It’s not every day someone can say they were a Christmas present, but that is exactly what Christian Allan was for his parents. He was born Dec. 15, 1991, but officially adopted on Dec. 25 of that year.
This particular Christmas present has been a gift for the Louisville, Ky., market, providing service to folks in the Bluegrass State. For this month’s “Start-Up Stories,” let’s take a closer look at Allan and his company, Tailor Made Pest Control.
Allan’s dad, Dave, started his career in the U.S. Navy and later worked in the defense industry. Because of his career path, the family moved a lot.
“I have lived in several cities and countries,” Allan said as he counted them off for me. “Japan twice, Washington D.C., Virginia, New Hampshire twice, Missouri and Kentucky.”
Allan’s parents divorced when he was young, and his dad remarried. His new wife, Amy, shared the dream of having a large family, and they continued adopting kids. Allan is the oldest of several siblings, including Will (24) from Japan; Joy (22), Noelle (20) and Sophia (17) from China; Reagan (10), born to Allan’s dad and stepmom; and Abraham (7), adopted from New York.
Most of his family now lives in Delaware, but Allan decided to move to Kentucky and give pest control a chance. He had met his dad’s high school friend, the owner of Louisville-based Swat Team Pest Control, and was excited at the prospect of starting a career in pest control. In fact, he moved in with his future boss for eight months while he learned his new trade. After a few years, he got the itch to start his own company, so he established Tailor Made in October 2021.
This year, he celebrates 10 years in the industry. Many pest management professionals (PMPs) already “know” Allan because of Facebook, where he has nearly 2,000 followers. He has made a name for himself on social media with his friendly nature and interesting posts. He is a true self-promoter and has made several friends within the pest control fraternity.
In 2022, Allan won an online contest to be a guest of Seth Garber at the Pest Daily Power conference. For that matter, out of 27 applicants, Tailor Made was chosen as one of five companies I agreed to mentor this year for this column. He also has won awards through the Louisville Award Program.
The bespectacled entrepreneur focuses on exterior residential services as well as wildlife, termites, bed bugs and mosquito treatments.
Allan also is a professional poop scooper.
Yes, while many PMPs use holiday light installations as a side hustle, he dabbles in doo-doo, helping his friend James Shields at Derby City Poop Scoop. They have almost 1,000 active clients, which keeps them very busy.
“Now that I am growing my own business, I won’t be able to help my friend as much,” laments the excrement expert, who met Shields while working at Swat Team. “It’s an incredible business, but I’m going to focus on pest control.”
At first, Allan started retrieving Rover’s rectal waste one day a week to help Shields and to earn some extra money. For a six-month period, he even worked there full-time. The pair are still close and often refer work to one another.
Allan, who has been happily married to schoolteacher Contea for three years, has lofty goals for his start-up company. Last year was his first full year as Tailor Made and he did well, selling $131,000 worth of services. He would like to double that in 2023, shooting for $260,000 in revenue. He hopes to hit $500,000 in revenue by 2024 and $1 million by 2025.
In March, Allan took a leap forward toward his goal: He started advertising for his first full-time tech.
With Allan’s knowledge, strong work ethic and charisma, he should hit all his goals. The poop-scoop community’s loss is pest control’s gain.
S.W.O.T. Analysis: Tailor Made Pest Control
- Technical proficiency
- Client communication
- Always looking to improve
- Thirst for knowledge
- Customer service skills
- Needs to display more empathy
- Answering phones
- Focus (always chasing new things)
- Marketing (Google)
- Becoming more involved in the community
- Money for expansion
- Understaffed (more work than he can handle)
- Stress on the job