Implement MRR for the long-term win


January 4, 2023

Getty Images: Oundum/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Even in this economy, there is money to be made out “on the field.” Getty Images: Oundum/iStock / Getty Images Plus

It’s 2023, and you’re ready to rock your business goals. The No. 1 goal for most companies is revenue growth. But how do you achieve it? You start by overhauling your pricing structure.

Let’s talk growth

Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the name of the game in our industry. The beauty of it is that, with each month, it compounds. MRR sold today continues to grow your business tomorrow, vs. one-time services that put money in the bank today but fail to produce future revenue.

Many companies are moving to the monthly payment or subscription model. When I had my pest control business, it was a game changer! Swapping from invoice-when-serviced to a monthly subscription made service more affordable for my customers, while increasing cash flow and retention for my company.

What’s in it for you

Sheri Spencer Bachman

Sheri Spencer Bachman

As a pest control provider, if you do your job, your customers don’t have bugs. Your customers evaluate the need for your service every time they make the payment for services rendered. But if they no longer see bugs, why are they keeping the service?

By disassociating the payment with the service through MRR, however, no evaluation occurs, and you retain each customer longer. Selling bundled services this way will increase sales — and the amount of money each customer spends with you.

The key is to secure the monthly payments on a credit card or automated clearing house (ACH) network. Automatic payments guarantee money in the bank. Each monthly payment pays for the next service. When you deliver the service, it’s already paid for, so there are no collection issues.

What’s in it for your customers

Monthly payments are much easier to budget. The cost seems more affordable because you’re talking smaller dollar amounts. Automatic payments make it easier and more convenient for them as well. Service becomes about preventive pest protection that is guaranteed.

The Game Plan

First, update your price sheet:

  • Take what you’re charging per service and calculate its annualized value. Divide the annual value by 12 to determine monthly payments.
  • Add 10 percent.
  • Calculate the initial service fee you want to charge.
  • Edit your written service agreements to explain the difference between service and payment frequency.

Next, set up your technology:

  • Set up credit card or ACH payments in your software if you haven’t already.
  • Ideally, you want all customers to keep a credit card on file to pay for services. When offering a monthly subscription plan, require it.
  • As a bonus, credit card or ACH payments are advantageous should the charge be disputed. If the service agreement backs up the payment, you don’t lose.

Finally, educate your team:

  • Educate team members on the changes in pricing and how service is sold.
  • Explain the “why” behind the change.
  • Roleplay scenarios to ensure they understand how to communicate the change to customers.

About the Author

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Spencer Bachman is a second-generation pest management professional, and owner of the Pest Control Business Coach consulting firm based in Canton, Ga. You can reach her at

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