This fall, I attended a Paul Bello Workshop in Clearwater, Fla. I got the chance to hang out with pest pros like Seth Garber (Pest Daily), Alan Feuer (Preventive Pest Control) and David Poplin (Legion Pest Management). It was a great meeting, with dozens of successful people from all over the country. I always learn a lot at such events, and attending them motivates me to complete some projects underway at Schopen Pest Solutions.
One topic Paul brought up was “goals.” Many people talk about goals, but fail to see them through to the end. I never quit on my goals, but I do get sidetracked with other projects. I always preach to my employees about setting one-, three- and five-year goals because it is easier and more fun to work at a place that establishes benchmarks for success.
For example, our call center people need to try for 40-plus phone calls per day. Our in-house salespeople need to get to $2,000 per day. Our customer service advocates (CSAs) need to help our techs reach $1,200 in daily production. Our techs strive to earn their Illinois and Wisconsin certificates.
I have set many goals over the years. My first goal was to hit 25 percent yearly growth, which we’ve accomplished. My second goal was $8 million in revenue by my 20th year in business; we are ahead of that goal and should hit $8.1 million in our 19th year. We also successfully purchased a building; are able to offer health insurance to employees; and created a paid holidays policy.
But there have been failed goals, too. Those include not having a commercial sales team in place yet, not having a Wisconsin office up and running, and not having guaranteed days off for my techs.
To close out 2021, I revisited my end-of-year columns for 2019 and 2020 to see what my goals were each year, and compared them to our upcoming 2022 goals. Here we go:
2019 goals for 2020
- Crack $2.5 million: Yes.
- Promote a technician to branch manager: Yes.
- Promote an employee to quality control director: Yes.
- Replace our roof: Yes, to the tune of $125,000.
- Create a better and more professional training manual: Kind of. We completed one I like, but it is a work in progress.
- Open a Wisconsin office: No.
- Watch my son graduate from The College of Wooster in Ohio: No, the pandemic crushed that dream — although he did graduate with two degrees.
2020 goals for 2021
- Break $3.2 million: It’s looking good as I type this, although the final stats will be out next month.
- Stay healthy: So far, so good.
- Open a Wisconsin office: Denied again.
- Create a sales team: Kind of. We have a great inside sales team and a wonderful call center started, but we are still missing a commercial sales team.
- Split my corporate office from my McHenry branch: Almost. On Nov. 29, I closed on a new building to house my corporate team. Unfortunately, we are not moved in yet.
- Create a working budget: Yes.
- Create key performance indicators (KPIs) for office staff: Yes. Branch Manager Chris Baumann and I have stats in place for our CSAs and salespeople.
- Purchase outdoor billboard advertising: Yes.
- Celebrate our 15-year anniversary: Yes. It has been fun promoting the milestone, interviewing our clients, creating cool swag for my staff and family, and posting a timeline in the office.
- Open a Wisconsin office: I seriously want to make this happen.
- Create a sales team: See above.
- Hit $4 million in revenue.
- Hire a full-time HR person.
- Promote three of our techs to team leaders (supervisors).
- Begin management training for qualified CSAs, techs and supervisors.
Happy holidays and Happy New Year to all of my pest control friends and families. Every year, I mention a few people, so “Ho-Ho-Ho” to Heather Gooch, Diane Sofranec, Marty Whitford, Josh Alpert, Pete La Quaglia, Alan Feuer, Marty Jones and family, Paul and Mary Ann Bello, Fred Willey, Joel Miller and family, the Chitwoods, Bill and Angie Richter, Marlin Voss, Jeff Caudill, David Guyon, Paul Alley, Joe Goodell, the Thorntons, Bill Dyra, my awesome staff, my lovely Queen Tami and my two incredibly successful sons, Caleb and Trey. You are all God’s blessings to me, and I appreciate each and every one of you.
Schopen’s Open Book
START-UP: Schopen Pest Solutions Inc.
HEADQUARTERS: McHenry, Ill.
FOUNDER: Peter F. Schopen Jr.
START-UP DATE: April 11, 2006
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 32 (31 full-time, 1 trainee)
2006 REVENUE: $97,235
2007 REVENUE: $172,495
2008 REVENUE: $203,732
2009 REVENUE: $243,427
2010 REVENUE: $325,960
2011 REVENUE: $425,847
2012 REVENUE: $489,887
2013 REVENUE: $572,772
2014 REVENUE: $687,326
2015 REVENUE: $858,180
2016 REVENUE: $1,079,068
2017 REVENUE: $1,478,600
2018 REVENUE: $1,877,496
2019 REVENUE: $2,095,118
2020 REVENUE: $2,398,367
2021 REVENUE TO-DATE: $2,534,693*
OCTOBER REVENUE: $262,068**
2021 GOAL: $3,219,839
* Up 24 percent from last year. Thanks to staffing shortages, we were two weeks late getting our 2022 prepaid summer sales sheets mailed out. Our actual October “worked accounts” was up 27 percent from last year. We are expecting a monster November once the prepaid letters start flowing back to the office.
** Up nearly 4 percent from October 2020.