Setting the tone


October 11, 2023

Shon Vodila

Shon Vodila

In 2010, Virginia Beach, Va.-based Accel Pest & Termite Control had its humble beginnings under the joint leadership of John Reid and Shon Vodila. They met and became friends while working at a pest control company, and each had more than a decade of both technical and management experience.

Starting a business was relatively easy. Building a client base was not, recalls Vodila.

“With zero customers to start with, our journey commenced by employing cost-effective marketing strategies to generate leads,” he says. “We also ventured into cold-calling commercial accounts and distributing door hangers in residential neighborhoods, aiming to build a customer base from scratch. Remarkably, our growth has been entirely organic, free from any acquisitions.”

Keys to growth

From the start, Accel Pest & Termite Control put employees and customers above all else — a strategy that has paid off

Vodila credits their rapid ascent to growing to an $8 million-plus company within a dozen years — despite the pandemic and economic ups and downs — to creating a welcoming environment in which to work and do business.

“From the very beginning, we envisioned a business where employees were treated exceptionally well, fostering a work environment so enjoyable that it would resonate with our customers,” he explains.

Another factor? Vodila and Reid embraced technology from the start. “We implemented crucial tools and customer relationship management, or CRM, software even before securing our first customer,” he reports.

Accel Pest & Termite ControlWith rapid growth comes growing pains now and then. Employing 67 people among four offices is no small feat. Vodila says the Accel team overcomes challenges by learning from mistakes and making training a priority for all. Educating everyone from the newest hire to the most senior staffer makes the company stronger and better, he says. In addition, it offers opportunities for promoting from within.

“Witnessing our team’s development and watching new opportunities emerge have been immensely rewarding,” he adds.

Learning from peers

Active participation in the industry is yet another reason for the company’s growth, Vodila says. For example, Reid is vice president of the Viriginia Pest Management Association and immediate past president of Virginia’s Tidewater Pest Control Association. “You’ll find that your peers are often more supportive than you might expect,” Vodila advises.

Looking ahead, Vodila says, Accel’s focus remains on organic growth while considering potential acquisitions to bolster route density. The team’s eyes are on the prize, he adds: “We’ve set our sights on reaching a milestone of $10 million in revenue by 2025.”

COMPANY NAME: Accel Pest & Termite Control
HEADQUARTERS: Virginia Beach, Va.
2022 REVENUE: $7.1 million
PROJECTED 2023 REVENUE: $8.4 million
1. Make detailed projections. Always document your revenue projections and ensure you have the necessary staff and equipment to hit those targets.
2. Understand your capacity. Identify the limits of every aspect of your business, from individual capabilities to how many services your technicians can complete, how many calls your team can handle, how many sales can be closed daily, etc.
3. Build a trusted advisory team. Seek advisors with expertise in various fields, such as an accountant who offers strategic insights beyond tax preparation. Our advisory team comprises professionals in legal, financial, insurance, banking and benefits domains.

About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at or 330-321-9754.

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