Don’t’ Get Exterminated By the Norm

It has been 12 years since I was first introduced to the pest control industry.  My first impression of this industry was probably right in line with yours.  Without overtly insulting the industry, all I can say is that your impressions were generally correct.  How could anyone use the word “Exterminating” in their company name or marketing programs, I mean it was 2002.  Did they miss the Millennium?

All-Natural Pest Solution

It was at a conference event in Niagara Falls, NY that I was attending with someone from the company, who shared my general views, that I had quietly decided that I did not want to be like these people.  The industry events at the conference with my supposed colleagues were more of a of rally event held by the ‘Big 2’ national firms to keep you in line.  These companies controlled all the scheduled events, the suppliers and they even created Q&A events on how to properly run your business.  Their goal was to educate the consumer and the government on how we can spray more harmful products in their homes.  They’ll be fine and we can keep making money.  But how could we be different?

We started with a vision of what we would want someone to do in their home.  I know….cheesy but we actually developed a completely All-Natural pest solution for carpenter ants.  We expanded this concept to the treatment methods and frequencies that would allow minimum exposure and maximum results.  We made it a point not to hire anyone who did not believe in the vision and it worked.  We took a pest company with 5 people and made it 40 in 3 years by expanding and doing anything we could to drive our message home with our customers.  But then something happened.

As I started to think we had “made it” and we could take a break, our staff did not stop developing.  We developed a turf care division and only marketed it to our regular customers.  We were running into other home hazards and started looking into proper mold remediation.  We got licensed in radon, developed an asbestos division and had all our staff get lead certified.  Of course all of this took 6 years and it sounds a lot easier than it was, but there is a general point to this.  Somehow the idea of being a different company took on a life of its own.  We couldn’t stop people from wanting to do more, learn more and be more.  Our staff is learning new trades and new ideas every day and learning from each of our different divisions.  We can walk into a customer’s home and do things that no other company can.

The point is we have always wanted to be something different or something better than be just an ‘Exterminator.”  All we needed to do was create

the culture and change the pattern. Not follow the lead.  It’s not the “exterminating companies” fault but the national firms that have done this on purpose.  Keeping the little guy down and like them is the goal isn’t it?  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

I sometimes laugh at the companies that continue to use the word “Exterminating” because as society bans soft drink sizes and continues on this “Green” trend as a society, the only thing these companies are going to be “Exterminating” are themselves.