Some one in three people will experience pests in their homes at some time. Whether these unwanted visitors are rats and mice attacking food storage, or pigeons in attics and chimneys, no one wants these in their home.
When it comes to starting your own pest control business, it is no different to other start-ups. Understanding your position within the market, your unique selling point, as well as your competitors is important for ensuring your success.
Here, we will explore some things you need to consider when starting your pest control business in the United Kingdom.
When starting your pest control business, ensuring you know the market you are getting into is important. Whether you have prior experience working in this sector or none at all, collecting competitor research can give you a better understanding of where to start.
This can give you an insight into what buyers need and customer behaviours in your area, giving you an insight into the common local pest problems. Competitor analysis can also give you an insight into gaps in the market – if other companies focus heavily on pesticides, you might offer a more humane service, for example.
This research can also help you determine style, tone, marketing strategy, and pricing guide for your business. If you haven’t worked in the industry before, you might not have experience in the time and equipment needed to remove specific pests, so by looking at future competitors, you can better understand what is required from your own business.
Offering quality service is key to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Understanding your capabilities is best practice so that you don’t offer something unachievable. Depending on your equipment, manpower, time scale, and the pest you are dealing with, you will have varying levels of success.
And make sure you are working on a scale which works for you. A domestic pest control company might not have the equipment needed to tackle an agricultural pest invasion, for example. Likewise, some companies specialise in mice removal, whereas others might include invasive weed control as part of their business.
Finding your niche within this market, whether it is corporate, domestic, or agricultural work, can ensure you are targeting the correct customers and able to offer the best and correct services.
Whether you are offering pest control or hygiene services, it is best to ensure you have pest control insurance, covering any lawsuits or financially draining problems in the future.
Especially if you are working with harsh chemicals, for example, keeping your business safe from public liability is a must. This can protect you from damages caused to your customer or their property as a result of your work.
Additionally, you can get insurance to cover your equipment and work vehicles, if damaged or stolen. If you employ others, you will also need to have Employers Liability insurance, of at least £5 million, as a legal requirement.
It is a legal requirement that any business in the UK using pesticides is trained and licensed. While not every pest control business will need a license, some businesses might not offer you a contract if you don’t have proof of relevant training – so it is always best to prepare yourself and take any courses you deem relevant to your business.
The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) has a list of courses they recommend for those looking to start out in the pest control industry. This includes a foundation course in pest management, as well as courses such as using rodenticides safely and starting and managing your own pest control business.
Your brand is your business identity – making sure it is recognisable and marketed well can help you win contracts and get your business into full swing. Competitor research can give you inspiration for which logos and catchlines work well while also ensuring you don’t replicate another company – which might lead to confusion and lost work.
A good marketing strategy could see customers approaching you with offers, especially if you tailor it to domestic pest control. So targeting your consumer base with a user-friendly website, direct mail marketing, or even having your business advertised by check a trade can help you find work.
If you specialise in agricultural or corporate pest control, you might aim for a more direct strategy involving mailing lists and promotional offers for business offices. Contacting local authorities and establishing working contracts with them could also mean future work – from removing rodents in residential homes to clearing cockroaches in council kitchens.
When starting a business, research is important. This is even more so for pest control startups. Understanding your customers’ challenges is key in this industry, and being able to provide services that are in need but difficult to find in your local area can see your business booming from the start.