Longtime business leader Kevin Wilson combined his experience and lessons learned to propel Buzz Franchise Brands to new heights.
Maybe it’s something in the [standing] water at Mosquito Joe. Maybe it’s the growing group of dedicated franchisees that’s propelled the brand’s meteoric growth over the past two years. Maybe it’s the leadership of CEO Kevin Wilson. Or, maybe, it’s a little bit of all three of those things. No matter the rhyme or reason, there isn’t a company out there that couldn’t learn a lesson from fast-growing mosquito protection franchise Mosquito Joe.
With over 170 territories open in 29 states and another 100 in development, Mosquito Joe has catapulted itself to segment leader under the guidance of fearless business leader Kevin Wilson, who signed on with the brand five years ago.
Wilson was no rookie business leader when he joined the brand, then in its infancy. Wilson had worked for large corporations, like Bain and Company, and even started his own franchise brand, Benny’s Bagels, a retail bagel concept born in Texas. He went on to work for a major South African airline in Johannesburg before moving back to the States in 2001 and working as a private equity investor.
Whether sitting at the helm of a franchise brand like he is now, managing a team in South Africa, or working under CEOs of major companies, Wilson learned valuable skills and lessons that would ultimately lead him to success with Mosquito Joe.
“As a business leader, no matter where you work, you’re always going to encounter some of the same challenges,” shared Wilson. “The workplace is changing, so when an employee is looking for an opportunity, it’s important for me to understand what is important to them in a job. That way I can better understand how to lead our team as we continue to grow.”
For Wilson, the focus is on getting the right employees in the right seats. He strives to create a culture that make employees feel less like they are going to work every day and more like they are coming in to a challenging place for growth. Creating a culture where they can have fun and help people is crucial, Wilson said.
This culture that Wilson has created trickles down to each and every franchisee, too, igniting a passion in entrepreneurs across the country looking for not only franchise ownership opportunities, but a chance to serve their community. Then, says Wilson, it’s time to continue the communication and let your team thrive in their roles.
“If you’re going to be a great leader, you have to set a broad vision of where we want the brand to go and then consistently communicate that vision to your team,” Wilson said. “Then, you have to provide autonomy to the team that’s going to get you there.”
“For me that means putting up guardrails and then allowing your team to make decisions and be accountable for their own business. It’s really rewarding for our franchisees and their teams to inspire to do their best. We’re there to pull them up if they are falling short, but they are able to be the master of their own destiny.”
Last year proved to be a record-breaker for Wilson and the Mosquito Joe team, indicating his leadership approach is definitely working. In fact, Mosquito Joe’s parent company Buzz Franchise Brands, which Wilson also sits at the helm of, launched a second franchise concept, Pool Scouts.
In the future, Wilson sees Buzz Franchise Brands continuing to diversify under his leadership, with the hopes of launching several more franchise concepts. With dozens of locations opening this spring and recent rankings in the Inc. 500, Entrepreneur Franchise 500 and Franchise Gator’s ‘Fastest Growing’ brands list, Wilson and his team are poised to continue their staggering growth into 2017 and beyond.