The respondents to Pest Management Professional’s (PMP’s) 2024 State of the Industry survey gave similar answers to all revenue- and profit-related questions as those who answered the year before. It seems the more things change — an election year, wild weather, an uncertain economy — the more things really stay the same.
That doesn’t stop most company owners from hustling to make it an even better year than 2023, of course. Doug Foster, owner of Burt’s Pest Control in Columbus, Ind., and a PMP Editorial Advisory Board member, revealed the mantra for his team: GSD, for “get stuff (or other ‘s word’ of your choice) done.”
“We raised prices 10 percent across the board, hired two new technicians and streamlined routes,” he explains. “We also implemented raises and landed several large commercial accounts. We finally quit talking about what we ‘should’ do and started taking action.”
Jennifer Blythe, president of Bug Commander Pest Control in the appropriately named town of Prosper, Texas, says owners shouldn’t be timid about charging what their services are worth.
“Our technicians are tasked with being proactive in the field — to not just be problem-solvers, but investigators and educators who provide customers with the education to prevent future infestations, while taking care of their current pest issues,” she adds.
Jacob Morehouse agrees. “I hear on a daily basis about pest control companies losing valued customers due to unrealistic expectations on the customers’ end,” says Morehouse, director of pest prevention for Melbourne, Fla.-based Honor Services. “Miscommunication could be the culprit. Remember, it may take more than one conversation to get customers to understand, but it’s worth it in the long run.”
Foster emphasizes making sure your team understands their value, too. “Just like a sports team, sometimes we need to try new things and different ways to get out of a ‘slump.’ For example, now we’re not just giving incentives on new accounts, but also just for turning in leads. It has brought a new level of enthusiasm to our team.”