The Mosquito Joe Million Dollar Club: Paul VanWagner

 

Mosquito Joe continues to be a leading brand in the mosquito control industry. We now have franchisees who’ve made over $1M and some approaching $2M in gross revenue this year! Once a franchisee reaches this milestone, they’re officially part of an elite group known as the Million Dollar Club (MDC). Mosquito Joe rewards franchisees for this exceptional achievement by coming together in Napa Valley, CA for a little R&R! Over the course of two days, franchisees collaborate amongst themselves, sharing best practices and success stories. It’s truly admirable to witness the knowledge shared and relationships built throughout the duration of this event. These franchisees have earned national recognition and deserve to be rewarded for the hard work they put into their businesses day in and day out. Congratulations to our 2018 Million Dollar Club members!

We could talk all day about what it takes to join this club, but who better to describe their journeys than the members themselves? Our blog series The Mosquito Joe Million Dollar Club visits with different franchise owners to talk about their franchising story. This week, we talked with Paul Van Wagner, owner of Mosquito Joe of Montgomery County. Paul joined Mosquito Joe in 2015. He currently owns 4 territories and is joining the Million Dollar Club for the first time this year. Check out our conversation with him below!

1) Why did you start looking into franchising, and why did you ultimately choose Mosquito Joe?  

I was looking for a business for my son to get into that he could operate and grow with. And we wanted to find a business where we could help our community. Eliminating annoying, disease carrying insects helps everyone and our MoJo customers can make outside fun again!

2) What do you enjoy most about being a franchise owner?

I have been self-employed since I was 22 years old, so it’s in my blood. But the MoJo Franchise was highly recommended by a good friend and MoJo Zee, Kurt Godwin, and he was right on, as the Corporate support and culture of everyone in the company have been over the top. MoJo only uses the highest quality products and our customer service and communication with our customers is the best in our industry.

3) Who are the primary employees in your business and how do they contribute to your success?

The first season in 2015, my son, John, and I ran the business with one part time office staff and 4 techs. It was a real challenge as the business did much better than expected. I wanted to pull my hair out by September that first season. But it was a great way to learn the entire business and I would not change a thing now.

4) Describe your current business operation: how many employees, how many trucks, how many territories? 

We hired an awesome office manager in 2016, Bari.  She runs the office and office staff. John is the operations manager and oversees the techs and support for all operations. We had 5 office staff and 21 techs for the 2018 season running 9 vans. We own 4 territories. We will always be fully staffed so we can offer the customer service our community deserves and expects.

5) What is one piece of advice you would offer to first year Mosquito Joe franchisees?

Learn it from the ground up. Learn everything you can so you will be the person training and teaching the staff the way you want them trained. The Corporate office can provide excellent training, but you may want to tweak some of that to fit your needs. Franchisees and all their staff should go to the training the Corporate office provides and reach out to existing zees for advice. Why reinvent the wheel! Much of our success is due to the support and advice we received from our good friends and MoJo Zees, Kurt and Melissa Godwin.

6) What is one piece of advice you would offer to someone just beginning their search for a franchise opportunity?

I cannot stress enough how important it was for us to have the support from the MoJo Corporate office and from other experienced MoJo Zees. This was invaluable to us. For anyone looking for a franchise opportunity, the MoJo brand is new/young enough to have exceptional growth opportunity, but old enough to also be the “Best/Top” brand in the outdoor pest control industry. I think MoJo is close to surpassing our top competitor who has been in business almost twice as long.

7) How did you feel becoming a member of the Million Dollar Club?

Making the MDC was awesome, it’s a goal we had set for our 3rd year and we just missed that, but we surpassed it in 2018 and the next goal will be 2 million in the next few years.

 8) Where do you see your Mosquito Joe business in the next 2-3 years?

We opened our last (4th ) territory in 2018 (we will only service our local community, Montgomery County, MD, so we can always provide exceptional customer service). I feel like MoJo is the “go-to” vendor for outdoor pest control in our area due to all the reasons that make us the best. We anticipate to continue our year over year growth and believe we will hit the 2 million mark in the year 2020. John and Bari will have more control of the business moving forward. The goal when we purchased the business was to provide an opportunity for our son to get into a business he could operate and help grow. It has turned into more than that, as it will also provide us with a supplement income over the coming years.

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Off-Season Opportunities for Mosquito Joe Franchisees

 

One of the perks of our seasonal business is most Mosquito Joe franchisees have the ability to take time off during the fall and winter months. With the exception of our most southern locations, franchisees have around five months of autonomy. So you might be wondering, what do Mosquito Joe franchisees do with their time when outdoor pests aren’t biting? Great question! We’ve gathered up some of the most common ways Mosquito Joe franchise owners spend their time during the off-season.

