentally friendly products for pest control – both as a part of the pest control services and through the products that consumers can buy and use on their own. These products can be sold through retail channels, internet stores, or through your own establishment.

Offer specialized pest control equipment such as narrow applicator wands for hard to reach areas, electronic pest control, a variety of insect control products, scientifically advanced products and other unique services to secure a specified area of the market.

Finally, services for yard pests such as ticks, fleas, wood roaches and other undesirable bugs may also be included in your general pest control services for further profit.

sources: entrepreneur.com, ehow.com, alliance-leicestercommercialbank.co.uk, atouchofbusiness.com, mysmallbiz.com, photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

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