There are so many things that are just dead set against a small company from getting up and off the ground long enough to becoming established. It can be such a grind and a fight to just make it past the first couple of years which is when at least 1/3 of new starts fail. Odds are still in the houses favor as time goes by and never get over 50/50 in the first 4. While this is better than the 50% failure rate in one year rule that was believed true for years it still is a sobering thought.
So, there you are perhaps in year 5 or maybe 35 and you’ve made it through those daunting and perilous times unscathed. Sure it was tough and there were some peanut butter sandwiches along the way but hey, it was worth it right? You’re on solid ground now and barring an earthquake or some other cataclysmic event it’s time to relax, grow your business and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve beat the house in what can be a cruel game of cards.
When Cataclysmic Comes
A good friend of mine sent me a link the other day which sort of rocked my world. It’s put on by www.lawsuitabuse.org and this short but powerful story would make any pest control operator stop dead in his or her tracks to take notice, re-evaluate their business and perhaps tread lighter in their pursuit of the American dream. What a shame.
I have gone through this myself and you can read about it here if you’d like. ( Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 ) and I can attest to the “all consuming” effects that a lawsuit brings. My ordeal however only lasted a few months and the final cost was miniscule compared to what Peachtree Pest Control based in Georgia has had to endure. It is a story that is 14 years old and the family business has been found innocent twice by a jury of their peers. The end could either come as quickly as a ‘payoff’ of $500,000.00 or drag on through yet another appeal which has stymied this otherwise fruitful company.
This family business has a great story that has taken 30 plus years to tell but began with a man who served his country proudly and pursued the American Dream when his duty was fulfilled. It was built on a foundation of family, honor and passion for the industry and in my mind there can be no greater foundation. It is a story however with a dark cloud that could spell the end of this or any other proud company with similar roots. It is a story that begs the the question; Do you ever really beat the house? Or after all your blood, sweat and tears, is your pest control company just really built on a fragile house of cards?