Vacation

After a rigorous season of making outside fun again for their communities, franchisees are due for some well-deserved time off. Because prime mosquito season is during the heat of the summer, many franchisees miss taking trips to the beach. The off-season is the ideal time to vacation in tropical locations. Our franchisees have had the opportunity to soak up the sun in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Tahiti and Turks and Caicos. Conversely, some franchisees take to the mountains for a little ski, snowboarding and snow tubing fun. Then again, some just enjoy a little rest and relaxation at home with their families and pets.

Volunteer

Philanthropy and giving back is at the core of the Mosquito Joe business model. We encourage franchisees to participate in our MoJo Bites Back and Beat the Bloodsuckers campaigns that raise awareness about the importance of mosquito control. Many franchisees go above this and utilize their time off to volunteer in their communities for causes they’re passionate about. Whether it is working with local humane societies, Boy and Girl Scout troops, homeless shelters or veteran groups, our franchisees donate their time back to a community who supports their businesses.

Work in Another Industry  

When mosquito pressure decreases, many franchisees return to other occupations. IT professionals, teachers, military personnel, firefighters and those with other expertise make up our franchise system. While some of their Mosquito Joe businesses are paused over the winter, a few franchise partners take advantage of the cold weather. Hanging holiday lights, shoveling snow from pathways, driveways and parking lots and working as seasonal employees in retail stores are options that keep franchisees busy. Some are even multi-business owners!

Professional Growth

Off-season is the perfect time to renew licenses or obtain new certifications. Having the time to study and take preparation courses allows franchisees to advance their professional development. Each year, franchisees have the opportunity to connect and network at our annual Mosquito Joe Convention in Cancun. They are able to learn from each other, as well as swap tips and best practices. Additionally, some franchisees take seminars, read books on business or take the time to nurture their professional network and connections.

Prep for Next Season

Running a business can get hectic. There are so many moving parts franchisees must be aware of in order for their Mosquito Joe to be successful. The off-season allows franchisees to take care of various administrative tasks. They are able to renew their vehicle registration, do any necessary transit or equipment maintenance, purchase new materials and hire and train new staff. Additionally, this is a great time to update budgets and marketing plans. During this time, franchisees are able to connect with their fellow Neighborly brands so they can collaborate and strategize co-op efforts for next year.

If operating a seasonal business and taking advantage of these great off-season opportunities interests you, consider joining our franchise family! Learn more about our franchise opportunity and contact us for more information on becoming a Mosquito Joe franchisee. Not only are you able to make outside fun again for your community, you’re able to have plenty of fun yourself!

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How Mosquito Joe Uses Social Media to Stay Connected

Here at Mosquito Joe, our scroll-stopping content across popular social media channels has made us one of the industry leaders in social media marketing and engagement. We’re often complimented on our eye-catching graphics, behind the scenes perspectives and insightful industry updates. Learning what our audience wants to see and monitoring what they are engaging with the most helps us create content and designs that make our followers look forward to what’s coming next.

Social Media Graphic Example 1 Social Media Graphic Example 2 Social Media Graphic Example 3

SOCIALLY LOCALIZED:

 Social media provides our franchisees the power to tap into their communities with Facebook business Pages dedicated to their locally owned and operated business. Reaching out to other businesses in their area for networking and sponsorship opportunities, promoting an upcoming event to those who live nearby and offering service specials and fun contests to followers are just a few of the things Mosquito Joe business owners can do with their very own Facebook business Page. Leads and customers are also able to react to posts, engage with comments and private message the individual pages, creating another open line of communication with the consumer.

Local Example 1 Local Example 2 Local Example 3

ADVERTISING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA:

Studies show that 19% of time spent on a mobile device is spent on Facebook. That means more people spend the majority of their mobile life on Facebook than any other app on their phone. With effective digital marketing strategies in place, we can use social media, specifically Facebook, to advertise our services and target our audience based on various categories. Want to create additional excitement about an upcoming holiday or campaign? Social media makes it easy (not to mention affordable) and our Corporate team is ready to walk you through that process. Who knows, you could be a Facebook advertising guru in no time.

Did you know you can target consumers online based on their age, relationship status or hobbies? You can even target those who’ve recently visited your website – pretty neat, huh?

THE LATEST SOCIAL BUZZ:

With the recent launch of the Mosquito Joe Instagram account, we are able to use crisp, captivating imagery to tell our brand story to an even broader audience. The Instagram Story feature makes it easy to highlight aspects of our business as they happen out in the field and we’re proud to be leading the pest control industry on this platform.

LET’S GET SOCIAL:

We’d love for you to connect with us! Mosquito Joe maintains a Corporate presence on the following social media platforms:

Join a franchise family that stays on top of marketing trends and keeps up with the latest happenings across the digital world. With extensive training on digital marketing and social media management, you can feel confident in providing additional exposure to your business in an online community that “likes” the brand we know and love. Contact us today for more information on franchising opportunities near you!

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