Mosquito Shield wanted great thinkers who could manage vast areas, and these people were not always easy to find. As a result, the brand has turned away a lot of potential franchisees — and from the time it began franchising in 2013 through 2020, its units have been pretty much static. Then 2020 changed the account.
During the COVID lockdowns, people were stuck at home and had a greater motivation to rid the air of pesky mosquitoes. Mosquito Shield has partnered with sales organization Franchise FastLane to help expand its reach, attracting the kind of franchise Mosquito Shield has always wanted. As a result, the brand quickly went from 53 units to nearly 300 units, and jumped to #216 on our Franchise 500 list.
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VP of Brand Michael Morehouse explains how it happened.
How has the pandemic changed the mosquito control industry? When the industry started gaining a bit of momentum [in 2020], some franchise companies got into it. But that was fine—they pursued a mom-and-pop style model, with franchisees building a small business to serve a small area. It helped create awareness of the opportunity and around the industry, but it didn’t rival our model.
With the shift in the white-collar field, most of those people we get to now are big picture thinkers anyway. They are not teachers in a school building a small business during their summer vacations.
How has your partnership with FastLane helped you?
They identify people interested in a change — a business ownership, life, or career change — and then take that prospect from the first email or call offered all the way through. So, as I speak today, we have 12 buyout groups sitting on Zoom right now, all wearing red Mosquito Shield shirts, ready to go.
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What operational changes has FastLane encouraged?
At the time, we had just launched our in-house sales center, handling every incoming lead for franchisees. [FastLane asked], “How many phone calls can you handle? How do you measure it? What is your proximity rate?” This is how they get their granules into the entire franchise business operations. I opened my eyes.
We’ve learned what we need to do to get the right structure in place. Then we were ready.
Were there other ways to change your business?
Our clients were once laborers who enjoyed our service late at night and on weekends. Now they were all at home. They saw the truck in the neighbor’s house, and they heard the machine and said, “Wait a minute, what’s going on there?” Our vision exploded at the local level. Our marketing was more impactful because of
The people had nothing else to do.