Finally Pest Control readies for recurring revenue


March 11, 2024

Marcus Richardson

Marcus Richardson

In the early 2000s, I was helping my dad and brothers grow Mid Central Pest Control in Algonquin, Ill. To stay current and fresh, we started experimenting with new products and services.

One of our ideas was bird control service inside billboard signage. We teamed up with a company that invented a bird repellent that could be rolled with a paint brush or sprayed on. We were getting good money for each sign, but we had to teach our techs how to climb 100 feet or more up in the air to do this work.

Because I would never ask my employees to do something I wasn’t willing to do, I was the first person to slap on a harness and climb. It was scarier than asking for ketchup at a Chicago hot dog stand.

I admire entrepreneurs who seek opportunities and think of creative ways to make the nearly impossible happen — and Marcus Richardson tops this list. The former chemist turned pest pro is our latest “Start-Up Stories” participant.

Growing accounts

Richardson started Finally Pest Control, based in Fishers, Ind., in 2017. He has been growing it steadily by focusing on government contracts and municipalities.

Richardson loves commercial accounts, but doesn’t shy away from residential. He has five techs, three part-time office workers, and two subcontractors. Our 2024 goal is for him to finish over $500,000 and increase his recurring residential customer base.
What makes Richardson different is that, immediately after starting his company, he went after government bids. He was fearless, jumping into the fray even though the contracts usually went to much larger companies.

Richardson’s first attempt at landing a government contract was a Veterans Administration hospital; his quote ended up being too high and he didn’t have enough experience. His second attempt was a state-wide bid. He landed the gig, but soon realized his pricing was too low. He hired two people to help him fulfill the contract, and then he went to work on perfecting his sales skills with government bids.

Before too long, Richardson and his team were traveling all over the Hoosier State, servicing state parks, prisons, Departments of Administration, Departments of Transportation, state troopers’ headquarters, technical schools, housing authorities, and more. The more people he met at these facilities, the more his company’s name spread throughout Indiana.

As with anything else, though, there are pluses and minuses involved with government work:

  • Plus: Being a minority-owned business helps Finally Pest Control land some contracts.
  • Plus: Municipalities tend to be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. jobs, which is good for work/life balance.
  • Minus: Government accounts can be less forgiving than residential accounts if something goes wrong.
  • Minus: Service providers must maintain a certain level of insurance to be able to work on-site at a government account.
  • Plus and minus: Government agencies can enforce certain requirements on pest control companies. For example, Finally Pest Control became QualityPro-certified because it is required for many government jobs. On the other hand, Richardson can market the extra certification as a selling point for all accounts.
  • Plus and minus: While government agencies always pay, they can be slow to do so. There are certain times of the year when payments merely trickle in, especially January and July at the end of the fiscal year(s).

Finally Pest ControlSetting goals

Despite Finally Pest Control’s incredible success in commercial accounts and government jobs, Richardson would like to shift toward a more balanced resume. “We are currently 70 percent government/commercial, but I would like to move that down to 60 percent, so all of my eggs aren’t in one basket,” he explains.

That is an area that he and I will work on in 2024. More residential clients and more technicians will help condense his routes. In 2023, his road warrior techs averaged 55,000 miles on each of their vehicles. Tightening the residential routes will greatly reduce his liability and risk with employees on the road.

Richardson notes he gets a lot of support from his Christian faith, his parents, and his wife, Janicia, who has a business management background. One thing she couldn’t advise him on recently, however, was when he inadvertently got locked inside a prison account.

“I was in the middle of my service and a fight broke out,” Richardson recalls. Was he scared? “No, I was in a secure area and the lockdown only lasted for 30 minutes.”

Well, I think I will stick with chasing pigeons and climbing up 100-foot billboards. Richardson can handle the stool pigeons!

S.W.O.T. Analysis: Finally Pest Control


  • Family-owned
  • Flexible
  • Experienced team
  • Owner is available to clients


  • Lack of quality control process
  • Limited marketing resources
  • Customer retention
  • Needs to create standard operating procedures (SOPs)


  • New bids
  • State-wide expansion
  • Residential accounts
  • Work on referrals


  • Competition
  • Scaling the company for growth
  • Too much driving can wear out techs and trucks

About the Author

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Schopen is owner of RV There Yet Pest Consulting and my email is

Leave A Comment

  1. Ruby Thomas Thomas says:

    So proud!!! of you Marcus. Praying that your business will continue to grow, until you say; that’s enough.

  2. I’m thrilled to see Finally Pest Control embracing recurring revenue! It’s a testament to their commitment to customer satisfaction and long-term relationships. By prioritizing ongoing service, they’re not only ensuring consistent protection for clients but also fostering trust and loyalty. Kudos to them for this forward-thinking approach!