Industry consultants are great. So are the many ways you can glean insights from colleagues, such as webinars, conferences and trade media articles. But some of your best advisors might be right under your nose — or at least already on your payroll.
Zack Broder currently is studying finance and economics at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H. He is planning to join BHB full-time after graduation in May 2022, representing the third generation. But having grown up in the business, and picking up the knowledge he’s receiving in school, Broder has been helping his father, Michael, steer New York, N.Y-based BHB Pest Elimination during the pandemic.
“When I came home for spring break in mid-March, Dad and I talked a lot about business, his plans, and how everything was turning out,” Broder recalls. “At the time, all restaurants and hotels were shut down and cash flow was nearing a halt, so it was a very stressful period. I was definitely my father’s sounding board, and offered advice here and there. But more important, by letting my dad voice his thoughts to me, it allowed him to make better business decisions to keep BHB up and running for years to come.”
And when the elder Broder began entertaining the idea of launching Disinfex Services once his son returned to school, ideas flowed via text conversations — even coming up with the company name that way. “I thought it was a great idea to capitalize on the changing times,” Zack Broder adds. “Disinfex can be utilized now, when a location becomes worried about potential exposure of COVID-19, and also years from now when a location wants to be sure it has no infectious organisms.”
EMPLOYEE — AND EXPERT
Ron Lane serves as another sounding board for Broder. Lane started with BHB as a technician in 2018, and today is service manager for Disinfex. He trains Disinfex technicians how to prepare disinfectant solution, what equipment is needed for each job, and how to map out work spaces.
Lane recalls the sadness and survivor guilt of seeing some of his colleagues being laid off and furloughed, worried what might happen next. But he says he found the best way to handle it was to simply take it one day a time and appreciate what you have in the moment.
“Looking back at the beginning of the pandemic, I feel that many BHB employees have shown their appreciation by continuing to work diligently, despite the world basically unraveling around us,” Lane says. And even then, he adds, there has been a silver lining to the shutdown: “Many technicians were happy to see locations fully rid of pests because we had easier access throughout the account sites.”
Read more: Pandemic gives BHB a new point of view