(181).Start a Termite Control Business
Termites are the major wood-destroying structural pests in the world. Termites that normally live below ground and may move up into a structure where they cause damage.A termite control business is a type of business that needs a lot of preparation physically and financially. If you start the business and you are not going to hire anyone to get rid of the termites, you need to prepare yourself and be healthy since you’ll be dealing with chemicals. You need to go through a proper training when because with just one wrong move everything will be affected. Observing safety precaution is always important with this kind of job because your life will also be in danger if you will not learn to do it correctly. Using proper attire as well as other safety gadgets is necessary during the whole process of killing the termites. There are different types of chemicals used in killing pest and it is ideal to familiarize yourself with these in order to avoid confusion. Since you are dealing with the different types of chemicals you should have a strong stomach so that you won’t easily get sick when you accidentally inhale it. However, before performing your job make sure to use the appropriate face mask that will protect you from inhaling the chemicals.
An exterminator must also posses the characteristic to become meticulous in every job that it performs. Being meticulous in every job that you are assign to do is always something that you need to accomplish since termites can be very hard to kill if you will not do it thoroughly. If you miss to kill one termite it will soon become a multitude again and your customer might not hire you anymore. So, ask yourself if you think you have these characteristics and you are ready to open your own termite control business and perhaps expand it by hiring additional staff.
Once you decided to continue establishing your own termite control business, the next thing you must do is to make everything possible. Apply the things that you have learned in the training and purchase the items that you’ll need to operate. It is always expected that you will spend additional cost in purchasing the equipments that you need in order to make your business effective. If you can afford to have a vehicle that you can use in the business that will be great so that you can immediately reach your destination and you can offer services in various locations.
Advertise your business in a way that other individual will easily reach you when they need your service. You can use the internet to make it accessible or advertise it through magazines as well as newspapers. Think of methods that will help you improve your business without spending a lot.
Although local or "spot" wood treatments stop termite activity in the treated area, they are not complete termite treatments and they will not stop termites from attacking wood in other areas. One treatment option uses the chemical disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT). This borax-derived chemical is applied to critical wooden structural components in the crawlspace and parts of the framing in a house under construction. Data provided by product manufacturers suggest that termites do not extend their tubes over treated wood nor do they cause any structural damage. However, depending on the type of construction involved, it may be possible for termites to bypass this treatment and attack nearby untreated wood such as baseboard molding, trim, etc. Chemicals that are suitable for wood treatments are listed in the current edition of the NC Agricultural Chemicals Manual.
Identifying the right strategy to use when starting a termite control business will be helpful in gaining income from it.
Work hard to keep current customers. Make sure your current customers, whether termite or general pest, see a strong value in your service. Keep the frequency of customer contacts high with periodic reports, informational mailings, site visits, personal contacts, etc.
Develop good relationships with successful builders. In any area, certain aggressive developers and builders will stay busy. Those are the builders to cultivate so that you keep a flow of pretreat work in the pipeline. Monitor the flow of commercial work in your area and court those builders.
Develop good relationships with good real estate agents. Visit real estate offices to sell your services so that they call you for termite inspections and treatments.
Sell termite inspections to home buyers whenever possible. Real estate contracts specify who orders the inspection; it is best to work for the buyer when possible. People who are able to buy homes in a bad economy tend to be in better economic circumstances than most and more inclined to protect their assets. Sell them on the angle that you are working for them to protect those assets, and have no conflicts or hidden agendas.
Avoid competing on price if you can. There will always be companies willing to cut corners to make a sale and you won’t be able to compete with them on price unless you are willing to cut corners, too. While it feels counter-intuitive, it is generally not good business practice to compete on price when the economy is tough.
Sell quality. Examples: (1) Instead of a $35 inspection, charge significantly more, say $150 or so, and spend more time doing the inspection, perhaps 1.5 to 2 hours. Then provide the client with a professional folder with a detailed report, photos to document conducive conditions, damage, and even trouble-free areas, and make recommendations for corrections, repairs, and even for actions needed for general pests. (2) Sell distinctive, quality termite treatment (combining liquid treatment with monitoring, or selling “green” termite control) that you can sell to those customers more motivated by quality or philosophy than price.
Work harder and smarter to improve conversion rates on renewals:
- Aggressively sell the need to protect the customer’s investment through professional inspection and the renewal of termite warranties.
- Maintain the current customer base by packaging various services together.
- Provide complete, professional, and useful termite reinspection and monitoring reports.
- Regularly remind your customer base about the value of your services through mailing and other communications. Send periodic educational newsletters and mailings such as warnings on conducive conditions, pest of the month, and mulch management.
- Adjust your charges for renewals to accurately reflect type and cost of initial treatment, degree of risk, type of warranties (retreat versus repair), and limits of liability.
Keep costs low. Review your operations and eliminate waste and unnecessary expenses.
Provide add-on services. Generate additional income by providing additional services related to termite control such as damage repair services (for more, see Ancillary Services and Businesses in previous chapter).
Use combination approaches in order to retain a customer over the long-term. Examples include combining termite spot treatment (liquids, injection, etc.) with a termite monitoring program or providing termite monitoring in a package with general pest control.
Adapt to the market. Track construction activity and follow the trends; for example, if commercial real estate remains strong in your area, put your emphasis on this market. Also track government funding in surrounding areas to get a jump on new projects.
Go “green.” Market and offer green termite services that will appeal to the millions who make many buying decisions based on their environmental concerns (see “Going Green” in Termite Control in previous chapter).