From promise to progress: Tailor Made and 1-Stop Pest Control


June 20, 2024

When I first came up with the idea for “Start-up Diaries” and presented it to Pest Management Professional’s Marty Whitford in 2006, I had no idea whether my company, Schopen Pest Solutions, would be successful. That was what made the column so cool: Would Pete fail or succeed?

Now I see the next generation of start-ups growing their businesses in “Start-up Stories,” and it’s exciting to monitor their progress. I get all the enjoyment of watching their companies thrive, but without the stress or liability. It’s kind of like borrowing the grandkids for the weekend.

As we move deeper into 2024, I thought it would be good to catch up with last year’s start-ups and see how they are doing. Are they growing? Are they making money? Have they changed any policies or protocols? Have they hired employees? Did they have any time to do fun things like watch “Fallout” or join a pickleball league? Have there been any hiccups along the way? Today, let’s revisit our friends from Tailor Made and 1-Stop Pest.

Christian Allen

Christian Allen

Christian Allan: Tailor Made Pest Control, Louisville, Ky.

2022 = $131,000
2023 = $307,000 (exceeded goal of $260,000)
2024 projection = $600,000

Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for 2024 = $1 million

This Louisville pest pro and “social influencer” has not slowed down his media presence in 2024. His “Pest Funeral” videos are hilarious, and he’s popping up in places like advertisements and podcasts. His company is growing steadily, and he now has two full-time technicians along with Sara Branch, his office manager.

“I’m very happy how my company is growing via social media,” Allan told me recently. “We finally finished growing our first ‘official’ route in 2023, and now we are actively building our second.”

The two techs are running the day-to-day routes, while Allan is handling wildlife and fulfilling the duties of being a newly elected Kentucky Pest Control Association board member.

In 2023, some items I was working on with Allan included:

▶ Getting organized through standard operating procedures (SOPs)
▶ Creating a pricing list
▶ Answering the phones better (converting more leads)
▶ Keeping track of statistics and key performance indicators (KPIs)

I love SOPs, and Allan has been busy making paper copies of his procedures as well as videos on how to perform each service. Going-hand-in-hand with his service protocols are price lists and phone scripts. Allan was intimidated by stats at first, but he now regularly monitors tech stats such as conversion rates, jobs completed, cost per mile, mileage and sales.

As far as growing pains, Allan hired his first full-time tech last year — and watched her leave a few months later. Tailor Made is using more scripts when answering phones, but he feels the conversion rate is too low. Despite adding SOPs, he feels like he is still not organized enough — Tailor Made ran out of chemicals one day, for example (been there, done that). He is also learning how to manage three people and the challenges that creates.

Bill and Angie Richter: 1-Stop Pest Control, Cincinnati, Ohio

Bill and Angie Richter

Bill and Angie Richter

2022 = $441,000
2023 = $744,000 (goal was $550,000)
2024 = $930,000

BHAG for 2024 = $1 million

The Richters have experienced incredible business growth. One year ago, they hired their third tech. Now, they have five techs and room for at least one more.

“We are bursting at the seams!” Angie reports. “Our team chemistry is better in 2024 and we are getting a lot more work done.”

They lost two techs at the beginning of this year, but with daughter Amber in the office and son William in the field, the Richters are back to working together as a team.

“Right now, our company culture is thriving, and things are much smoother,” Angie told me.

Things they have improved upon since last year include:

▶ Not giving away free services
▶ Becoming more organized
▶ Charging for follow-ups
▶ Upselling services

One of the items that Angie, Bill and I worked on last year was training and holding meetings. Bill and Angie are pest control experts, but they needed to transfer that knowledge to their staff. They have done a great job holding monthly meetings to go over protocols and pest control treatments. By charging for follow-ups, instead of guaranteeing services after the initial visit, they have greatly cut down on callbacks and are making a lot more money.

In 2024, hiring is a struggle industry-wide. A few months ago, Angie hired an office person — who missed four days of work within the first two weeks before quitting altogether.
The Richters and I agree that Bill needs to do less field work and focus on managing the office. Three years ago, Bill cut off part of his foot in a lawnmower accident. Because of his injury, Bill walks differently now and has hip and back issues. By moving into the office, they can avoid hiring another office staff person. Bill can still go out to provide quotes, troubleshoot and oversee bigger jobs.

Next month, we’ll catch up with Evans Termite and Pest Control, Resolve Pest Management and Sasquatch Pest Control.

About the Author

Avatar photo

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

Leave A Comment

Comments are closed.