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How to grow your pest control business

GorillaDesk Staff

How to grow your pest control business

Starting your pest control company is a huge accomplishment, but growing it? Now, we’re talking about an entirely different beast.

The pest control industry is teeming with challenges beyond run-of-the-mill bugs and critters. There’s the competition, regulatory hurdles, and seasonal fluctuation to contend with, too. 

However, with the right strategies and tools, you can turn your pest control business into a thriving, robust operation. We’ll walk you through some recommended resources and tactics to overcome growth obstacles and set yourself up for lasting success.

Growth challenges in the pest control industry

Let’s start with the hard part: overcoming the numerous challenges of starting a pest control business.

From fierce competition and stringent compliance requirements to the ebb and flow of seasonal demands, pest control companies face a myriad of obstacles to sustainable growth.

Competition

In the pest control business, your customers can choose from a sea of options—and your business is just one small sailboat in the great blue ocean. 

The competition goes beyond basic rivalry and vying for clients. You’ll need to create unique differentiators in an industry where many companies offer similar services.

To stand out effectively, try embracing new or cutting-edge technologies, like eco-friendly treatment options or digital customer payment platforms, to improve customer interactions.

You can also set yourself apart by offering customized services for your target audience. For example, try guaranteeing rapid response times for “code-red” emergency pest situations or showcasing your expertise in dealing with particularly tricky pests like the ultra-destructive Formosan termite. 

Addressing niche market demand and providing superior customer experience can help you emerge as a leader in a competitive landscape.

Compliance

Legal stuff can be dull to sift through, but it’s an essential piece of the pest control industry. There’s an increasing number of standards to comply with—especially in terms of environmental regulations governing the use of pesticides and chemicals. 

Ensure you’re following proper procedures for applying, storing, and disposing of these substances to minimize the overall environmental impact of your pest control business and avoid potential legal troubles.

You should also consider compliance regarding your safety protocols, particularly surrounding employee safety. Pest control technicians work with hazardous materials and equipment, making safety training, protective gear, and adherence to safety guidelines uber-important. 

Failure to comply with safety standards not only puts employees at risk but also jeopardizes your company’s reputation and trust within the community.

Compliance isn’t just about environmental and safety concerns. It also includes obtaining proper pest control licenses and insurance as well as following industry best practices. While there are many different boxes to check in the world of compliance, not being fully adherent gives potential customers a great reason to dismiss your services off the bat.

Seasonality

The pest control business is extremely seasonal. In warmer months, you’ll often see an increase in insect activity like ants, mosquitoes, and termites, requiring pest control companies to ramp up their efforts in residential areas. In the winter season, you’ll likely witness a surge in rodent infestations as large pests seek shelter from the cold.

To address this seasonal variability, you’ll need to build an adaptable business. Different seasons bring different issues, but a winning pest control company will be able to handle them all. 

If certain technicians on staff specialize in insect infestations, for example, how will you fill their schedule during colder months? By anticipating fluctuations, you can proactively adjust your staffing levels to ensure you have the right technicians on the team. 

You can also adjust your service offerings throughout the year and anticipate demand so that when customers have a problem, they know just who to call.

Customer retention

It’s one thing to get new customers; it’s another thing to retain their business and become a customer’s “go-to” pest control company. Maintaining pest control customers goes beyond delivering effective treatments. 

You must build lasting relationships based on trust, reliability, and exceptional service. Building relationships with your customers gives them confidence in knowing that doing business with you will be a pleasant experience every time.

With competition on the rise and customers having more options than ever, pest control companies need to prioritize personalizing the customer experience, communicating promptly, and consistently delivering high-quality service.

One way to promote customer commitment is by implementing a loyalty program that rewards repeat business and existing clients who provide referrals. This incentivizes customers to continue using you for upcoming services while also bringing you more customers. It’s a win-win!

Change management

To put it lightly, the pest control business is not the most… tech-savvy. Integrating new technologies into operations, such as advanced pest management software and digital marketing tools, is often met with resistance from administrators and technicians.

However, embracing new technologies is essential to growing your pest control business. These technologies allow you to operate at maximum efficiency, improve service delivery, and remain ahead of the competition in a constantly evolving market.

There are a few things you can do to ensure that adopting new technologies goes as smoothly as possible. First, provide adequate training and support to employees to familiarize them with the new systems and processes.

Then, spend time creating a culture where you value and reward innovation, technology, and continuous improvement. Encourage employees to embrace change, adapt to new methodologies, and understand how this new tech improves their professional lives.

3 strategies for lasting success in the pest control business

Looking for a surefire path to success? Once you’ve understood the challenges you’re likely to encounter, consider these three strategies to propel your pest control company ahead of the competition.

1. Invest in technology

In recent years, technology usage has increased in nearly every industry on a global scale, and pest control is no exception. Embracing cutting-edge technology tools and software solutions can impact every aspect of operations—from streamlining administrative tasks to improving the customer experience. 

Adopting advanced pest management software like GorillaDesk can automate scheduling, optimize routing for technicians, and improve communication with clients, leading to more efficient workflows and better service delivery.

