With people in our country still working to get back to a somewhat normal routine after an 18-month disruption, it seems that not enough people have been talking about investment during the pandemic. In fact, conversation has — understandably — been focused on survival, quite literally. However, in the home services world, our industry has been fortunate to have more work than we can often handle.
Regardless of the size of your pest service business, we are all in the growth phase of the sigmoid curve. Often, owners rejoice in the revenue and cash out their margins. But business owners should think about reinvesting. There are two ways to invest: in your people — your training, compensation, and hiring support resources — or in your infrastructure.
My last few Pest Management Professional blog posts have touched on how Truly Nolen Pest Control is investing in our people via training and bonuses. While some might advise to focus on either people or infrastructure, we are doing a bit of both. Over the last few years, we have made considerable investments in technology, for example, that has been serendipitous with the operational work-from-home needs of the pandemic. We have made a significant transition to go paperless, not only with our customers but also with our internal processes. This initiative stemmed from my family’s conservation values, as well as our intent of being a modern company.
Along with the infrastructure investments mentioned above, another investment we have made as a company is our new Fort Myers building. The Southwest Florida market has been a long-time stronghold for our company, as well as my late father’s former residence for nearly 30 years. With that backdrop, we decided to invest and design our Truly Nolen branch of the future. Our new building serves as a center for residential operations, commercial operations, statewide insulation hub, and training facility.
The inspiration for the building? Truly Nolen has a long-standing relationship with Bayer. During a pre-pandemic visit to the Environmental Science headquarters of Bayer in North Carolina, we took note of their open, communal office design — and fondly admired their snack wall! I walked away reflecting on how we use our current office space. Most of our buildings sit empty throughout the day, with sales and service rooms compartmentalized. But that is not how our business functions.
Armed with this new vision, our new Fort Myers building better reflects how our business operates: open floor, modern aesthetic, streamlined technology, and team-oriented, all with efficiency in mind. We thank Stevens Construction for a terrific job with our new design, and we look forward to the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and building dedication Oct. 14.
In closing, the pandemic has given all of us time to evaluate things in new ways. Hiring new people and retaining your current team members will always be important, but if you do not have the proper infrastructure to manage the guts of your operation, there is no better time than the present to do so.