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How to start a pest control franchise in 6 easy steps

GorillaDesk Staff

Pest Control Franchise

Due to continuous growth even after the pandemic, the experts predict the U.S. franchise industry to reach an economic output of $893.9 billion in 2024. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder that opening a pest control franchise is appealing. In addition, franchises often have lower overhead costs and strong brand reputations, along with built-in training and support.

These benefits can make a franchise seem less risky than starting a pest control business on your own. But before you dive in, it helps to know what you need to get started. In this article, we’ll share six steps for starting a pest control franchise and dig into some of the best pest control franchise opportunities.

How to start a pest control franchise

Ready to open a franchise and help your local community become pest-free? Here are six key steps to get started:

Step 1: Evaluate franchise opportunities

If you’ve decided to go the franchise route, your journey will begin with a look at current opportunities. Start by analyzing the franchise disclosure documents (FDDs) for each opportunity. FDDs include information about franchise costs, requirements, training, and support, as well as the company’s track record.

Keep the following factors in mind as you assess each franchise opportunity:

  • Market growth potential: Examine your local market to assess demand, competition, and potential growth. Market research also shows how expenses and competition can impact your pest control business’s profit margin.
  • Multiple revenue streams: Maximize your revenue potential with opportunities that include a mix of residential and commercial pest control services like mosquito control, wildlife removal, and perimeter treatments.
  • Training and support: Make sure potential franchisors offer programs that help you meet your needs, and comply with any requirements, and market your services.
  • Brand reputation: See if the franchisor’s reputation and values align with yours. A strong, positive brand reputation can attract new business.
  • Territory: Avoid direct competition with other franchises and ensure future growth with franchise territory protection.

Evaluating these factors helps you narrow down your options and choose the franchise opportunity that most closely aligns with your goals and resources.

Step 2: Get your finances in order

Starting a pest control franchise requires an initial investment that ranges from $50,000 to over $200,000. This initial cost covers the franchise fee, equipment, vehicles, licenses, marketing, and other startup costs.

Keep these other expenses and investments in mind to ensure that you have enough funds to launch your pest control company:

  • Initial franchise fee: You’ll pay the franchisor a fee to use their brand and systems. This fee typically ranges from $25,000 to $50,000.
  • Royalty fees: Franchisors will often charge you a percentage of your gross sales for continued access to their brand, training programs, and systems.
  • Employee wages: Ensuring that you have enough funds to cover your payroll helps you pay employees on time.
  • Pest control equipment and supplies: These expenses include vehicles, equipment, operational tools like pest control software, and chemicals. Inquire with your franchisor about leasing or discounts.
  • Office rent and supplies: You’ll need to lease a commercial office space and equip it with computers, furniture, and other essentials.
  • Marketing: Your franchisor may offer support and funds to help you market your business.
  • Training and licensing: Franchisors may offer training programs for a fee. Along with training, make sure that your staff has proper pest control licenses and certifications.
  • Insurance: Your new pest control business needs insurance in case of property damage, accidents, or other incidents.

The franchisor’s FDD will clarify the costs and fees for which you’re responsible. It’s a good idea to consult a legal or financial advisor and have them analyze the FDD as well.

Step 3: Complete training

Franchise brands offer training programs to catch you and your team up to speed. These programs cover pest control techniques, safety, business operations, and the franchisor’s systems and processes.

Franchisor training often includes:

  • Technical training on specific pest control methods and equipment
  • Business operations training on software and processes for scheduling, invoicing, performing inventory management, and hiring and managing employees
  • Marketing training that covers pest control sales techniques and how to build your customer base
  • Financial management training on setting pest control prices, managing cash flow, and understanding franchise fees

Franchise opportunities often include continuous training to keep you updated on new techniques and products.

Step 4: Acquire licenses and permits

On top of franchisor training, you’ll need to meet city and state licensing requirements. Getting a pest control license may require additional training and certification as well.

All of your employees must be properly licensed and certified to apply pesticides. Otherwise, you risk legal action. Find out what your state’s and municipality’s requirements are by visiting your state Department of Agriculture or Environmental Protection Agency website.

You may also need to register your franchise with the state. These requirements vary by location, so check with your state for the necessary steps.

While you’re at it, look into national and state franchise laws. These laws protect both you and the franchisor in case of disputes, non-competes, and franchise termination. These laws also help you understand your rights as a franchisee, so review them before investing, paying fees, or signing any documents.

Step 5: Set up your business operations for efficiency

Improve Customer Communication with GorillaDesk

GorillaDesk offers multiple ways to communicate with customers and build a reputation for excellent customer service. (Source: GorillaDesk)

In addition to opening a business bank account, there are other ways to start your franchise operation on the right foot in terms of operational efficiency. Pest control software like GorillaDesk streamlines operations to free up time, save money, and improve productivity.

For example, GorillaDesk automates the following operational tasks:

  • Scheduling and routing: Enhance your team’s efficiency by reducing travel time between jobs and balancing technician workloads. This improves fuel efficiency, too.
  • Appointment communications: Send appointment confirmations and reminders to avoid no-shows and keep customers in the loop.
  • “On my way” texts: Enable your technicians to send customers their current location and ETA.
  • Payment reminders: Give customers a heads-up that payment is due. This reduces manual legwork and prevents revenue loss.
  • Follow-ups: Get valuable feedback from customers and stay top-of-mind with ratings and review requests.

