As the owner of a new pest control company, one of the things you may be struggling with figuring out is how much to charge for your services to remain competitive. If you charge too little, you won’t make enough profits, and you won’t be able to grow your company.
Additionally, some owners believe that up-charging customers and inflating prices is an effective strategy because it gives the appearance of legitimacy and quality. However, studies have found that this is not the case. If you price your services too high, you can end up driving customers away.
So, just how much should you charge for pest control jobs? In this article, we’ll cover all of the things that should go into your decision. By the end of the article, you’ll know exactly how to price pest control services so that you can remain competitive in the industry.
How Much Does Pest Control Cost?
Before setting your price, you should investigate the average price for pest control services in your area. How much does an exterminator cost these days anyway? The average pest control costs can vary depending on where you are. For instance, the price of pest control jobs for rodent infestation in New York City is higher than it is in Idaho. Check out a few of your competitor’s websites to determine the average pest control costs in your area, which will give you a ballpark of what you should be shooting for.
Remember that when setting your price, customers are looking for value. They don’t want to feel as though they’re being “ripped off,” but they also want to make sure that you offer a quality service. If you undercut your competition considerably, you may not appear trustworthy to others. Perhaps you’re providing poor service or using cheaper products. Just because you’re the “cheapest” does not mean you’re the “best.”
Not All Pest Control Pricing is the Same
The other thing to consider when determining how much to charge is that not all residential or commercial pest control pricing is the same. Numerous factors go into the price of a project. We’ve highlighted some of those factors below.
Size of the Building You’re Treating
One of the first factors that can help determine how much you’ll charge for your services is the size of the building that you’re treating. For instance, you’re not going to charge the same for a residential basement as you would a multi-story building.
Take time to figure out how you want to set your pricing. Will it be by story? By room? Perhaps the easiest way is by the square footage of the treated area. For example, maybe you can consider tiered rates, with something along the lines of:
- Less than 2,500 square feet costs X
- 2,500 – 5,000 square feet costs Y
- 5,000+ square feet costs Z
One thing to remember when setting your tiers is the breakeven prices. Consider the time and material cost that you’re going to spend and set your prices from there.
The Type of Pest You’re Treating
The other thing to consider when determining your pricing is the type of pest you’re treating. We would not recommend offering customers “one size fits all” price plans. For instance, it costs significantly more to get rid of Smokey Brown roaches than it does to get rid of German cockroaches.
Additionally, some services may call for a thorough inspection before you can determine a treatment plan. For example, things like termite treatment and bat infestations will require you to survey the area before deciding the best course of action. Perhaps consider offering your customers a free consultation where you can take a look at the infestation before quoting them a price.
How Often You’ll Need Pest Treatments
The other primary determining factor when setting your prices is how often you’ll need treatments. Can you eradicate it with a one-time sweep? Or does the process take longer, requiring multiple visits? For instance, if you’re killing rodents outdoors, you may need to stop by every couple of weeks to refill bait stations.
There may also be services that only occur seasonally. For example, if you live in a cold environment, rodents will look to come inside during the winter. You could offer a one-time seasonal sweep of a home to seal any vulnerable points, set traps, and advise the customer of structural work he or she will need to complete on the house to ensure it’s safe for the winter.
Perhaps you can consider offering customers discounts on these types of services. For instance, imagine you can treat a home once in the winter and once in the spring. Neither is mandatory, but both services will go a long way toward preventing an infestation. You could offer a 10 percent discount to the client if they opt to receive the summer treatment after completing the winter treatment.
The last thing to consider when setting your prices is how long it’s going to take you to arrive at the location in need. You’d seemingly charge more for a service that’s an hour away than one that’s within the parameters of your local town. Driving not only requires gas, but it also puts wear on your vehicle, requiring more frequent repairs, oil changes, and tire changes.
Focus on Your Value Proposition
Instead of worrying so much about your cost, you should instead focus on your value proposition. Your value proposition is what you can offer to customers. It’s the reason you got into the business.
There’s a chance that you entered the market because you thought prices were too high. But, in all likelihood, you started your pest control business because there was something that you felt that you could do better than the competition.
For instance, perhaps you seek to provide more reliability in services. Maybe you want to offer services that are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Maybe you’ve decided that you are only going to use organic pesticides that are safe for children and pets.
Whatever the case may be, there’s something in your business that you feel sets you apart from the competition. The best strategy is to convey your value proposition to your customers. Customers may not be as worried about the price when they feel as though they are receiving something worthwhile in return. Perhaps they’re willing to pay a bit more for your services if they know that they can count on you to arrive at a moment’s notice.