Jeep hobby good for business

By |  February 27, 2019
Zoellner Exterminating Jeep

Dee and Darren Gooch promote Zoellner Exterminating when they take their Jeep off roading. PHOTO: Dee Gooch

The vehicles in Zoellner Exterminating’s fleet make an impression in and around Catoosa, Okla., where the company is based. That’s because owner Darren Gooch, and his wife Dee, the company’s office manager, had them wrapped in eye-catching graphics that promote the seven-year-old pest management business.

Technicians drive the company’s three full-size trucks that feature slanted red stripes extending all the way up the truck caps, web address, phone number and wide-eyed spider. Dee tools around town in one of the two Jeeps that serve as a marketing tool, thanks to a can’t miss giant steam-punk style spider and web.

There’s no doubt that the strategy leads to additional business, Darren says, because prospective customers who call the company are asked how they heard about the company. Often the reply is, I saw your truck/Jeep.

Zoellner Exterminating Truck

Zoellner Exterminating’s truck design is based on an idea from company Owner Darren Gooch. PHOTO: Dee Gooch

In addition to serving as Dee’s personal vehicle, the Jeep is taken off road when the couple gathers with fellow members of Jeepers Anonymous, a charitable organization that raises money for people in need. The off-roading club is more than 500 members strong, and many of the enthusiasts are fellow business owners.

Dee says being members allows them to network. “We’ve actually gained a lot of business from the Jeep being out on the trails,” she says.

When off-roading, the doors of the Jeep often are removed, even though that’s where the Zoellner Exterminating logo is positioned (the company’s web address remains in view, however). As result, they often are asked why they have a giant spider on the side of their Jeep.

“A lot people don’t realize what it’s about until we tell them,” Darren says. “And then we are asked, ‘Hey, do you have a card?’ So we always make sure we have business cards in the Jeep.”

Darren Gooch, Zoellner Exterminating

Darren Gooch

Darren, who has worked in the pest control business for 32 years, but launched Zoellner Exterminating with good friend Philip Zoellner, believes in sharing his success.

“Even though we are marketing our business and building relationships, it goes deeper than that,” he says. “It goes back to helping others out.”

The couple is big on giving back. Like most business owners, their ultimate goal is financial freedom. But they don’t want it just for themselves, they want to give back to the community and those less fortunate.

Dee Gooch, Zoellner Exterminating

Dee Gooch

“One of our goals for our vehicles is, for every nine trucks on the road, we want that 10th truck to be doing nothing but charity work,” Dee says.

That one vehicle would be dedicated to providing service to people in need and cannot afford pest control, and they are on their way to making it happen.

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