You’re making appointments, servicing customers, collecting payments and getting your pest control business’ name out there. What more could there be to do?
Believe it or not, while you may be performing every facet of those tasks perfectly you could still be leaving some money behind. And with nearly 25,000 pest control businesses in the U.S. fighting to get a chunk of the $14.8 billion revenue anticipated to churn out in 2018 , every dollar saved and invested back into your business becomes even more vital. But how do you ensure that you remain competitive and maximize every dollar spent in a market that only shows signs of increasing and seeing more competition?
Expand your services
In the past, there were some pest services that didn’t show as much potential for profit. But naturally, times change and so do your customers’ needs.
Take for instance the bedbug epidemic that took the U.S. by storm a few years ago. While experts blame the boost of these little bloodsuckers on anything from increases in travel to rising environmental temperatures, the fact stands that in 2016 alone the pest control industry saw a 4.4% increase in bedbug related treatments. And those services certainly had an impact considering that now, two years later 6.6% of the market now specializes in bedbug-related procedures.
You can never fully anticipate how the industry is going to shift. But, by remaining flexible and including several treatment solutions to your clients, you are setting your business up to capitalize on as many streams of revenue as possible.
Allow data to drive your decisions
Numbers don’t lie. They can tell you how effective your business was with certain services, how many jobs were completed and how much revenue you raked in. They can also tell you the not-so-great news of where your business is lacking. That’s where reporting becomes essential.
Not only are business reports valuable for measuring finance and performance, but seeing the effectiveness of each facet of your business can allow you to clearly make smarter, data-driven decisions. Even more so, by taking the time to learn and navigate your reports you can properly make projections, set goals and nail down benchmarks that can help you identify wasted cash and ultimately save money in the end.
Invest in your employees
All of those termites aren’t going to exterminate themselves; that’s what your highly trained and experienced technicians are for. But your technicians are more than just your workforce; they are your business’ reputation as well. Consider the fact that when customers call to have a pest control job done they are usually feeling irked, concerned or maybe a mix of both. And while anyone can come and treat the problem, it is the impression and level of service that they receive from your technicians that will set you apart from the competition.
Not to mention the fact that studies have shown that the total cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to nearly twice that employee’s annual salary. It may be common sense that you need to take appropriate care of your workforce; after all, a happy workforce usually leads to happy customers. But how do you ensure that your specialized technicians don’t turn around and leave you for a higher paying job at a competitor?
- Cover all the bases when it comes to competitive benefits and opportunities: We are talking about more than a paycheck here; though it is important to make sure that your technicians are being compensated with a fair market-value wage. Providing health benefits, flexible time off options, free food, reimbursement for travel, or even more creative options like a game room for your technicians to relax in could all be factors that help improve employee retention.
- Keep your employees engaged: Providing training opportunities and areas for advancement is imperative. Not only are you ensuring that your employees can stay up-to-date on essential methods and technology, but it allows them to feel fulfilled by advancing their skillset. Furthermore, it helps save your business money. According to a Gallup State of the American Workplace study, “only 30% of workers felt engaged at work which ultimately cost businesses nearly $500 billion in lost productivity and poor customer satisfaction each year.” By contrast, MIT Business Studies have shown that engaged employees perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave their place of work.
- Check in with your techs often: Whether they are new hires or veterans of your organization, it is critical to show your employees that you and listening and there to support them. By consistently engaging your technicians for feedback you can effectively highlight and acknowledge any achievements, or quickly address any problems and concerns before they fester.
- Embrace industry advancements and eco-friendly technologies: Checking in with your technicians isn’t the only thing you should stay up-to-date on. Keeping your finger on the pulse of emerging pest control news and technologies can ensure that you are investing in cost effective, more modern methods.
For some that means employing “greener” pest control methods. The consumer demand for eco-friendly options has already impacted the market, and in the last year 25% more companies responded by developing and marketing more environmentally efficient products.
In the pest control industry, this plays a critical role especially when considering the chemicals, treatment tools and methods necessary to perform jobs. While there are several green certification courses, techniques and materials available today, not everything will necessarily align with your business. However, by performing the appropriate amount of research and continuing to monitor industry trends, you can pinpoint which “green” solutions are best for your business, and will allow you to tap into and service clients in the growing “green” market.
The pest control industry shows no signs of slowing down. And with experts anticipating a growth rate of about 1.7% by 2023, it is integral that businesses exterminate the practice of any lost or wasted money. By capitalizing on growing revenue streams, retaining skilled technicians and embracing market trends to best service customers you can keep your pest control business buzzing along for industry success in the long run.