How to Start a Pest Control Business
In this post, you’ll find a vast amount of resources related to starting and running a pest control business. Each article is written by a different author giving you a broad perspective of each topic.
The articles are organized in sections for your convenience. You may want to bookmark this post so you can return any time you need the information.
Before you get to the resource section, I want to go over a few essential points you’ll want to consider.
Considerations for starting a Pest Control Business
The services you’ll be providing may include dealing with wasps, mosquitoes, roaches, bed bugs, beetles, termites, fleas, spiders, rodents, etc.
You’ll be exterminating existing pests, and you’ll need to provide a solution that will keep the pest from returning. Your solution may include a maintenance plan where you come in on scheduled visits to assess the situation and update traps and other pest control methods. Maintenance plans are a great way to get repeat business.
You’ll need to have the stomach for this type of work. Some people are meant for this job; others aren’t.
As a business owner, you can hire pest control technicians to do the work, while you overlook operations. Even though you hire others to do the work, I suggest you know how to perform the job effectively. You should be certified to do the job in case you need to cover for an employee that calls in sick or is off.
Are You Passionate About Pest Control?
Many business owners have found success in a business because they were able to identify an opportunity and run their own business.
One key element to succeeding in any business is the passion you have for the industry. If you’re not passionate about your company, your involvement and drive will be limited.
Problems arise in any business. When you’re passionate about your company, you’ll focus on solutions to overcome those problems that show up. Without being passionate, you’ll focus on an exit strategy when problems arise.
Passion drives innovation and success. Before starting any business, make sure you are interested in the products and services the company provides so that you start on the right track.
If you had a quarter of a million dollars in your bank account and were debt-free, would you still start this business?
If you answered yes, then you have a passion for this type of work. If you answered no, then what kind of work would you do? And should you be considering that instead?
Demand For Pest Control Services In Your Area
You’ll need to identify if there is a demand for pest control in the area you are planning to open. If there is not enough demand, then it will be challenging to succeed in the area.
You can get an idea of the pest services in your area by typing
pest control service + your city in your favorite search engine.
For example, you live in a small town with a population of 600, and there are no pest control businesses. Sure there is no competition and insufficient demand because people that need pest control can call an out of town service. If you open a business where there is little demand for what you have to offer will prove to be a struggle.
Look at it from another perspective. If you open in an area where there are too many pest control services, you’re dealing with a saturated market. You’ll have a difficult time competing with established businesses. You won’t be able to gain any market share unless you provide something the market is missing. Or you’ll need to improve on a service where everyone else is performing poorly.
The best outcome will come from an area where there is demand, and the market is not saturated.
Will You Run Your Pest Control Business From Home?
Are you considering running this business from home? Or will you purchase or lease a building?
If you plan to do all the work yourself, you can start from home to keep costs down. Once your business is established, and you expand, it may be worthwhile to get into a building.
Will You Run Your Pest Control Business Part-time or Full-time?
A pest control business can be operated part-time. For example, you can make all your calls from 3 pm to 6 pm. After-hours, take care of stocking supplies, equipment maintenance, and dealing with paperwork and other business affairs.
Once your business grows, it will be challenging to operate a part-time business. Someone may call you at 8 am because of a rodent running through the house. You can’t say I’ll be there at 4 pm. They want the rodent problem taken care of as soon as possible.
This idea will be worth its weight in gold for someone new to running a pest control service.
Search for pest control businesses for sale within driving range. Make an appointment with each business owner to discuss the possibility of purchasing the company.
This approach has two benefits.
Benefit Number One:
You’ll get inside information from someone qualified for the inside scoop of running a pest control business. You can find out about the profit, losses, challenges, expenses, what it’s like dealing with clients, as well as any other questions you have.
You can pick the brain of someone that’s already running a business you’re looking to start.
Benefit Number Two:
You may find a business that’s worth buying. Instead of starting from scratch, you may find a deal worth looking into.
Before meeting with the business owner, you want to make a list of questions. Ask why they got in the industry, why they are selling, what they would do differently, how long they have had their staff, etc., to reveal issues to focus on when running your own business.
Here are a few sample questions you can ask.
- What made you get into the pest control industry?
- How long have you had the business?
- Did you buy it or start from scratch?
- What would you say are the biggest challenges of operating this business?
- What areas do I need to fix or improve?
- What were your sales last year?
- What was your profit for last year?
- Ask if financing is an option, and if so how much of a down payment is required.
