At five years of age, Aruza Pest Control is experiencing a growth spurt. But Solomon Airhart, CEO of the firm, is ready to handle the transition. He also looks back at how far it’s already come.
“When you are young, it is hard to get the credit approvals you need to supply enough vehicles, materials and equipment, so we had to get really creative with how we sourced our resources,” explains Airhart, who co-founded the firm in his early 20s — and after selling more than $1 million in door-to-door pest control services in Texas and Georgia. “Over the years, we developed stronger partnerships with the companies that did see our true potential and took chances on us. And as you become bigger and more established, it becomes a lot easier once you have developed strong relationships with your vendors that support your growth.”
Today, with seven locations across three states — North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida — Airhart says technology is key to keeping everyone on the same page.
“We use RingCentral chat, which links our phones, messages and video chat so it is easy to reach out to anyone across our organization,” he says. “We have certain team chats we use for individual teams, and then a company chat where we focus on sharing praise and recognition for exemplary team members. We share all the amazing reviews our service professionals get in the field so everyone can have a real sense of pride for what we do. And we use video meetings on a weekly basis to run through our operations meeting with all the branch managers.”
Implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) program also has helped streamline communication “while ensuring everyone in the company is focused and working toward the same vision,” Airhart notes.
Keeping consistently high quality is the linchpin to growth, he maintains: “As a company grows, it is imperative to have developed the right systems necessary to provide a uniform experience to your customers no matter what city or state, or which service professional is performing the service.”
Airhart, who received the National Pest Management Association’s 2020 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, says he has learned a lot just by attending industry meetings and getting to know colleagues. At press time, he was gearing up to share his own lessons learned via a podcast with another “hyper-growth pest control company CEO” who chooses to remain nameless at this time. The podcast, titled “Bug Bux” and debuting later this year, promises to host pest management professional (PMP) guests who can discuss strategies on how to scale and grow a pest control business.
“We want to help other PMPs become ‘bug money millionaires’!” Airhart says.