Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising w/ Michael Moorhouse of Mosquito Shield

October 16, 2023 00:26:12
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising w/ Michael Moorhouse of Mosquito Shield
All Things Considered Franchising Podcast
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising w/ Michael Moorhouse of Mosquito Shield

Oct 16 2023 | 00:26:12

/

Show Notes

Michael Moorhouse, the President of Mosquito Shield, is the guest on this week's episode of "All Things Considered Franchising," with Scotty Milas, a successful franchise consultant. 

Mosquito Shield is a mosquito control company that has been in the franchising business since 2001. Michael has 15 years of experience in the industry and has helped build Mosquito Shield into a successful franchise brand. Michael joins Scotty Milas on the All Things Considered Franchising podcast to discuss the unique concept of Mosquito Shield and its success in the pest control industry.

Michael explains Mosquito Shield has developed a science-based program to effectively control mosquitoes and ticks. The program considers weather and mosquito biology to provide optimal results for customers. Michael states, “We really look at and have spent the last 20 years developing our program to match the mosquito biology.”  He goes on further to say Mosquito Shield offers a membership-based program with high customer retention rates and a low cost of entry for franchisees. (recurring revenue!!)

He also explains that this franchise opportunity is particularly attractive to husband-and-wife teams, with many successful locations being run by women. The support provided by Mosquito Shield includes regular coaching calls and a franchise advisory council. In addition, Michael explains Mosquito Shield is an in-house sales center, so you don’t have to train salespeople.

Scotty asks Michael about any potential issues potential franchisees may experience with the mosquito season not being year-round.  Michael believes the seasonality of the business is both a curse and a blessing, with franchisees experiencing a shorter ramp-up period but the potential for high revenue in a compressed amount of time. Thank you for being on the podcast, Michael!

 

Scotty Milas can be reached at [email protected] and at (860)751-9126.

Michael Moorhouse can be reached at [email protected]

 

#allthingsconsidered # #scottmilas #businessownership #franchiseopportunities #michaelmoorhouse #mosquitoshield #biology #semiabsentee #threepack #husbandandwife

 

