Pest control is a booming business in Texas, and for a good reason. With its warm climate and abundant wildlife, Texas is prone to infestations from rodents to cockroaches to snakes. And with the right knowledge and equipment, pest control experts help keep people safe from these critters—and make some money while they’re at it!
If you’re planning to start a pest control business in Texas, you’ve come to the right place! This guide will give you all the information you need to start, from choosing the right business structure to obtaining the necessary licenses and registrations. We’ll also provide tips on marketing your new business and building a clientele.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
10 Steps to Start a Pest Control Business in Texas
1. Create a business plan for your pest control business
Before starting any business, it is important to create a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and financial projections. For a pest control business, your business plan should include a marketing strategy, a description of your target market, and an overview of your operating costs.
Additionally, you will need to detail your experience in the pest control industry and identify any potential risks. By taking the time to create a comprehensive business plan, you will increase your chances of success and ensure that your pest control business gets off to a strong start.
Here are a few important things you need to focus on when crafting the business plan:
Startup and ongoing cost
Starting a pest control business can be a relatively low-cost venture. The most significant startup expense will be for commercial-grade equipment, which can be purchased secondhand for considerable savings.
Equipment can cost you anywhere between $2000 to $5000. Insurance and licensing costs will also need to be considered, and marketing expenses should not be overlooked.
You can expect to pay $500 for insurance and $400 for licensing and registration. Setting up a simple business website can cost you another $600. And business cards will cost you around $100.
Once the business is up and running, the biggest ongoing cost will be for supplies and materials. You’ll also pay for labor, fuel, marketing, and repairs and maintenance. With careful planning and management, it is possible to keep these costs under control and generate a healthy profit margin.
A pest control business can serve a variety of different target audiences. One common target audience is businesses that are looking to control pests in their commercial buildings, such as restaurants. These businesses may face legal action if they do not keep their premises free of pests, so they will be willing to pay for reliable and comprehensive services.
Another potential target audience is homeowners who are looking to protect their property from damage by pests. These customers will be interested in solutions that are effective and affordable. By understanding the needs of your target market, you can create a marketing strategy that will attract the right kind of customers.
Pest control services can vary greatly in price, depending on the size of the job and the type of pests involved. For example, an ant infestation may be relatively easy to solve and may only require a single treatment, while a termite infestation may be much more difficult to solve and may require multiple treatments.
In general, most exterminators in Texas charge between $100 and $200 for a basic pest control service. This includes a single treatment of the interior and exterior of the home, as well as an inspection of the property to identify any potential risk areas. For more serious infestations or for those who require ongoing pest control services, prices can range from $500 to $1,000 per month.
There are some general guidelines that you can follow when pricing your services. First, consider the severity of the problem and the amount of time that it will take to solve it.
Second, consider the type of pests involved and how difficult they are to control. Finally, consider the size of the area that needs to be treated. By taking all of these factors into account, you can ensure that you charge a fair price for your pest control services.
2. Form a legal entity
Before you can start trapping rats or spraying for ants, you must form a legal entity for your pest control business. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and corporations are the four most common types of entities. Each has its own pros and cons.
A Sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common type of business structure. This type of business entity is owned and operated by one person and is not legally separate from the owner. This means that the owner is personally liable for all debts and liabilities of the business.
A Partnership is similar to a sole proprietorship, but it is owned by two or more people. Partners share liability for the business, but they also share profits and management responsibilities.
A Limited liability company (LLC) is another option for a pest control business. An LLC provides limited liability protection for its owners, meaning that they are not personally liable for debts and liabilities of the business. This type of structure can be advantageous for businesses that have a high risk of liability, such as those that use potentially dangerous chemicals.
Corporations are more complex and expensive to set up than the other three, but they offer the most limited liability protection for the owners. It’s also easy for corporations to raise funds as they can issue stock to raise capital. But there are some disadvantages as well, such as Corporations being subject to double taxation, meaning that they are taxed on their profits and then again when they distribute those profits to shareholders in the form of dividends.
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the legal structure for a pest control business. The owners should discuss their options with an accountant or attorney to ensure they choose the best structure for their particular situation. But, the majority of small pest control businesses are registered as LLCs in the state of Texas.
3. Obtain EIN for your business
Any business that plans to hire employees will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This nine-digit number is used for tax purposes, and it will be required on all employee tax forms.
If you are starting a pest control business, you will need to obtain an EIN for your company. The process is relatively simple, and you can apply online or by mail. Once you have obtained your EIN, you will be able to open a business bank account and begin the process of hiring employees. In short, obtaining an EIN is an essential step in starting a pest control business.
4. Purchase the right insurance
In Texas, any business that provides pest control services must be licensed by the state. As part of the licensing process, applicants must submit proof of insurance. This requirement helps to ensure that businesses are protected in the event that they cause damage to property while performing pest control services.
The minimum amount of coverage that must be carried is $200,000 for bodily injury and property damage, with a total aggregate of $300,000 for all occurrences.
This insurance protects the business from liability in the event that someone is injured or their property is damaged while under the care, custody, or control of the pest control company. All current commercial business licensees in Texas are required to maintain this level of insurance coverage.
