5 must-read books for pest management companies

|  March 27, 2017

Editor’s Note: This is an opinion piece written by an industry expert. Opinions are her own, not those of Pest Management Professional.

Monica WeddleAs a pest management company owner, you’re not just a boss. You’re a team leader, a salesperson, a marketer, and a customer experience manager. That’s a lot to take on, and it can be hard to keep up with the “best” ways to manage your many hats. That’s why this industry reading list I’ve put together is a great starting point to making sure you and your team stay sharp.

  1. Grow! Inbound Marketing System: Written by Donnie Shelton, a highly successful entrepreneur, a pest management company owner, and — full disclosure — my boss, Grow! delves into inbound marketing and shows you how to use it to get qualified leads for pennies on the traditional marketing dollar. Mixing straight strategy with homegrown anecdotes, Grow! delivers an easy read packed with proven tools to grow your business quickly.
  2. Making Yourself Indispensable: This guide, authored by Mark Samuel, is written for managers and employees alike. We all like to think we’re accountable in our daily lives, but true accountability takes many forms, and more than likely, we’re not always hitting the mark. Samuel investigates the ways we overestimate our indispensability, how to avoid it, how to recognize when we’re doing it, and steps we can take to make ourselves truly invaluable to those around us. Read it with your team, and reap the rewards of a more proactive, positive, and accountable organization.
  3. Good to Great: It’s easy to assume what makes a truly great company — tough, outgoing leadership; ironclad business plan; cutting-edge tech — but as Jim Collins discovered in this follow-up to Built to Last, the reality is nothing like even he expected. Good to Great is a treat for statistics nerds, but it’s also accessible and essential reading for anyone who wants to make their mark in business. Only 11 out of the 1,435 companies Collins and his team evaluated were truly great; read this and yours could be next.
  4. Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless: OK, the title is a mouthful (especially when you consider the subtitle, How to Make Customers Love You, Keep Them Coming Back and Tell Everyone They Know), but hear me out. With skyrocketing competition in the service industry space, now is not the time to settle for satisfactory. Customer experience, or CX, is the hot new buzzword in business, and for good reason. It’s not enough to do a good job and go on your way, according to author Jeffrey Gitomer. You have to be memorable enough that your customers spread the word and come back for more. Not for the faint of heart, this book is an in-your-face challenge to what many in sales and service have believed forever. Buckle in.
  5. Who Moved My Cheese? Change is scary, but embracing it can bring great power. Dr. Spencer Johnson’s book isn’t like many others. It’s the motivational business fable, featuring two mice and two tiny people (yes, really). But it also is a practical and compelling guide to anticipating and embracing change around us for less stress and more true productivity. What does this have to do with service businesses? It seems like there’s a new “disruptor” making waves every day. Industries that thought they were invincible (taxi cabs in the face of Uber, anyone?) have been upended seemingly overnight. This book is an invaluable look at how you can prepare for everything, from day-to-day troubles to bigger shifts.

Weddle is a writer and marketing specialist at Coalmarch, a digital agency dedicated to helping service businesses with their marketing and team training and management.

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