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Speaker A: Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of All Things Considered Franchising. I am your host and founder, Scotty Milas. I am also the owner of Scottmylasfranchisecoach.com, which is powering, all things considered. Franchising all things considered. Franchising is a podcast dedicated to the entrepreneur people who are interested in exploring and researching and educating themselves, wanting to know their no and understanding their why on business ownership, primarily through Franchising. Scottmylessfranchisecoach.com is an organization that I founded many years ago that provides a consultative free service that helps you build the business model and introducing you to brands that potentially have a fit and take you through the validation stages and making sure that you're getting the information you need to make a validated business decision. Today's guest, you talk about a small world. I could probably almost throw a softball to him. Down the road is president of Mosquito Shield. An interesting concept in the tick in pest control, mostly outdoor type stuff. Has been with the brand for many, many years now. Building it ironically, comes out of the automotive industry. And we were just chatting about Gary Rome, who was a big auto dealer, franchise owner out here. But please welcome to the show Michael Morehouse. Michael, welcome. [00:01:41] Speaker B: Hey, Scotty. Thanks. Really happy to be here with, you. [00:01:44] Speaker A: Know, chatting with you. Before we hit the record button, here some interesting background. Automotive dealership and then into the franchise space. But I guess a lot of people don't realize that the automotive space, the dealership side, is a franchise. So there are a lot of similarities in the sense that there are policies, processes, systems to follow in the automotive space, dealerships as well as a brand like Mosquito Shield. What are you seeing? Tell us the story. It's an interesting story because you didn't start Franchising Mosquito Shield until it was a successful independent business. [00:02:30] Speaker B: Yeah, that's the interesting thing for us is at our core, we're a mosquito control company that got into Franchising. As you know, the space is becoming much more popular over the last five years, there's been a lot of kind of people throwing their hat into the ring, but they're franchise companies getting into the space. To their credit, they recognize a huge growth opportunity and a lot of market share out there. But we go all the way back to 2001. I've been with the brand for over 15 years. [00:02:56] Speaker A: Wow. Now, a lot of people don't realize that this sector of pest control, outdoor tick control, mosquitoes, there's a science to this. I mean, this isn't just picking up a can of ABC Spray and going through your yard. As an organization, you have done some studying rolling out products, really kind of focusing on best solutions for tick control, mosquito control on the outside. Can you walk us through kind of that science that you have developed or been part of for the past 15 years? Because like I said to our audience, you concentrated on building the business initially or the founder did, and then rolled it out into a franchise? [00:03:47] Speaker B: Yeah, it's a great question because it's a little bit of what we call spray and pray when companies of Byproducts go out and spray with no real science behind it. But we really look at and have spent the last 20 years developing our program to match the mosquito biology. So it gets really in the weeds on it. Scotty but we really look at the weather and how that impacts the reproductive cycle of the mosquitoes. And we've built a program directly around that. So we don't come out on a set schedule. We don't tell you it's every 21 days or every 30 days. We know you can't get the results that we strive for under those circumstances. So we've built a catered program that on average is every two weeks, but we tell the homeowner every ten to 17 days we're coming out because that's how often we need to to get those great results. [00:04:33] Speaker A: So it's weather driven. I'm hearing a little weather driven climate. Not to get into the politics of climate, but mosquitoes have always been kind of weather driven driven. Humidity, rain, especially during the late spring, early fall, summer months. So how much time does the Mosquito Shield corporate team spend on best practices to making sure that the franchisees clients are getting the results from the products that you're using? I mean, there's got to be some constant science here, or testing. [00:05:17] Speaker B: I would think it's our total focus. And we started, to this date, the only company with a proprietary blend. So in addition to the control products that we all use, mosquito Shield has a proprietary blend of natural products that give us just that little extra staying power, if you would, on a property. So we're not just killing the ones that are there, but we're keeping more from coming back in. And that is a constant training education to the franchisees. It's also an education to the homeowner of what we're doing, how we're doing it, what happens when we get on a property. And again, it's all around getting those results that keep us eight out of every ten customers are with us year after year. [00:05:58] Speaker A: Interesting. So it's a membership based program, renewals every year. [00:06:04] Speaker B: Yeah, it just speaks to the high retention rate. You're really building a recurring revenue model when they're so happy that they're all coming back and then they're all referring at a really high word of mouth that speaks to the great results that we provide. [00:06:19] Speaker A: It's interesting. And this isn't a negative, but Mosquito Shield doesn't fit into that, what we call the sexy category. A lot of people think about franchising. It has to be sexy. But it is a need. It's not a want. So let's talk a little bit about your franchisee. Who have you seen? And again, I'm sure over the 15 plus years, there has been some transformation of the franchisee. But who are we seeing or who are you seeing coming in as the potential franchisee? The Inquiry because there are a lot of preconceived notions out there and I guess people that are listening to this is that I got to put this spacesuit on and put on a tank and goggles and kind of go out there. But who are you seeing? I mean, are we seeing the true entrepreneur, that legacy builder, that person that's