Pest Control Franchise Wants to Bring Opportunity to Industry, Equity to Entrepreneurs
Pestmaster Services brings a great opportunity to veterans and the opportunity to turn their pest control business into the ultimate 401k.
Operating in 15 states and Washington, DC, Pestmaster Services offers a broad variety of pest control services that emphasize environmentally friendly strategies using non-toxic or low-toxic solutions, company president Jeff Van Diepen outlined during a recent interview from the company’s headquarters in Reno, NV.
The company also performs vegetation management services to combat invasive, non-native weeds, and health-related pest management like mosquito control, bird control and site decontamination.
“The menu is pretty broad and the menu continues to grow and expand just about every year,” Van Diepen said.
Having started franchising in 1992, the company now has 31 franchise locations and three corporate locations spread throughout the country. Plans are underway to add both new company owned operations AND new franchisees this year, but these opportunities won’t last. With nicely crafted 10 year terms and two ten year options, the opportunity likely won’t come back around anytime soon if an area becomes spoken for.
The company began operations in 1979, and operated only company owned or affiliates until formal franchising began in 1992.
Pestmaster is one of the few companies on the federal supply schedule with the General Services Administration (GSA), which means its privy to attractive federal government contracts.
The company has a full-time contracts department that works at their headquarters in Reno that is constantly searching for available opportunities for pest control services. As those opportunities arise, the contracts department alerts franchisees if the opportunities are in or close to their area. Pestmaster also assists franchisees with proposal development, pricing and submission of bids to the government for those opportunities.
From Boots to Business Owner
Van Diepen said Pestmaster wants its veteran employees as well as its franchisee’s veteran employees, to be able to eventually purchase a franchise if they choose. To facilitate this, Pestmaster has a clearly defined career path they offer to the service technicians the company hires for their corporate locations.
When employees are hired, they are invited to consider upward opportunities within Pestmaster. Within two to five years, we anticipate a fork in the road and that fork may lead to a franchise opportunity or a management position within the company. If employees choose to become franchisees, they will also receive a 50% discount on Pestmaster’s franchise fee.
When veterans enter our industry, they can learn everything they need to know from Pestmaster about running a business and receive their appropriate licensing. The licensing is important in the pest control industry, Van Diepen noted, because it is highly regulated industry.
Van Diepen pinpointed veterans as one group that fits Pestmaster’s franchising profile well, particularly because some of the aforementioned government contracts are specifically “set aside” for small businesses and veteran run businesses. Service Disabled Veterans are an especially welcome group that Pestmaster is committed to assisting.
As people become more knowledgeable about pesticides, they are also becoming more concerned about their use. This is why Pestmaster is dedicated to green approaches to pest control, Van Diepen said.
Pestmaster doesn’t just want to “spray” the pests, the company wants to diagnose and resolve the root problem behind pest infestations. Often, the solutions to pest problems don’t involve using any kind of pesticide, Van Diepen said. They can be as simple as making adjustments to sanitation on the premises.
The Pestmaster president cites a lack of integrity among some pest control companies that can lead to what he described as “silly” attempts at solving pest problems.
As an example, he relayed the anecdote of a school that had a problem with rats in its boiler room. Oddly, while the room had a lot of rat droppings in it, it also had a lot of apples in it, which were an apparent food source for the rodents.
Unfortunately, the school had planted apple trees directly outside of the boiler room. On top of that, the door to the boiler room had a two-inch gap along the bottom. The rats would go under the door and collect the apples and bring them into the boiler room where they could eat them in a relatively cozy environment.
While the previous pest control company the school had hired thought it best to put bait stations on either side of the door, this proved completely futile because the rats already had a food source and weren’t interested in the poisonous bait.
Pestmaster technicians came along and immediately spotted a much more obvious solution.
“The cure was simply to put some weather stripping on the door,” Van Diepen explained.
It’s this kind of common sense approach to pest control the company aims to instill in its technicians and franchisees. To do that, the company runs comprehensive training programs.
It has three two-day training meetings per year and brings in guest speakers who talk about what’s going on in the industry and go over new approaches to pest control. That training also includes business training and the latest computer education.
Pestmaster also trains franchisees about the various pitfalls of operating a pest control business and the risks they have to be aware of to avoid potential litigation.
Perhaps the best thing about owning a Pestmaster franchise is that it’s more than just a career, it’s a business that grows equity for owners, which is important to Pestmaster. Van Diepen himself built up and sold a handful of Pestmaster locations in a multi-million dollar deal several years ago and he wants franchisees to have the same opportunity.
“It’s a nice little nest egg that they’re creating for themselves and one of the things we are definitely interested in is developing equity in these businesses,” Van Diepen said. “And when it comes time for a person to exit, we also offer assistance on the sales process.”
The company would prefer franchisees to sell their businesses as a Pestmaster franchise, but they also have a process to allow the franchises to be sold to a competitor, if necessary.
Between building integrity within the industry and building equity for veteran employees-turned-franchisees, or vets who begin as franchisees, Pestmaster presents a superb opportunity.
For more details, visit our website at pestmaster.com or call us at 800-525-8866. We’re celebrating 37 years of excellence and have been in the industries “Top 100” for over 15 years.