5. Obtain necessary permits & licenses
Before you can start your pest control business in Texas, you need to obtain a Commercial Pest Control Applicator License from the Texas Department of Agriculture. This license allows you to offer pest control services to your clients.
In order to obtain the license, you need to pass an examination that covers pesticide safety and laws, application methods, and pest biology. The examination is offered by the department on a regular basis, and you can register for it online.
Once you have passed the examination, you will need to submit an application for the license, along with the $300 application fee. After your application has been processed, you will receive your Commercial Pest Control Applicator License.
6. Open a business bank account
As a business owner, it’s important to have a dedicated bank account for your business. This will help you to keep your personal and business finances separate, making it easier to track expenses and income. A business bank account will give you access to important features like credit lines and merchant services.
When choosing a bank, be sure to compare fees and services to find the best fit for your business. Be sure to bring along your business license, EIN, and articles of incorporation, as well as any other required paperwork to open a business bank account.
7. Purchase equipment
As anyone in the pest control business knows, having the right equipment is essential for success. Not only does it make the job easier, but it also helps to ensure a high level of quality control.
When starting out, many new business owners make the mistake of skimping on equipment in order to save money. However, this is often a false economy, as cheap equipment is often less effective and more difficult to use.
In the long run, it is usually better to invest in quality equipment that will last for years. While it may cost more upfront, this investment will pay off in the form of satisfied customers and repeat business. Here are some tools you’ll need to provide effective pest control service to your customers:
Chemicals and Chemical Sprayers: One of the most important pieces of equipment for any pest control business is a good set of chemicals. These can be used to treat infestations of all sorts of pests, from cockroaches to termites. In addition to chemicals, you’ll also need a quality chemical sprayer. This will allow you to evenly distribute the chemicals throughout the affected area, ensuring that all of the pests are eliminated.
Baits, Repellents, and Traps: In some cases, baits, repellents, and traps may be more effective than chemicals. These can be used to target specific pests, such as rats or mice. If you plan on using these methods, you’ll need to purchase cages or live traps in order to safely remove the pests from the home.
PPE: Personal protective equipment (PPE) is also essential for any pest control business. PPE includes items like gloves, masks, and coveralls. These will protect you from coming into contact with harmful chemicals or dangerous pests.
Flashlights and Headlamps: A good flashlight or headlamp is a must, as you’ll often be working in dark and cramped spaces.
Dust bulb: Dust bulbs are an important tool for any pest control business. They are a safe and effective way to kill a wide variety of pests, including cockroaches, ants, and spiders.
Fogger: A fogger is a type of pest control device that uses a fine mist to apply insecticide or herbicide solutions to an area. Foggers are often used in commercial and industrial settings, as well as in homes, to control pests such as fleas, cockroaches, and other insects. Foggers can also be used to control mold, mildew, and other fungi. Foggers are available in both electric and manual versions. Electric foggers are typically more expensive than manual foggers, but they are also more powerful and easier to use.
Ladders: The ladder allows you to reach high places to treat for pests, such as ceilings and attic spaces.
Endoscope: Having an endoscope is important for your pest control business. This tool will help you to see into inaccessible areas so that you can find out what pests are hiding there. It can also be used to check for structural damage that may be allowing pests to enter your home or business.
Spill Kit: A spill kit is a collection of supplies that can be used to clean up minor spills. It should include items like absorbent pads, paper towels, and garbage bags.
Sealant gun: A sealant gun is an important tool for any pest control business. It allows you to quickly and easily apply a sealant to cracks and crevices, preventing pests from entering your home or office. Sealant guns come in a variety of sizes and styles, so it’s important to choose one that is right for your needs.
8. Hire employees
When operating a pest control business, it is important to carefully consider who you will hire to work for you. Employees are the face of your business and can make or break your reputation. It is important to find individuals who are passionate about pest control and taking care of customers. They should also be friendly, reliable, and trustworthy.
In addition, you will want to consider whether you want to hire full-time or part-time employees. Full-time employees may be more expensive, but they can provide more consistency for your business.
Part-time employees may be more flexible and affordable, but they may not be available when you need them. Ultimately, the decision of how to staff your business will come down to what makes the most sense for your company.
9. Create a business website
A website is a critical tool for any business in this age, but it is especially important for a pest control business. Potential customers will often go online to research businesses before they make a purchase, and a well-designed website can help to set your business apart from the competition.
Your website should include information about the services you offer, as well as testimonials from satisfied customers. In addition, be sure to include your contact information so that potential customers can reach out to you directly.
10. Promote your company
As a business owner, you know that marketing is essential to attracting new customers and growing your pest control business. Therefore, make sure to develop a strong marketing strategy.
This should include both traditional advertising methods, such as print and radio ads, as well as modern techniques, such as social media marketing. Second, consider partnering with local businesses, such as home improvement stores or landscaping companies. This can help to increase your visibility in the community and attract new customers.
You can also publish informational videos on youtube and write blog posts on your website so that you can convert your viewers into customers. Finally, always provide excellent customer service. This includes being prompt and professional when responding to service calls and taking the time to thoroughly inspect each property. This will help increase word of mouth for your company.