Are You A Mega Company? Then Who Cares About You?

Did you know a church becomes a “mega church” when it gets over 2 to 3 thousand people regularly attending?. According to the government you’re considered a small business if you have 500 employees or less. They even have a number where you can gauge if you’re rich. Earning $250,000.00 or more puts you in that class but you’re still miles away from being mega rich- for that you need to earn millions. I don’t even want to talk about uber rich, I’m depressed already.

So are you a Mega Pest Control Company? If not don’t dismay, in fact the majority of the pest control companies in the world are what most would consider small. In fact, based on the definitions above they might just be specks on the map. Just Mom & Pops working diligently or a hard working guy or gal who struggled and put in the effort to assemble a nice crew. These firms for the most part do very nicely and you’d be amazed at some of the impressive accounts, equipment and knowledge they have. While the mega companies are the most visible I contend it is the small companies that are the back bone of the industry.

The Reason I Ask

I only bring this up because lately I’ve had more than a few e-mails and solicitations to vote for or nominate a mega company for a major publication. Boy, I really don’t know anyone in a Mega company and I’m not sure anyone would return my calls from one. Not only so but recently the Top 100 list came out and I didn’t see a single Mom & Pop company listed. Then there is the Pest Control Hall of Fame which I don’t see a lot of single operators being inducted & so it got me thinking.

How Is It That The Backbone Of The Industry Gets So Neglected?

To be honest I think I know the reason but I’d like to hear from some of you. And to be fair I will also say that as of late there has been at least some attention in the form of mentions, quotes and even articles in pest publications and major web sites. This however- from what I can tell is a result of either being active on web forums, blogs or perhaps doing something extraordinary. I mean who ever heard of Tom Rasberry before he discovered a new ant species in Texas? Or who ever knew who I was until I began writing this blog 3 years ago?

I get many (many) e-mails from the single operators around the nation who comment on this lack of recognition. They feel like the magazines totally target the big companies and offer very little help for them. Comments like,

I don’t have a HR department, a service manager or a fleet of trucks. Why don’t these people write about things I can do to help my business?

Like I said, I have an idea of why but it doesn’t change the fact that the largest section of the industry is so ignored. And don’t get me wrong, one day I’d LOVE to be a mega company and sit back on my lanai reading my monthly subscription and wondering if this year I moved up to # 39 on the top 100 list. Ha! Till then I guess I’ll just have to keep my coveralls in my service truck because work doesn’t get done by day dreaming.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.
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  • Stuto1

    We are neglected because of lack of visibility. The mega companies are the face of the industry because they have the money to spend on high dollar advertising and marketing. It can be said of probably every service industry. Magazines like PCT keep rehashing the same articles probably because us small guys keep sending them money.

  • Quit your whining and get back to work! Stut01 is right we are neglected only because the BIG boys have the $$$ to promote them east to west and in between. It’s funny because I often hear people say – I love that commercial on TV but I know they charge me for that. I also know that I can change my mind a lot faster than the BIG boys. Mom and Pop’s made America and no matter how you face up to it – it’s all about exposure and money – I wrote a blog sometime back about how money stays in your state when you buy from a local or a multi state company and its usually fair to say you can generally get in touch with someone in state faster than out if you have a problem. I’m not sure I really want on that list – ah the headaches…… Ok maybe…

  • I CAN DREAM CAN’T I? lol

    What gets me is that the big T and Mighty O spend soooooo much on commercials, Google and God knows what else but I’d put up a simple one man operation against most of their service people any day for product knowledge, safety,customer relations and just about any other category. Having said that- It is ironic most smaller company owners backgrounds are rooted in a mega company. Maybe that should tell us something.

  • Pest Kil

    I am one of those guys who came from the Big O. I worked for them for 10 years, worked my way up from a start tech all the way up to branch manager, and everything in between.

    I owe a lot to the big O as they taught me 90% of what I know, and I always had great managers above me. That being said, the two biggies are one of my best sources for new customers as the constant turnover of techs, and their higher prices ( I do not want to open up the pricing bag of worms, but they have much more overhead than I do.). I also love the commercials that they and other regional pest companies pay to air because it makes getting future customers easier for me also.

    Just my 2cents,

    Eric Kroon
    PestKil Inc.

  • That 2 cents is well worth it. I owe my existence to the big T and I’m thankful for the training I had and comrade but when push came to shove (in my case) I found myself in a cold place looking at turned backs. I even went so far as to explore being a water treatment salesman and ALMOST made that move. No illusions-some of it was my fault but I was never happier when I found a well run small company and now of course I’m happiest on my own even if I exist in obscurity.

  • Stuto1

    I don’t understand the big T. Residential pricing is high but I have been under bid by them before on a few commercial jobs. I do have some of their old customers though.

  • Mel

    I have no problem with their quarterly pricing. If one does the math in accordance with the last figure the Npma gave as the suggested hourly rate for our industry. In an ideal world one could perform ten stops in an eight hour day. This figure allows a technician 48 minutes service and drive time between stops or any variation of service/drive time thereof. Owners, techs and customers would be satisfied. Also, owners could increase the budget on your marketing, seo, or pay per lead programs. However, megafirms always push the envelope to increase profits. Great isnt great enough, it seems, it’s workers can always do better for their profits and its always at the expense of the workers and customers.

    Again, In my opinion pricing is not the issue. I will use an analogy I once heard “everyone wants steak and lobster for the price of a cheese burger”. I prefer doing a valuable service versus a volume based service.

  • It’s usually around the end of the month when I get “out bid” by mega companies- Having been a starving salesman myself at one time I’m pretty sure this is due to end of month quotas that mgrs. are pushing for so they let things slide & sales people wanted to get as much commission in the pay period they can. I agree also with Mel – his analogy explains some of the illogical reasoning used to get to a goal. Yes they get to the goal again and again and again but when so much damage is done along the way I wonder why the smart people they’ve hired to help grow their companies don’t see it and try and reverse it.