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Pest Control Generalists vs. Specialists: Which Business Model Works Better?

pest control generalists vs. specialists: which business model works better?There are many pests in your service area from bed bugs to termites, cockroaches, and mammals. Is it wiser for you to be a pest control generalist who can get rid of every pest in the area, or should you specialize in just one or two pests? There are advantages and disadvantages to each business model, and much depends on the specific conditions in your market. Here’s what you should consider when choosing between the two business models.

Pest Control Specialists

Why consider specializing in one or two kinds of pests? It can make things simpler and prevent you from getting in over your head in the early days of growing your business. Here are a few advantages:

  • Target clients: It’s easier to target customers who have one specific pest problem. Focusing your marketing efforts on a small population can yield more results.
  • Marketing: When you market yourself as the first choice for a specific pest, you set yourself apart from your competitors and can grow faster.
  • Less equipment: Some pest control equipment can be expensive. You can limit your initial costs if you choose to focus on one or two pests.
  • Profit: Focusing on the kinds of work that are most profitable for you will, naturally, increase your profits.
  • Knowledge: It’s easier to learn everything about one or two pests than several of them. This helps you seem more authoritative.

However, there are some disadvantages to being a specialist. You’ll lose the business of those who have other pests, and you may also lose repeat business when your old customers get new pests that you don’t handle. Being specialized may also make your business more seasonable and less able to handle changes in the market.

Pest Control Generalists

Choosing to be a pest control generalist, who can handle a wide variety of the pests in your area, has its advantages too, including:

  • More work: You will have a wider pool of work to draw from when you can handle most or all pests.
  • Repeat work: Customers can return to you when they develop new pest problems.
  • Flexibility: When pests become more or less prominent in your area, you can adjust more easily than those that aren’t equipped to handle a wide variety of pests.
  • No wasted time: Sometimes, specialists will arrive on the job to realize the customer has a pest that they’re not equipped to handle. You won’t waste time like this.
  • Seasonable: Your business will be less seasonal if you handle pests that are more active at different times of the year.

However, there are some disadvantages to being a generalist too. You need more equipment and need to spend more time learning and training. It can be harder to market yourself and differentiate yourself from your competition too.

Your Market Conditions

Ultimately, the specific conditions in your market will determine whether you be a specialist or a generalist. If you have a market that doesn’t have much competition, but it highly seasonal or volatile, being a generalist is wise. In markets with stiff competition, but a lot of work in one or two main pests, being a specialist may be wiser.

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