looking into multiple territory driven opportunities here? [00:07:18] Speaker B: Yeah, we average just under a three pack, so three territories per owner. But we see a lot of husband wife teams and some of our most successful locations. Scotty, are women run interesting? Yeah, if you asked any one of them, they never thought they'd be in mosquito control as a career corporate refugees, and they see it for the same benefit that the end user does, which is it's a quality of life. So not only are they providing a quality of life service to the homeowner, but it's a quality of life for them once they scale this business to a certain size. In most of our locations around the country, there's seasonality to it, so there's months that they don't have to work. They're doing twelve months of revenue in that compressed amount of time. So those are a lot of the wins. There's a low cost of entry. You don't need a brick and mortar build out for this business. You can start in your driveway. As long as you've got a hose, all you need is a water supply to get going. So those are the lot of things that attract people to it. But we do see, I think our core is husband and wife teams where one of them might handle the customer base and dealing with the home office on a regular basis and then the other one's in the shop making sure the van is ready and getting out on time. And they seem to have a really good complementary skill set. [00:08:38] Speaker A: That's interesting. I mean, what is the connection? Maybe you've done a study, maybe you haven't. We're talking to Michael Morehouse who's a president at Mosquito Shield. But what is the connection? Or why are, you know, women coming into this type of business? I mean, it is unique. It's probably a little surprising to some of our listeners today. But what is the attraction? Is it that it's seasonal? It's a business that runs in the summer, spring, summer and fall, early fall and the kids are home or, I mean, what's the connection? [00:09:15] Speaker B: Well, it is, I think, to go back to 2013 when we launched, two of our original franchisees were husband wife teams, but the wives were the ones really driving the day to day and they're still with us today and they're our most successful franchisees. So when you talk about validation, people that are in the process of considering a business opportunity and somebody like yourself introduces them to Mosquito Shield and they validate, they speak to existing franchisees. They're often talking to our legacy stakeholders and they're women. So there is that connection right out of the gate that they see that this isn't a, you know, it's not that dirty job pest control that you think of. It's a business opportunity with a lot of scalable, high end opportunity. [00:10:05] Speaker A: One of the areas in a service based business and I consider this to be in a service based business home service category, is that and I address this a lot with my clients and we kind of take a deep dive into it, is that there's what I call the sales aptitude. And I'm not talking about the Willy Loman where you're knocking on doors or the old days where you would just pick up the White Pages or Yellow Pages and start dialing for dollars. But there is that sales aptitude of networking, getting out into your community, letting people know that you own this business, provide this service. Are you seeing your predominantly couples, the husband and wife teams or where one person is that salesperson and the other is more of the internal answering the phone scheduling or are you seeing vice versa or are you seeing people hiring a salesperson? Because there's got to be that sales aptitude part where somebody is going to that homeowner, that customer's house. [00:11:08] Speaker B: Yeah. Listen, Scotty, it's a really good point because grassroots in the beginning is a really big part of how we scale and succeed. So we look at how do you get to 300 customers and then it's very different how you get to 3000, but the zero to 300 is very much door hanging, putting signs in the ground, knocking on neighbors doors. So that has to either be your technician or if it's a husband wife team, one of them is out there doing that. And we have an in house sales center. So that takes the sales mystery away for all of our franchisees. They don't have focus on that. They just need to worry about making the phone ring. And again, I mentioned earlier, they have complementary or recognizable skill sets. So between the two of them, they know who's better at what, and they sort of conquer and divide and we help them identify and find the right lanes for each other when they're getting out and launching this. [00:12:03] Speaker A: You talk about a three territory minimum. Without getting into the specifics or hardcore specifics of a territory, what are we talking about as far as a footprint for employees? Kind of getting started outside the gate once somebody, the franchisee starts going through training. What are we talking about as far as like I said, employee count, number of vans on the road on a three territory. [00:12:32] Speaker B: Yeah, and it's not a minimum. That's what we average. So you can buy a single unit and we have a lot of locations that do that and do very well, and then quickly add a second or a third if they're playing defense on the territory around them. But it's a one technician per truck. And regardless if you buy a single unit or a five pack, we only want you starting with one truck. Okay? You don't need to try to buy five trucks to fill up a territory. We want you to learn the business properly so you can grow responsibly. So you're going to have one technician per truck. And that's what makes this space that we're in and a little bit different than a lot of the other home service models is your overhead doesn't change as you keep adding trucks. So if you all grow your driveway and you need to get to a rental facility, all you need is parking spaces. You don't need a big shop, you don't need a bunch of people in the shop. You just need one person to work with the home office, another person to help all the trucks and technicians get out every day. But your rent doesn't go up if you have two trucks or ten trucks. That's what makes this so scalable and exciting to the business owner. [00:13:40] Speaker A: Let's talk a little bit about we're talking to Michael Morehouse, again president at Mosquito Shield. Let's talk about the seasonality of this. Because a lot of times people start looking at seasonality business and saying, well, if I'm not