GorillaDesk also helps your pest control franchise run more efficiently than a colony of ants with features like in-the-field estimates and payments, chemical usage logs, a customer relationship management suite, and QuickBooks Online integration.

Step 6: Market your pest control services

Your franchisor should offer pest control marketing resources, strategies, and training to help you promote your new company. Pay close attention to branding guidelines and use the franchisor’s intellectual property, such as logos and trademarks, correctly.

Your franchisor may provide these resources:

  • Pest control website design and local SEO
  • Direct mail, print, and radio ads
  • Online listings on sites like Yelp and Google Business Profiles
  • Paid ads and social media marketing

You may also receive access to national advertising campaigns and direct mail, ad, and email templates. Use these to cut marketing costs and generate new business leads.

7 pest control franchise opportunities in 2024

We did a little digging and found some winning pest control franchise opportunities. Keep in mind that your mileage will vary, and revenue and fees may change.

1. Pestmaster

Pest Master Franchise

Pestmaster offers ongoing operational and marketing support to franchisees. (Source: Pestmaster)

Operating a Pestmaster franchise opens the door to multiple revenue streams, including insect extermination, rodent control, and vegetation management. Each Pestmaster franchise territory has a population size of about 250,000 and may include several counties or metro areas.

  • Initial investment: $84,600–$188,800
  • Franchise fee: $42,500
  • Royalty fee: Not listed
  • Discounts for: Veterans

2. Mosquito Squad

Mosquito Squad Franchise

Opening a Mosquito Squad franchise means you’ll have your own support team. (Source: Mosquito Squad)

Mosquito Squad is one of the largest mosquito and tick control franchises, with hundreds of franchise locations across the US. In 2023, its franchise program saw $471,889 in average gross revenue per territory.

  • Initial investment: $164,580–$220,175
  • Franchise fee: Over $50,000
  • Royalty fee: 8%–10% (pay no royalties for your first 12 months)
  • Discounts for: Veterans, women, and minorities

3. Critter Control

Critter Control Franchise

Critter Control belongs to Rollins, which means your franchise can attract customers thanks to the reputation of multiple well-known brands. (Source: Critter Control)

Critter Control is part of the parent company Rollins, which also includes Orkin, Trutech, and Allpest. With those big brand reputations, you can expect strong support and resources, not to mention name recognition. Critter Control franchises can offer both residential and commercial services, including wildlife control, pest control, insulation restoration, and more.

  • Initial investment: $83,550–$240,275
  • Franchise fee: $64,875–$101,900
  • Royalty fee: 8%
  • Discounts for: Active duty military and veterans

4. Mosquito Authority

Mosquito Authority Franchise

Mosquito Authority offers franchisees a personal business coach and helps you create a business plan. (Source: Mosquito Authority)

Mosquito Authority’s training is impressive. You’ll get business and software training, online branding and marketing training, and a personal business coach during your first year. The company further supports franchisees with a national call center so you don’t need to operate your own phone lines.

  • Initial investment: $54,000–$127,700
  • Franchise fee: $25,000–$45,000
  • Royalty fee: Not listed
  • Discounts for: Active-duty military, veterans, and first responders

5. Mosquito Shield

Mosquito Shield Franchise

Mosquito Shield offers training and ongoing support for franchisees. (Source: Mosquito Shield)

Mosquito Shield, which offers mosquito and tick control services, has earned accolades for its franchise program. It maps territories by both the quality and quantity of potential customers. The brand also notes that its territories are five to eight times larger than other franchisors’.

  • Initial investment: $98,850–$139,950
  • Franchise fee: $54,500
  • Royalty fee: Not listed
  • Discounts for: Veterans

6. Mosquito Joe

Mosquito Joe Franchise Opportunity

Mosquito Joe offers franchise opportunities through Neighborly. (Source: Mosquito Joe)

Boasting an average customer retention rate of 75%, Mosquito Joe currently has over 400 franchise locations. Franchise services include tick and rodent control, along with perimeter treatments to keep ants, spiders, and other critters away.

  • Initial investment: $114,630–$156,500
  • Franchise fee: $42,500
  • Royalty fee: Not listed
  • Discounts for: Veterans

7. Truly Nolen

Truly Nolen Franchise Opportunity

Truly Nolen offers multiple franchise benefits, including a fleet of iconic yellow mouse cars. (Source: Truly Nolen)

Truly Nolen offers franchisees multiple revenue streams through residential and commercial pest control, pest management, termite treatments, and rodent control. Along with ongoing training and support, Truly Nolen also protects franchise territories and lets you work with national chain commercial accounts.

FranchiseHelp lists the following financial information for Truly Nolen franchises:

  • Initial investment: $50,421–$122,207
  • Franchise fee: $35,000
  • Royalty fee: 7%
  • Discounts for: Veterans

Start and scale your pest control franchise with GorillaDesk

Starting a franchise requires a large investment, but you have the potential to earn your money back (and then some). Inherent benefits like training, support, and territory protection can also reduce startup risks.

You can set yourself up for further success by using software that’s tailored to pest control companies like yours.

GorillaDesk helps you efficiently run and scale your business without losing sleep. Its client management, invoicing, scheduling, and payment features make franchise management easy without compromising customer experience.

Find out how GorillaDesk can help you run a smooth franchise operation—start your 14-day free trial today.

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