Qa With Mosquito Joes Angela Zerda And Kevin Wilson
How was Mosquito Joe originally conceived and started?
Four Hampton Roads friends identified a local need for mosquito control services after years of having their and their community's outside enjoyment hindered by these pesky bugs. They founded Mosquito Joe to support their community so they could once again enjoy spending time with their family and friends outdoors, while also staying protected from mosquito-borne illness. Mosquito Joe began with one van and one blower and through networking and providing a quality service that filled an unmet need; the business saw significant growth year after year. In early 2012 the founders began exploring opportunities for development into a franchise model.
What was your original vision for your company? How has that changed over time?
Originally, Mosquito Joe's mission was to serve the Hampton Roads community. After watching the impact it was making in that community and the improved quality of life it gave people to enjoy their time outdoors again, the desire grew to make a larger impact nationally and serve a larger population. As those new goals were developed, a new management team with many years of franchise experience capitalized the business and turned it into a franchise model.
What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?
While it's difficult to choose a single most important factor, it's very important to consider the management team of a franchisor. Some things to think about are: Are they well capitalized? What is their experience? What kind of systems do they have in place and are those systems you believe in and could see you supporting as a franchisee? Simply put, are they people you want to work with?
Why should someone choose your franchise over other similar franchises?
We have a very strong management team with over 60 years in franchise experience as well as marketing and entrepreneurial experience. Our franchise opportunity comes with a remarkably low franchise fee and is in an emerging industry that is on track to experience significant growth.
What makes your industry attractive?
If you've turned on the news at all in the past several months, you haven't been able to escape the reports of mosquito epidemics and cases of mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile and EEE. The mosquito control/outdoor pest control industry is topical and relevant across the country. It is also an emerging industry where there is high growth opportunity and no national competitor yet established. The industry is booming and mosquitoes are not going away. Mosquito Joe is prepared for rapid growth and to become the national household name in mosquito control.
What types of qualities do you look for in a potential franchisee?
We are looking for motivated, extroverted franchisees with excellent customer service skills. Additional qualities include a sales/marketing background, someone willing to follow a proven system and overall willingness and interest in being a partner.
What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?
Our fees cover ongoing training and support, marketing programs and support, operational support, call center support, and development/execution of best in class systems for franchisees.
How do territories work for your franchisees?
Each franchisee has an exclusive territory defined by zip codes with a targeted population large enough in size to be successful with a single territory; however, area development opportunities are also available.
Why has your franchise model been successful?
We are a new franchisor but our model will succeed because it has been proven by the success of the local business' success over the past three years and is backed by an experienced corporate management team with franchise experience to develop and expand that model.
Where do you see your franchise in 5 years and 10 years?
In 5 years we expect to have franchises in every territory
in the United States;
In 10 years we expect to be working on global expansion into territories outside the U.S.
What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?
Listen, execute flawlessly, and always be working to improve.
What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?
There's always financial risk involved in starting a franchise so do your research, talk to our franchise development representative about certain discount programs we have, look into third party financing options and seek advice from others in the industry who have been in your shoes before.
Can you explain your financial assistance?
We offer various discount programs. We are members of the IFA's VetFran program. We will support franchisees to obtain loans when needed and in some cases we will have preferred lenders available.
On average, how long does it take to start a new franchise from the franchisees point of view?
What was your background and experience before founding the franchise?
Our corporate management team has over 60 years of cumulative franchise experience including involvement with several of the fastest franchises ever and many household names.