Buying a franchise means that you’re getting access to a business model that has proven to work over the years. This would mean that your chances of succeeding in this kind of business become greater as compared when you’re starting your own brand.
One of the industries that has a high-demand is pest control. However, like any other niche,it has its own pros and cons. Here is a list of what you should expect when purchasing a pest franchise.
1. Operational Excellence
Any business will thrive when they have an optimized business model. Companies that offer franchises have refined their processes and ironed out the mistakes they’ve made in the past. Take, for example, the Lawn Doctor franchise. They’ve been franchising since 1967. They are one of the longest pest franchise available in the market. You can be sure that more than name recognition, they’ve established excellence in their work and has continued to do so until today.
2. You Get Trained
Training is crucial in any job, and this holds true even when getting a franchise. You should only go for pest companies that provide training to their franchisees. It is usually a classroom-type setting that’s held at their corporate offices. Franchisees are taught the following things:
- Pre-opening procedures
- Handling of daily operations
- Advertising techniques
- How to use their software
- Proper handling and storing of pesticides
- Basic customer service skills
- Hiring practices
- On-the-job training or shadowing
These kinds of training are vital for your success especially when you have to deal with poisonous pesticides that can be lethal when mishandled.
3. Customized Marketing Plans
Most companies will be involved when handling brand advertising. This is because you are primarily handling their brand and reputation. Some of these companies will have a detailed marketing plan on how you can acquire your targeted market. Take, for example, Hitman Pest Control. They don’t have the same brand recognition as compared to more massive pest franchises but, they have the years of experience to back their reputation. Their marketing plans revolve mostly in becoming a household name in the local communities where their franchises are. One way of doing this is by creating strong ties to the immediate neighborhood.
4. Purchasing Capability
Having a large company backing you up when making purchases gives you the ability to buy at bulk prices. In some cases, there are even discounts available. This is because the company is buying on behalf of all the franchisees. This increases your profit margins and will make it harder for independent businesses to compete with you.
5. Franchisee Support
Pest control franchise companies will usually have a support team available to attend to any franchisee concerns. These are the following areas where a support is needed:
- Emergency assistance in case of an accident
- Marketing help
- Software troubleshooting
- Daily operation problems
Some companies even have field representatives who visit franchises to observe and provide additional feedback. Having a team to help you when you’re in need makes it easier for you to focus on what’s important – finding customers.
A franchise is just like any system, and for it to work correctly, one must adhere to protocols strictly. It succeeds because it’s a one big well-oiled machine and if one franchise misbehaves, it reflects badly on the company. This is the reason why franchisors give out pages and pages of rules to franchisees when they begin. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to conform to regulations, you should find a different line of business. Take, for example, Mosquito Joe, every staff are required to wear appropriate clothing when doing pest work, and anyone seen not doing so will have to be reported to the headquarters.
2. Big Initial Investment
You need to have a significant capital when investing in a pest control franchise. This is because you are buying the license to sell a brand. The initial investment can go as high as six figures, depending on how big you want your franchise to be. Here are some pest control franchise companies and their minimum initial cash investment:
- Hitman Pest Control – $55,000
- Mosquito Squad – $50,000
- Bedbug Chasers – $100,000
- Eco-Safe Pest Control – $35,000
- Mosquito Shield – $25,000
- Lawn Doctor – $30,000
On top of these cash investments, there will be royalty fees you need to pay on a monthly basis. The royalty fee is usually a percentage of your net income. You wouldn’t want to put your investment to waste if things get to worse. That’s why you should protect your business with insurance.
3. Reputation Problems
Being a franchisee of a company, you will be held liable to any bad publicity the company gets into. This could affect your business at a local level and make you lose your market share altogether. This is especially hard in this day and age where everything can get posted on the internet and get viral in a matter of hours. There will always be a risk of losing reputation when something distasteful happens to the company – even if your branch is miles away.
Carefully weigh these pros and cons before getting into the pest control industry. Just like any business, there is a risk attached to opening your own franchise. It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying a recognized franchise and think that customers will immediately come to your doors. No matter how good the systems are, if you don’t do the work, you won’t succeed.