Bugs and building ensure a lasting legacy


June 21, 2024

When my wife, Jennifer, and I started our pest control business, we worked out of our house. As we began to grow, we rented a small office.

We owned our next office, which we financed with a bank loan, and stayed there for roughly 10 years. When we outgrew that building, we found a larger one for sale, went way out on a limb, and purchased what is now our current office.

The building was in bad shape and much bigger than we needed, but the price was right, and we took a leap. Since then, the building has been remodeled several times.

Photo: ABC Home & Commercial Services

Photo: ABC Home & Commercial Services

Consider the possibilities

The largest remodel enabled us to change a portion of the building into a warehouse. This allowed for material issuance to be much easier for our field staff. In the past, we would have a line of technicians waiting their turn to get materials. Now, they place an order in advance, and the materials they need are placed in a locker so they can retrieve them when they are on site. These lockers are open on the back side and secured to a fence to make sure materials are not used without us knowing who used them.

The remodel also changed the office areas and let us have a true call center, as well as conference and meeting areas. As your company grows, meetings with divisions of your staff increase, and having a place to meet is important for maintaining company culture and consistency.

When you need more space, consider this: Leaving one location and moving to another leaves those who have seen and know your old location wondering what happened to your business. Also, consider whether one location will suit your needs. Maybe you would be better served with more than one location.

Our company serves Texas’ Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, which has 134 municipalities. People in Dallas don’t normally want to call a company in Fort Worth, and vice versa. As you grow, you may be better suited to a second location rather than one larger location.

Office locations also offer the ability to have signage — some of the best advertising you can get. I highly recommend capitalizing on the visibility of your office. Knowing the traffic counts on the road where you are located is worth the time and investment.

Building for retirement

When we bought the building, we started a new entity: Team ABC Ltd., a company owned by Jennifer and me. It serves as the landlord and ABC DFW became a tenant on the lease.
The building is about 5 years from being paid off, and Jennifer and I will retire at that same time. ABC DFW will continue to pay rent to Team ABC Ltd. but instead of going to the bank, the funds will pay my and my wife’s salaries.

We will never experience a “big payoff” from selling our business. But having our business be a legacy to pass on to the next generation, and never having to worry about our personal finances, will be payment enough. Incidentally, we have lived in the same house for 23 years and its mortgage is paid off, too.

If you do it right, using your pest control business to drive your real estate investments can provide you with a cash flow that will sustain your family long after you are no longer working and have passed your business on to your kids.

About the Author

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JENKINS, who rotates this column with his brothers Bobby and Raleigh, is president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, Dallas, Texas. He can be reached at djenkins@abcpest.com.

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