2016 was a big year for Mosquito Joe for many reasons. Aside from growing national recognition and establishing ourselves as a leader in the mosquito control industry, it was the first year that some of our franchise owners made $1 million dollars or more in gross revenue! As we like to say, they joined The Million Dollar Club. This was not only a big milestone for the Mosquito Joe franchise as a whole, but it was a tremendous victory for these business owners and the hard work they put in each and every day. Reaching the million dollar mark is a tremendous achievement, one that will hopefully propel them to greater heights.
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 newest blog series The Mosquito Joe Million Dollar Club visits with different franchise owners to talk about their franchising story. This week, we talked with Brad and Stephanie Simon, Owners of Mosquito Joe of Arkansas. Brad and Stephanie were some of our first franchise partners, joining Mosquito Joe in 2013. They currently own 5 territories and are going into their second year as members of The Million Dollar Club. Check out our conversation with them below!
Why did you start looking into franchising, and why did you ultimately choose Mosquito Joe?
We looked at franchising because we had the desire to own and manage our own business but had no prior business ownership experience. The majority of new businesses fail within a very short period of time, so we did not want to take the risk of starting from scratch and figuring out everything on our own. We knew that buying into a proven system with a corporate support team and team of franchisee peers would greatly increase our chances of success.
Ultimately, we chose Mosquito Joe because we had never heard of mosquito control services in our area. It was a need that was not being fulfilled by anybody else in our market, so the business opportunity was there. Even though we had never heard of Mosquito Joe, there was a very strong brand image that kept grabbing our attention as we researched potential franchises. If we were attracted to the Mosquito Joe brand in our search, then we knew it would create a memorable impression for our potential customers.
What do you enjoy most about being a franchise owner?
We always had separate careers. Brad was in business analytics, and Stephanie was in the medical field. Being franchise owners has allowed us to build something together with the same goals – something we had never done before. It has allowed us to spend more time together as a family and develop many new friendships with other franchisees across the country. Additionally, we have seen the impact our business has on our employees. Helping provide a paycheck for our employees and helping them start or grow their career is extremely rewarding.
Who are the primary employees in your business and how do they contribute to your success?
Our employees are the key to our business’ success and always will be. As we have grown, we have given more and more responsibility to our employees and observe their behavior to see who steps up as our leaders. We have created new roles for the key employees as they demonstrate such leadership qualities and competency at the job. We now have an Office Manager that oversees all customer communications including new customer sales, invoicing, and general customer service. We also have a Lead Technician for each office location. All technicians report to the Lead Technician, and the Lead Technician is responsible for his territory’s routing, equipment maintenance, and technician scheduling. As we have grown, we are also adding a Field Manager that all Lead Technicians report to. The Field Manager is responsible for overseeing all field operations to ensure all of our territories are operating under the same standards. Each role is unique and none is more important than the other.
Describe your current business operation: how many employees, how many trucks, how many territories?
We operate 5 territories over a very large land area. Even though all 5 of our territories border each other, there is more than 4 hours of drive time and more than 300 miles from one end to the other. To manage these proximity challenges we have 3 “satellite” offices/warehouses separate from our main office in which technicians report to, supplies are stored, and trucks are stored. We currently have 25 employees and 13 trucks spread across our 5 territories.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to first year Mosquito Joe franchisees?
The one piece of advice we give new franchisees is to follow the system. Any successful business will take time to build a solid foundation. There is no need to buy in to a franchise system and then try and reinvent the wheel. Franchises are successful because there is a proven system in place. If you follow the system, then your chances of success are very good. Straying from the system will likely lead to frustration and prolong your business’ development.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to someone just beginning their search for a franchise opportunity?
Someone beginning their franchise search needs to first consider their goals and expectations. What do you want to accomplish with your business, and are those expectations realistic for the franchise opportunity you are considering? Not all opportunities are the right opportunity. It’s tempting to get caught up in what appears to be a great opportunity, but it is critical to consider if the franchise opportunity can fulfill your goals.
How did you feel becoming a member of the Million Dollar Club?
Becoming a member of the Million Dollar Club was very exciting, but in no way do we want to view it as the finish line. We view the Million Dollar Club as a milestone toward our long-term goals. It is very exciting to see our business’ projections on paper become a reality, and it encourages us to push ourselves to the next level.
Where do you see your Mosquito Joe business in the next 2-3 years?
In 2-3 years we hope to see our business as one of the more respected companies in the areas we operate in. We hope to be consistently running revenues in the multi-million dollar level, create new positions of leadership for key employees, and be the employer of choice in our area providing excellent pay and full benefits. On a personal level, in 2-3 years we would like to see our business operating in a routine that allows us to have minimal involvement in the day-to-day operations of the business and be more involved in local volunteer and charity causes that we have a passion for.