Life can be full of little annoyances. Many of these are personal troubles, like getting stuck in traffic, or your phone battery dying while you’re out. But some are physical, like insects, mice and other pests. This makes a pest control business a viable concept for anywhere you happen to work or live, as anyone who owns or rents property may need your services at some time. So, what does it take to get started? Here’s what you should consider and what you should know about how to start a pest control business.
Expenses and Profits
According to market experts, you can start a pest control business for an initial investment of as little as $10,000 or as much as $50,000. The reason for this wide range is depending on the kind of pests you focus on, and the methods you use, the expenses and necessary equipment may vary. For example, if you focus on handling invasive insects, like roaches and termites, pesticide will be a necessary, and recurring, expense. If, however, you focus on rodent extermination, you may use alternative methods to pesticides like traps. You should consider what kinds of pests are common in your area and if there are any voids in local pest control services you might fill.
Whatever methods you choose can prove profitable when you bring the right services to the right customers. Your profits will depend on the prices you set, which should be based on factors like labor, overhead, materials, and desired profit margin. Researching your competitors’ prices and setting your own to be competitive is also a good idea.
The Startup Process
If you’re unsure how to start a pest control business, we’ve laid out the process step by step. Keep in mind that some steps may take longer than others.
- Lay out your core business concept. This includes deciding which pests you’ll focus on controlling (which determines what equipment you need) and figuring out what kind of benefits you can advertise over competitors. If you try to start a business by yourself, you’ll also need to come up with a business name, logo, and possibly a slogan.
- Take care of your informational and regulatory requirements. You need to take the proper training in pest control, especially if you’re going to work with dangerous chemicals, and obtain the required licensing in your state. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials websites can help you determine what licenses and training you’ll need. Once you’ve done that, you’ll also need a business license and register your business with whatever agencies are required by your state.
- Set up your business support services. You’ll need a business bank account, as well as the proper insurance. You should, at minimum, get a business owner’s insurance policy. Consider hiring a marketing or advertising firm if you don’t want to handle the marketing and advertising yourself.
- Purchase your equipment. Your training should give you a good idea what tools and materials you’ll need for your pest control business. Among the tools many pest control businesses use are telescoping mirrors and endoscopes, LED flashlights, infrared temperature sensors, night vision cameras, rodent/live animal traps, ultrasonic pest repellant, vacuums with HEPA filtration, backpack sprayers with wands and foam nozzles, foggers, skid sprayers, insecticide, bulb dusters, tool belts, ladders, hole sealant, first aid kits, chemical spill kits, and personal protection equipment.
- Promote your business. If you’re running your business alone, you’ll have to handle your own marketing. This includes things like creating a website, using social media to get the word out, networking with other local businesses and members of the pest control industry, and creating listings with online services like Google Business.
- Hire employees. If your business takes off and starts to grow, eventually you’ll need to hire additional staff.
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