Daniel Street has compiled four predictions for business owners — including pest management professionals (PMPs) — to be aware of for the new year. Street is CEO of Scorpion, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based marketing software and services provider for pest control and other home services.
- We may see an increase in inventory hoarding. Local service providers that have the means will start aggressively stockpiling parts and products to protect their inventories and bottom lines from continued demand-driven supply chain issues and mounting inflation. With people still spending so much time at home, service businesses continue to have more work than they’ve ever had before, but they also know that, in this era of Yelp reviews, if they don’t have the necessary materials to complete a job, not only do they lose the business, their brand takes a hit.
- We may see more do-it-yourselfers. Some businesses will find they’re not just competing with one another, but increasingly with customers themselves. We all know home improvement stores enjoyed massive growth through the pandemic, but with rising costs, all the extra time spent at home and, increasingly, an unwillingness to wait out service delays, many people — particularly millennials and members of generation Z — are taking the time to learn how to solve plumbing and other household issues and maintenance on their own. This is a good time to get in on the DIY game. There’s large demand for videos that walk people through various home projects (think rodent-proofing, for example), plus the opportunity to pick up those customers when they’re unable to finish a job or do it right.
- We may see the need to raise rates to offset cost increases. As businesses of all sizes continue to experience recruiting challenges, small businesses may find it particularly difficult to absorb the rising costs associated with turnover and recruiting, including hiring interim contractors, creating videos that showcase company culture and turning to hiring tools and services that aren’t cheap — not to mention soft costs like the loss of productivity and institutional knowledge. The money has to come from somewhere. Rather than cut into sales or marketing, many small businesses will have no choice but to pass those costs onto the customer on top of the added costs already being applied due to inflationary pressure. In the case of PMPs and other home service providers, this will add even more fuel to customers learning to do more of the work themselves. Get ready for DIY on steroids.
- We may see video marketing become the norm. More small businesses will turn to short-form video, flocking to social sites like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube to drive traffic, build an online brand and even make a little extra money participating in the creator economy by showcasing their expertise. TikTok will become particularly popular among local businesses as word continues to spread on the new geo-tagging features that allow creators to market to local users. TikTok’s audience is also tremendously hungry for DIY content. While it might seem counter-intuitive for a PMP to show people how to prevent pests rather than call a professional, for example, we’ve found customers are more likely to call on the service providers they’ve seen on TikTok for help with more complicated issues down the road.