Sometimes you need to dig deeper into a question. For example, How long have you had your team. If the owner tells you we get new people every couple of months, then you know you might have a problem with employee retention. Don’t go on to the next question. Ask why do people leave? If the owner replies, I don’t know for sure, dig deeper, make suggestions, do they not like the work? Is it the pay, or the way they are being treated? The more you dig, the more information you can uncover.
A Collection of Resources Related to Starting a Pest Control Business
Considerations Before You Start
How to Start a Pest Control Business
In this section, you’ll find the direction you need to take for starting your business. The articles below are provided by various authors giving you a broad perspective of all the issues you need to consider and where to look for more details.
You may want to take notes as you are going through each article.
Trends and Statistics
In this section, you’ll find trends and insights into the pest control industry as a whole.
One of the issues you want to find out is whether the industry is on the rise or on a decline. You’ll also want to identify any change in trends that you want to be aware of.
See the articles and resources below for trends and statistics that can affect your pest control business.
Profitability and Revenue
In this section, you’ll find the articles that cover the profitability and revenue of a pest control business.
You can use these for an idea of what to expect. What you need to keep in mind is that your profitability depends on many variables. For example, the area of your business will influence your profitability and the rates you charge.
Another issue that affects your profits is your expenses. If you have high expenses, then naturally, your earnings will be a lot less than a business with low operating costs. That’s why it’s essential to keep your costs as low as possible, especially for a new company. You want to keep your expenses low. At the same time, you don’t want to cut any costs that will sacrifice the quality of your work.
See the articles below for insights into the revenue and profits of a pest control business.
Startup and Operating Costs
Online reports estimate anywhere from $10,000 to $85,000 for your startup costs. Except for starting a franchise, it will be hard to determine startup costs unless you know what you need and how you will set up your business.
For example, you could buy a building to operate out of for $175,000. or you might lease or even start from your home.
To estimate the startup costs, you need to figure out what equipment and supplies you need to get started. Then you can begin to price out each of the items as well as other costs you’ll need to factor in.
See the articles below that will give you ideas of what you need to estimate your startup costs.
You can buy top of the line equipment, like a brand new Ford F350, and pay around $42,500. But do you need the best of the best to get started? I’m all for getting the best quality when it comes to equipment, but there is something more important, and that’s the lively hood of the business.
When starting out, you need a balance of the tools that will do the job and nothing else. Once your business is successful, you can upgrade, but in the early stages, you need to keep costs down.
At the same time, you don’t want to purchase equipment that won’t do the job or break down.
See the articles listed below that will give you an overview of what you need to get started.
Licenses Needed to Start a Business
You’ll need to check with your state/province and municipality to check for the permits and licenses required to start and operate your pest control business.
There are regulations you need to be in compliance with, because of the chemicals your using. Some states require an operator’s license before you can do any of the work.
As a service that operates in people’s homes and businesses, you may want to become a bonded business. Also, having bonded employees protect your customers from any financial loss and build confidence with your clients.
You can also do a couple of searches to point you in the right direction. In your favorite browser type in the following:
“Pest Control Business License” + YOUR LOCATION
“Pest Control Business Permits”+ YOUR LOCATION
See the articles below for an overview of the license and permits you need.
In this section, you can explore the options available for your pest control service.
You want to make sure you have the liability insurance to cover your employees, your business, and your clients. You can’t be working on people’s property without having the proper insurance coverage.
In this section, you’ll find articles providing tips and insights for hiring the staff you need, whether you plan to hire them now or in the future.
When starting out, you may do everything yourself. If you plan to expand, you’ll need to hire pest control technicians to service multiple clients simultaneously.
There is a balance of hiring the right amount of technicians for your workload. You want to make sure you’re not paying technicians when there is not enough business, and you want to make sure you have enough technicians to cover the demand.
Your pest control technicians will need to be certified before they can perform the work. Each will need an operator’s license.
See the articles below when you’re ready to hire additional staff for your company.
How to Finance Your Business
Have you considered how you will finance your company? Before you work on the financing, you’ll need to estimate how much money you’ll need.
I like to increase the loan amount by 10 to 15 percent of the estimated amount for unseen issues.
This doesn’t mean you have to spend the extra money, but you can use it for operating costs or emergencies. You don’t want to get to the point where you’re ready to open your door and find you are short on cash.
Business Name Ideas
Have you considered a name for your business? You need to keep in mind that you’ll spend a lot of money on marketing your business and making a name for yourself as a business owner over the years.
The name you choose now will be the name you use for many years. Therefore you don’t want to choose a name now and change it later on. You need to take the time to find the right name.
When you’re considering a name, you want to make sure it’s available to register. You want to see if a domain name is also available, so your website and business name are the same.
See the resources below for ideas to help you come up with a name that you like and is appropriate for your service.