operating twelve months out of the year and again, there are certain geographical territories that you may be operating twelve months. But if you take the Northeast with the Four Seasons, you may not be operating, quote, operating in January, February or December, whatever it may be. Talk about any of the myths that go with seasonality type business and the seasonality side of Mosquito Shield because a lot of people say, well, I'm going to shortchange myself on revenues and I know that's a fallacy, but maybe help our audience get a better understanding of that. [00:14:30] Speaker B: Yeah, well, there's revenue, right? And then there's margin. So the margin in this business is really strong, right. So would you be putting up creating more revenue in a higher ticket item business? Of course. But what are your margins? That's something we really want to look at and talk about with candidates. But the other thing is, I call it the Blessing and the Curse. Scotty, the curse is the first two years because you don't have a twelve month runway. So if you open up in New England, you're starting in May, you're closing in September, October, and then you're dark until that following May again. So you got to go through it again. And it's been 1824 months before you've had twelve months of business. So that's the curse side of it. The blessing is once you scale that business and you get past that hurdle, now you're starting to do twelve months of revenue in six or seven months time. Some instances, like out in Minnesota, they're doing it in five months time. So we have locations down in the Deep South where they'll go a full twelve months. And they will be maybe a little slower in those shoulder months of December, January, February, but they might still do some sprays. But the bulk of our company has some seasonality with a start date and an end date. [00:15:39] Speaker A: That's interesting. Yeah, I've always been a big fan of seasonality type business, especially in your category. If you can get past that seasonality kind of building the business where you have that reoccurring revenue and your model is a reoccurring model, which is great, kind of that membership based, has a little bit of that membership based. So when you start throwing membership reoccurring revenue, it becomes, as you say, it's not what you sell, it's how much you make. And again, in a high margin business, one of the things that I talk about a lot with my clients when they're investigating franchises is that, look, you don't have to be in love with the business, but you have to be able to be comfortable with the support and feel that the support that the franchise war is going to provide. Operational support, marketing support, in some cases, call center support. Talk about the support levels that you're giving franchisees as they're coming into the system and also after they've been with you for a year, two years, the continued support. We all know that as you become a more of a tenured franchisee within a system, the support or the support you may need drops a little, but the support is still important as a franchisee. Talk a little bit more about the support levels that you provide franchisees. [00:17:07] Speaker B: Yeah, happy to. It's a great point. The bigger you get, you have a different set of pain points. Right? [00:17:12] Speaker A: Exactly. [00:17:14] Speaker B: You need less from us. Right. But what you need is very different. And we often have to put on a different hat, it's a different coaching strategy. But the bulk of our effort goes into getting these locations launched. Right. So from the minute they come on board, we've got a very thorough, rigorous onboarding program with a bunch of checklists that notify our team and them, if they're on track or off track. And we try to keep them course correct as needed. We have what we call a three and under Scotty, so anyone that's been in the system for less than three years, every other Tuesday, it's an open call into the home office at noontime so everyone that's in that same boat can talk about what they're dealing with at that moment. And we have everybody from our home office, there's one person from each department represented on that call every other Tuesday at noontime. We'll often bring in a legacy tenured franchisee to sit in and offer some advice from their view of being in for X number of years, to talk to the three and under group. Of course we have an FAC, a franchise advisory council, so they're meeting monthly with their groups. So we do a lot of that type of stuff. Another big thing is we just hired in January a Success Coach and it's one of our very first franchisees that's been with us for ten plus years now. So her and her husband have built an amazing business. They're able to take a step back a little bit. They wanted to give back to the brand that did so much for them. So we're so blessed to have her now. Right from day one immediately meeting and introducing herself to a brand new franchisee and staying with them a minimum of twelve months on a regular basis. Just making sure that they're following the best practices that the home office is putting in place. They're doing the things that the home office is asking to do. But all through the eyes of a successful franchisee so there always is that franchise or franchise, franchisee parent child relationship. And we just learned that have someone as a mentor, but that has been there, done that is really well respected within the system and is still running a successful business to meet with a brand new and she's available to anybody. Somebody could be in for eight years and get on her calendar and brainstorm about what we just talked about those, okay, I'm at 2000 customers now, what do I do? So she's making herself available, but her core responsibility is getting people launched and then staying with them and making sure that they're scaling as we'd like them to, right? [00:19:46] Speaker A: Well it's kind of like how do you eat an elephant, right? One bite at a time. You don't want to get out there and try to eat the whole elephant in one sitting. It takes time. And I think there's this fallacy about business ownership that you're going to leave the corporate world, invest in a business and all of a sudden it's just independent financial wealth. It takes time. You've got to work. It like anything else. We teach people [email protected] that if where you are right now is X and it took you ten years to get there, you can't expect that you're going to write a check, invest in a franchise and