Pest control company owners get great satisfaction from running their own businesses. Those who answered Pest Management Professional’s (PMP’s) 2023 Merger Survey shared the positive aspects of owning their companies: being an independent and locally owned company, giving back to their communities, embracing family values, leaving a legacy, enjoying their work, growing at their own pace, and fostering relationships with loyal customers.
But sometimes the sale of a pest control company is inevitable. A buyer often steps in when an owner is ready to step away from the business, but does not have a family member willing or able to take over.
Many of the PMPs who answered this year’s survey expressed concerns about their employees after a sale. One said he would want to know his employees and customers would be happy. Another mentioned he would want assurances that his employees’ jobs would be secure and the transition smooth.
When asked, “Can merging with a larger pest management provider help an acquired business improve career opportunities and employee retention?” 66 percent of respondents agreed that it could. Ten years ago, in 2013, 58 percent of respondents answered yes to that same question.
It’s common for acquiring companies to ensure employees will be well taken care once the transaction is complete. Typically, sellers meet with employees to personally reveal the sale and then allow buyers to directly address concerns about compensation, benefits and job duties. Because employees are a key company asset, a smooth transition with minimal disruption is critical.
One notable barrier to selling appears to be tax laws, as 64 percent of survey respondents said they would be less likely to sell for this reason. Six years ago, 81 percent said they would be less likely to sell — although that year, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law. While there’s no getting around paying taxes on the sale of a business, expert advice will ensure sellers have no regrets once their deals are done.