Take 3 steps to go ‘back to school’


August 14, 2023

Getty Images: Floortje/E+

Getty Images: Floortje/E+

The busy season of August is upon us, which means it’s also back to school season. Back to school means time for learning. And learning means bettering yourself and bringing new knowledge to the table.

It’s the perfect time to identify what you’ve learned this summer. Your expansion in knowledge may be as simple as, “I sure need to learn more,” or as intricate as, “Based on this busy season, where do we see ourselves in three years? What about in five years? What will we need to add, subtract and invest in to achieve our goals?”

Asking growth questions

The ultimate goal is growth. You want to see your pest control business succeed. You want to hit your first or next million-dollar milestone; the only way to achieve those goals is upward growth. How you answer the six questions in “The Game Plan” at right is as important as what you do with your answers. There are three steps to follow to maximize growth:

1. Make a list

Your list needs to do the following:

  • Identify the process that didn’t work or isn’t working.
  • Define why you believe the process needs to exist and why you believe there is a problem with the process.

Here are some examples:

Problem: Scheduling was a nightmare. Why?

  • Too many customers wanted confirmed appointments.
  • There is no routing software in place.
  • Too many technicians are calling off.

Problem: We didn’t meet our sales goals. Why?

  • We don’t have enough leads.
  • We don’t have enough sales.
  • Our closing rate on sales is low.
  • No one on the team is focused solely on selling.
Sheri Spencer Bachman

Sheri Spencer Bachman

Problem: Management is spending too much time in the field providing service. Why?

  • We couldn’t find someone to hire.
  • We didn’t hire soon enough.
  • Our training program needs some improvement.

Problem: There is no money in the bank. Why?

  • Bills are not going out in a timely manner.
  • Customers are taking longer to pay their bills.
  • There are office staff issues.

2. Make a plan

Put together a plan to work through these issues. You can do this in several ways, such as:

  • Regularly schedule meetings with your team leaders to discuss potential solutions.
  • Ask peers in the industry if they have had these issues and what they’ve done about it.
  • Hire a consultant to help you work through these issues.

3. Work the process

Once solutions are identified, work through the process to implement the needed changes within your business. Remember, change takes time. Please don’t wait until next year to do it. Instead, work on it in the fourth and first quarters, so when the busy season comes back, your new processes are working, and you are ready.

There is no better time than now to start this learning process. Welcome back to school!

The Game Plan

Now is the time to answer six vital growth questions:

  1. What’s working?
  2. What isn’t working, and why?
  3. Where do we have chaos,and why?
  4. In what areas is improvement needed for each department?
  5. Are we on track to meetour goals?
  6. Did we have goals to hit, or are we just repeating the experience of previous years?

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 Sheri@PestControlBusinessCoach.com.

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