you're immediately going to be there. You have to build the business and it sounds like you give the support to the franchisees to get to what their goals are. [00:20:35] Speaker B: Well, we do. And I think the other thing that we continue to learn, right, always and continuous improvement is one of the pillars of our brand is making sure that we are open to always accepting new ideas, listening to our franchisees, taking their feedback, involved participating in programs like this and working with other franchiseors. But the point is somebody's got to run the business, right? So semi absentee is probably one of the most loosely thrown around terms in franchise. We validate really well for semi absentee. But those semi absentee owners have at least empowered somebody to be doing that grind, right. To be putting the signs out, to be door hanging. Somebody has to do that. Somebody's got to be available to be on that three and under call at noontime every other Tuesday. It's a wealth of information. Right. They got to join their FAC calls. They have to be able to meet with our marketing department on a regular basis. So that is the difference between you can still be successful, but your ramp is going to be a lot longer. [00:21:36] Speaker A: Right. One final question, Michael, before we close out here, is [email protected] we have done a lot of work with people who already have invested in a franchise, multi unit, multi brand, multi territory. Does the Mosquito Shield brand Opportunity fit into people who already own franchises that may be looking to diversify their portfolio? [00:22:05] Speaker B: It does, I think, for a lot of the infrastructure we've already talked about today, we have an in house sales center. So you don't have to train salespeople. They're not going out cold calling all of the leads that come in via phone or our website. If someone fills out a contact form, that's all being handled and they're closing, they're asking for the sale and they're entering that data in and you're getting an email that another sale came in and money is in your account. So we take that side out of it. Again, I'll go back to that 20 plus years experience of really building the foundation of a pretty seamless, scalable business. So the infrastructure is in place, so it makes it easy. And I already mentioned you don't need a ton of people to run this. So that's another positive to it. [00:22:47] Speaker A: Right. It's interesting you bring up the semi absentee, that whole equation. It is an interesting category. You could probably spend 2 hours discussing the definition of semi absentee, but I always tell my clients that semi absentee is wonderful after you've built the business up, but are you going to really write a check for X and just turn the keys over to somebody that you don't know? You've got to be involved in the business. Michael, if somebody wanted to find out more about Mosquito Shield, what would be the best way for them to provide more information, get more information, website? Do they reach out to you? I know you're working with an FSO, but what would be the best way besides reaching out to me? [00:23:29] Speaker B: Yeah. So Moshield Moshieldfranchise.com would get you all the information on franchising. And I really love talking to people. So if it's somebody that just even wants to just pick my brain or they've got questions on getting into franchising, even if it's in a different industry or different space, [email protected] is my direct email. I respond, I'll reach out, we'll get on a call. So happy to do that. So moshieldfranchise.com. And my email is [email protected]. [00:23:58] Speaker A: Okay, great. We'll have that up on the screen for everybody to reach out to you. Any closing thoughts? Anything else you want to share about Mosquito Shield? Anything else somebody should know about it. Again, they can get more information on the website or reach out to you, but anything else that you want to share? [00:24:16] Speaker B: Yeah, I would just say in general, even aside from Mosquito Shield, if it's something you've been thinking about and it's been a niche of yours that take that leap, franchising is a great opportunity to get into business ownership. I appreciate you and the platform that you have to help people learn more about it as well. But I just mean, I'm very passionate about our brand, but I think just in general, I love encouraging people to consider ownership and taking that think, you. [00:24:44] Speaker A: Know, and it's a great closing point, Michael, that I have always encouraged people to put yourself in a position to educate yourself and to learn. The ability to learn more as you learn more makes your decision process easier. Nobody likes to write a check, but education, guidance, understanding, and again, Franchising is not for everybody, but putting yourself in a position to want to learn really helps make that decision process easier and making the right, validated decision. So, Michael, thanks very much. We hope to get you back in the next 612 months, six to eight months, I should say, and get caught up on all the new things about Mosquito Shield and where you are. But in the meantime, thanks very much for joining me. This is Scotty Milas, the host of All Things Considered Franchising and powered by Scottmylasfranchisecoach.com. You can reach me at 860-751-9126 or email me [email protected]. Check out all our episodes of All Things Considered Franchising on any of the major podcast channels spotify, Apple, the list goes on. But again, Michael, we thank you for being here and continue success with Mosquito Shield. [00:26:03] Speaker B: Awesome. Thanks, Scotty.

Other Episodes

Episode

June 15, 2023 00:25:10
Episode Cover

Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast w/ Paul Rocchio

Just about every industry has an organization that helps to set rules, and regulations and handle publicity. For the franchise industry, that is IFA....

Listen

Episode

May 24, 2023 00:16:32
Episode Cover

Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with President Gary Rome Auto Group

Gary Rome, President of the Rome Auto Group, is my guest this week on "All Things Considered Franchising Podcast", which is dedicated to entrepreneurs...

Listen

Episode

December 14, 2022 00:36:58
Episode Cover

All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Dave Hansen of ClientTether

Scotty’s guest on the podcast today is Dave Hansen, the President of ClientTether. ClientTether is a technology company that automates client leads built for...

Listen