Brett Stephen and his wife, Ashley, purchased their Mosquito Squad franchise in May 2017 and ended their first season with 60 clients and a whopping $11,138.32 in revenue.
A family business since its inception, Brett and Ashley's son, Preston, was their motivation to start researching if there was a market for mosquito control. "Preston is a mosquito magnet," says Brett, who "welts up horribly anytime he is bit." Located in Colorado, there weren't any companies offering mosquito control services in Brett's area until 2017. Brett says they "knew nothing about pest control and never had a plan of getting into it." But after launching the Mosquito Squad onboarding process, Brett and Ashley felt like Mosquito Squad was a great cultural fit.
However, while their first season started strong, Brett says environmental factors have created daunting challenges in the seasons since. "We have had a string of four droughts that have made the presence of mosquitoes very scarce." Recognizing the need for change, Brett says they started bundling services in 2019. "We started treating and removing wasp nests on every property's structures and play areas, plus we did a full perimeter treatment around the base of the house." Brett explains that while customers weren't dealing with the nuisance of mosquitoes, they still had wasps to worry about, so Mosquito Squad of Western Slope's bundle package helped to fill a need. With that success, Mosquito Squad of Western Slope moved onto other personalized treatments, such as spiders, flies, ants, elm seed bugs, and yellow jackets.
But Brett has learned that expanding services is only half the battle. You then need to market those services, which Brett says they have used several tactics to do so. "We have tried almost every marketing option in our area and learned in 2020 that we were generating more business from social media marketing than any other type of marketing we had attempted." Brett says, "the biggest reason it works so well is that you are in complete control of the outcome." Brett explains that if his location comes up with an idea they think will be a game-changer but find that it's not resonating with their local audience, they can immediately elect to stop their Facebook advertising. Their location can also create customized ads for each insect the location treats, running them throughout the season for minimal cost. The analytics provided by Meta Business Suite also aid in designing posts for maximum reach.
Brett has tapped into the evolving features offered by Meta and now uses his local Facebook business page as a "Locals Page." Posting local events, photos, and education on insects, Brett says using this feature "creates more organic followers, which generates more reactions and shares. This puts Mosquito Squad of the Western Slope on the news feed of my entire market."