Investing in technology also enables pest control companies to anticipate—and fulfill—growing customer expectations. Using data analytics tools allows your business to gain valuable insights into customer preferences and market trends so that you can tailor your services to give clients exactly what they want.

If you’re ready to invest in technology but aren’t sure where to start, check out our pest control software buying guide. Inside, you’ll find guidance on different types of software available and criteria to consider when evaluating multiple tools.

2. Diversify your services

In a highly competitive landscape, the more services you can offer, the better. When you offer a greater diversity of services, you can cater to a broader customer base and capitalize on additional revenue streams. 

For example, alongside traditional pest extermination services, companies can branch out into wildlife removal, integrated pest management (IPM), and eco-friendly pest control solutions. This diversification attracts a wider clientele and positions the business as a comprehensive solution provider capable of addressing any pest control needs clients might have.

Plus, if you offer more services, it’s easier to create a personalized customer experience. You can specify your services to a client’s specific challenges because you already have a team of skilled technicians who can handle (almost) any pest-related issue. 

A customized approach like this will build trust and satisfaction among customers, increasing the chances of repeat business and positive reviews. 

If you decide to diversify your services, make sure to reflect it in your pest control marketing strategies as well (more on that next).

3. Prioritize digital marketing

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that any modern pest control company worth its salt will prioritize digital marketing in the next few years—if they haven’t already. In 2024, when consumers have a problem, they don’t go to the phone book or hope to pass by a relevant billboard. They go straight to the internet.

Your pest control business needs to be visible online if you want to grow—it’s as simple as that. Embracing a comprehensive pest control marketing strategy includes various tactics, primarily optimizing your online presence.

This includes investing in search engine optimization (SEO) and local search strategies to ensure your website ranks well in search engine results for relevant keywords and local searches. Creating and optimizing Google My Business listings is crucial for improving local visibility and attracting nearby customers searching for pest control services.

Those phone books we just mentioned? Business citations have replaced them. 

Hosted on reputable online directories and review platforms, these digital listings enhance your business’s credibility and visibility for potential customers. It’s essential that your up-to-date business information is readily available online to get your phone ringing.

Another digital marketing tactic for generating quality leads is email marketing. Even if you’re not a writer, creating email marketing templates for new leads, estimates, and follow-ups makes it easier to communicate with customers and gives you another channel to promote special offers or seasonal services.

Of course, you’ll want all this information to live on a user-friendly website. Think of your website as your digital storefront where customers go to learn about your services, read customer testimonials, and contact your team.

3 growth tools for your pest control company

We don’t expect you to achieve sky-high growth on your own. Invest in putting the right tools in your pest control toolbox to ensure positive results.

Here are a few tools we recommend researching further.

1. GorillaDesk

Schedule your technicians with ease (Source: GorillaDesk)

We’ve just listed bucketloads of strategies for growing your pest control business. How are you ever going to achieve them, though, if you’re bogged down with administrative tasks?

You’re not.

GorillaDesk pest control software solves this by cutting down the day-to-day minutia of running a business, so there’s more time and resources available to focus on growth. Instead of worrying about keeping track of invoicing customers and collecting payments, you can dive deeper into your online marketing strategies and ways to train your technicians.

The platform also facilitates easy scheduling, client communication, and price transparency, making it easier to build and maintain great customer relationships and a favorable local reputation. 

2. Google Analytics

With Google Analytics, you can track and analyze various aspects of your pest control website and online presence. With these insights at your fingertips, you can make data-driven decisions to help your business run even more smoothly.

By viewing your website traffic and conversion rates (for example, how many people contact you after visiting your site), you can understand how people interact with your website, which pages are most popular, and which pages might need improved messaging.

By viewing insights on where website traffic is coming from (for example, social media accounts or an organic Google search), you can evaluate how effective your digital marketing campaigns are and focus your effort on channels that drive the most traffic. 

In this technology-first world, data is king, and the companies who know how to harness it will emerge on top.

3. Gusto

Perfect for small businesses, Gusto is an employee management platform known for its payroll and HR solutions. It’s a valuable tool for hiring, managing, and paying employees.

Gusto automates payroll and calculates wages, taxes, and deductions for you to ensure accurate and timely payment of employee salaries. It also offers self-service features so that your staff can access their pay stubs, tax forms, and other HR-related documents online at their convenience, reducing your administrative workload. 

Having an employee management platform is also great for compliance reasons as the program handles payroll tax calculations, filings, and payments. 

Platforms like Gusto keep track of tax deadlines and ensure that payroll taxes are accurately withheld and remitted to the appropriate authorities, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Your path to pest control success

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a successful pest control company. Social media ads might work well for some, while others find higher rates of return on building out extensive loyalty programs.

Regardless of which tactics work best for you, one thing is certain: Having the right tools is essential for driving future growth.

If you’re seeking a platform that can help you take the guesswork out of scheduling, create automatic invoices, and help you comply with regulatory requirements, check out GorillaDesk. 

Sign up and start your 14-day free trial today.

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