At Mosquito Joe, we like to think we are one big family from our Corporate team to our franchisees and technicians. Every employee brings value and enthusiasm to the table, which makes our company such a great place to work. But some of our franchisees work with relatives on a daily basis, handling all the ups and downs that accompany working with family. Considering that many entrepreneurs and business owners utilize relatives as resources and employees, we wanted to find out more from several Mosquito Joe owners that do so. We sat down with owners and operators from Mosquito Joe of Texas Hillcountry and Mosquito Joe of Buffalo to get the low down on what makes a family business tick.
How many people in your family are involved in the Mosquito Joe business and what role does each person play in the business?
“I (Jane) run the office, billing, and marketing. My brother (Wess) and husband (Sean) are technicians and run the trucks. Wess is co-owner and helps make decisions in the office as well. – Jane, Texas Hillcountry
“All five of us are involved. Scott is the general manager guiding the entire business. His wife assists in managing the business, focusing on office operations including billing and accounts receivable. Karlene (daughter) heads up customer relations and sales. Joel (son) is responsible for leading the day-to-day spraying operations. Janelle (daughter) splits time between completing her college degree and assisting wherever help is needed.” Scott, Buffalo
Why did you decide to involve your family in the business?
“When Wess opened Mosquito Joe alone, he quickly realized he was going to need some serious help running the office as well as the crew. My husband was a golf-course superintendent for 20 years and already knew the inner workings of chemicals and turf management. I was familiar with code interpretation and computer training, which I knew would be useful in the office. Both my brother and I had grown up working in my father’s mom-and-pop pharmacy, so customer service was in our blood. We felt like it was the perfect mixture.” – Jane, Texas Hillcountry
“Two-fold. We saw this as a great opportunity, and we wanted to share it with the family. Also, the unique talents of each person contributes to our success.” – Scott, Buffalo
What are the benefits and advantages to working with family?
“The greatest benefit was that after almost 12 years, my brother and I were finally living in the same city. I just recently got married, and have a niece and nephew. I get to actively participate in their lives and vice versa, as opposed to a twice a year visit.” – Jane, Texas Hillcountry
“We are able to trust and rely on each other because we know that we each take what we do seriously and have ownership of the results. There is never a question about any one of us not having our customers’ complete satisfaction driving everything we do.” – Scott, Buffalo
What are the biggest challenges?
“We have seemed to work well with few disagreements. Our business is in its infancy, and we are all careful to handle each situation individually and then drop it. It helps that my father acts as the tie breaker!” – Jane, Texas Hillcountry
“The passion that each of us brings can create tension that can be hard to tame in a comfortable setting. We also need to remember to communicate effectively with each other.” – Scott, Buffalo
How do you keep family and business life separate?
“That is probably one of our biggest challenges. We find ourselves being together for a “family” function but end up discussing business in a lighthearted manner.” – Jane, Texas Hillcountry
“We don’t. We’ve found that the business has become part of each of us.” – Scott, Buffalo
What have you learned about each other along the way?
“We have discovered each other’s strong suits and weaknesses, and we’ve used this to our advantage. Once you know each other’s quirks, they can be your company’s greatest assets.” – Jane, Texas Hillcountry
“We have gained a greater awareness and appreciation of our individual qualities, skills, and knowledge. And despite sharing a name, we’ve discovered the ways we are are all different.” – Scott, Buffalo
What advice would you give to people considering starting a franchise or business with family members?
“Make sure you enjoy being around them and have open lines of communication because you’ll see, talk to, and work with them daily!” – Jane, Texas Hillcountry
Involving family in business can be challenging, but with planning and setting of expectations, it can be a fulfilling experience. If you are interested in learning more about the Mosquito Joe opportunity, please visit our franchise information page for details. We would be happy to chat and set you on the path to becoming part of our Mosquito Joe family!