One of the best things about the pest management industry is that each of us has the opportunity to build the type of business we choose. This industry, and the thousands of companies that are in it, are incredibly innovative and entrepreneurial. We all have the ability to create a business that is a reflection of who we are and the values that are important to each of us.
Many of us are involved in multi-generational family businesses, and our core values generally reflect what is important to the family. We aspire to develop businesses with a deep purpose, that are built to last, and make a significant impact. We want to build companies that can serve our customers, the people we work with, our communities and our families.
The path we have chosen for ABC Home & Commercial Services follows the principles of an evergreen business. Such businesses are built with a long-term outlook and focused on people. Owners have no desire to sell or take outside investments, and measure success on how well they deliver on their mission, not just revenue and profits.
The owners of evergreen companies aspire to make a long-term impact, building companies that will thrive for more than 100 years. The pest management industry is filled with many owners and entrepreneurs who fit this model perfectly.
There are seven defining characteristics of evergreen entrepreneurs and the companies they build. They are referred to as the 7 Ps:
- Purpose. Being passionately driven by a compelling vision and mission.
- Perseverance. Having the ambition and resilience to overcome obstacles and keep pursuing the mission indefinitely into the future.
- People first. Engaging a workforce of talented associates who excel as a team and are motivated by the mission and the culture, as well as the total compensation in the belief that by taking care of them, they will take care of the customers, suppliers, partners, communities and their families.
- Profit. Not mistaking profit as the sole purpose of a business, but recognizing it is essential to survival and independence, and the most accurate measure of customer value delivered.
- Private. Taking advantage of a closely held private company’s ability to have longer investment horizons, greater confidentiality around strategies, and more operating flexibility than public or exit-oriented businesses.
- Paced growth. Having the discipline to focus on long-term strategy, balance short-term and long-term performance, and grow steadily and consistently from year to year.
- Pragmatic innovation. Embracing a continuous-improvement process built around taking capital efficient, calculated risk to innovate creatively within constraints.
Each of these principles are inherent in so many pest management companies that I know and admire — companies that are purpose–driven, independent and long-term oriented. I believe these companies are tremendously appealing for many prospective customers, partners and employees. I also believe that a company that is focused on its community and its people is extremely attractive for both potential customers and potential employees.
The opportunity to do what we choose to do, and to build what we want to build, is special and inherent to our industry. We can all build companies that are long-term and evergreen: truly built to last.
JENKINS, who rotates this column with his brothers Raleigh and Dennis, is president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, Austin, Texas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.