After a hunting accident left Cole Watts in the hospital for months, he was inspired to start a business of his own.
Cole Watts was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. He currently works for his family’s business, More Clean of Texas, but had always been interested in branching out and owning something of his own. In November of 2014, Cole was injured in a hunting accident where he was shot in the abdomen and was in the hospital for two months. During his time working back to full strength, he discovered Mosquito Joe. Once back full-time at work, Cole opened the westernmost Mosquito Joe location in Texas this spring. 1851 caught up with Cole to learn more about his path to the brand and why he wanted to be a part of it.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’m from Abilene, originally, and I’ve lived my whole life here. I went to Abilene Christian and studied accounting, and I learned quickly that it wasn’t for me. I started working for the family business soon after that; it’s called More Clean of Texas. We specialize in horticulture, landscape management and commercial maintenance. Since 2011, I’ve been working at More Clean but I’ve always been interested in working on my own. It’s been my family’s business since 2004 when my dad started it.
The first job I had out of college took me to Fort Worth where I learned big city life was not for me. After about three years back at home, I pursued my master’s degree through Texas Tech University where I studied horticulture and landscape management. Right now I’m an operations manager at More Clean, and our Mosquito Joe location will operate out of the same warehouse. My role at More Clean will shift into more of a manager’s position as I get Mosquito Joe off the ground.
I was injured in a hunting accident back in late 2014. I was shot and spent two months in the hospital, where I had nine surgeries total in order to reconstruct my abdominal wall. I’m on the uphill and working back to full strength. I’ve been back at work since December and back full-time since January.
Why did you choose to become a franchisee with Mosquito Joe? How did you learn about the brand?
Well, in November of 2014, I was in a hunting accident and I spent two months in a hospital recovering after being shot. I’ve really been recovering ever since and focusing on that. While I was rehabbing, I read a lot because I wanted to learn as much as possible to help our business in other ways and I wanted to diversify. I heard about Mosquito Joe and I was so bored at the time that I wanted to get something else going. I wanted to generate some extra income and take on a new challenge. I fell in love with the Mosquito Joe business model and after I spoke and met with corporate, it felt like a fit. I enjoyed all of the people who cared about their business and what they were doing and they really helped someone like me who isn’t totally versed in owning their own business. I discovered the brand in May, submitted for documentation then, went to Virginia Beach in July and a month later I had everything all signed. I was really impressed with the support they give to all of their franchisees.
What’s next for you and your business? Do you have any development/expansion plans with the brand?
It’s on my mind and I really feel like Mosquito Joe is set up in a way where owning multiple locations is the best way to succeed. I’m currently the westernmost location and I want to keep expanding westward. I know what it’s like to be in this part of Texas, and I can bring a local perspective to the brand since I grew up here and I know what it’s like to live here.