Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. This week, in celebration of spring, we're profiling down-to-earth franchisees in the "spring cleaning" business. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chad Armstrong is all about self-employment. Having started his own insurance agency in 1997 and opened nine Liberty Tax franchise locations in the last nine years, Armstrong knows plenty about the freedom of self-employment. When he was looking to expand his franchise profile, there was one topic that seemed to be constantly in the news: mosquitoes and the West Nile virus. So, Armstrong decided to enter the pest-control business and opened up a Mosquito Joe.
Name: Chad Armstrong
Franchise owned (location): Mosquito Joe of East Texas
How long have you owned the franchise?
One year, opened in the spring of 2013
Franchising gives you a much better success rate with the national name and nationwide marketing campaign. Customers are smart and want to go to a brand they can trust. With a name like Mosquito Joe, the customers know they are doing business with a company that they know will be around in a couple of years and being a franchise helps with this.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I have owned a Liberty Tax Franchise for nine years and was looking to expand my franchise profile. In my area, mosquitoes and the West Nile virus always make the news, so Mosquito Joe was a great fit.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I researched mosquito spraying companies for several months and Mosquito Joe was straight forward, honest and answered all of my questions. Several other companies are owned by larger organizations that are mainly interested in getting your money. Mosquito Joe will not only help answer your questions during the process but they will also help you once you are in business.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
Overall, I spent $18,500.
$10,000 franchise fee
$2,000 travel and training
$1,000 office furniture
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
Most of my research was calling franchise owners with other Mosquito Companies and even some that were already with Mosquito Joe. I was able to get insight from other franchisees in the field, especially from the Mosquito Joe franchisees. I also made sue to research numerous pages on the internet dealing with pest control and mobile franchise brands.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
Licensing my business was a little challenging, but once everything got squared away, we were ready to roll.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Ask a lot of questions and speak to people that have been in franchising before and go for it. Too many questions is never enough, this is your business and your future, you have to make sure you know it inside and out, top to bottom.
What’s next for you and your business?
We would like to expand to multiple territories in the area. As stated before, mosquitoes are a big deal in my neck of the woods. I want to continue to grow and add more work and continue to have happy customers. The limit is endless and my partner and I plan on leading Mosquito Joe to the top.