While 2020 was a little slow in starting and one heckuva challenge in so many ways for my company, it ended up being a record year in revenue. And since I’m connected daily with more than 10,600 other pest management professionals (PMPs) worldwide via my Facebook group, PestCemetery, I’m thrilled to report I am not alone.
Still, much of the year was fraught with uncertainty, which I believe held some folks back on purchasing products, expansion plans and spending in general. Even our little company paused for a bit to see where things would go. For the first time in a long time, I let my inventory go down to just the basics. I told my techs, “Take care of those trucks, they’ve got to last.”
We had to enact growth plans on the fly, with buying new equipment, adding staff, and more — all in a huge flurry just to keep pace with customer demand. Considering all the problems that came with 2020, this “problem” was a good one to have. As I write this in December, my shelves are exceeding normal levels; we’ve made two acquisitions this year; and we have five new vehicles on order.
So, the new year is upon us and now that we’ve all caught our breath, just what will our expenditures look like in 2021?
Pest Management Professional (PMP) magazine recently conducted a reader survey on this subject, and the results were interesting, to say the least. Twenty percent of respondents said their expenditures in 2021 would stay the same as the previous year, but another 75 percent are ramping it up. When I posed a similar question to the PestCemetery Facebook group, some of our members are still a bit hesitant. But many others have big plans for vehicles, equipment, new products, training and — most pleasing, at least to me — increased pay and bonuses for staff.
So goodbye, 2020, and good riddance. You were last thought about at midnight, Dec. 31, and I’ll not think of you again. Let me close with my 2021 take on that Robert Burns smash hit from way back in 1788, “Auld Lang Syne.” Sing along, everyone, and have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Should auld 2020 be forgot,
And its worst left behind?
Lest 2021 be for naught
Let’s move on from auld lang syne.
Tips from the Pest Cemetery crew
“We’re spending more on everything: marketing, phone system, answering service, truck/van, all termite equipment, specialty equipment — foamer, aerosol machine, [non-toxic rodent] traps — and bonuses for technicians.”
— Tony Dalto, President, Talos Pest Control, La Jolla, Calif.
“We will spend the next four months investing in cross-training and upgraded training for our technical and [customer service representative, or] CSR staffs.”
— Alan Feuer, ACE, Staff Entomologist and Technical Director, Preventive Pest Control, Albuquerque, N.M.
“We had a great 2020, so in 2021, we plan to expand into new areas. This comes with added expenditures in advertising, new employees and vehicles. In our current area, our growth continues.”
— Jesse Gooch, Owner, Kanga Pest Control, Canby, Ore.
“We’re planning on buying a new van, adding a new office location, and opening a DIY storefront.”
— Bryan Weiss, Owner, Terminators Pest Control, Pennsauken, N.J.
SCHAPPERT is owner of The Bug Doctor, Ocala, Fla., and administrator for Facebook industry discussion group Pest Cemetery. He may be reached at email@example.com.