For many traditional Home Service franchises, the second fiscal quarter can be a bit slow for signing new licenses and opening new businesses.
For Mosquito Hunters, however, Q2 was as hot as ever—thanks to the brand’s unique roll out strategy options, effective marketing tactics and committed support for new franchisees who are now launching their mosquito control businesses for spring.
The home service brand has seen explosive growth over the last year, now boasting 60 units around the U.S. Even more impressive, Mosquito Hunters has licensed 42 territories to 29 franchisees in just 2019 alone. The brand is now in 23 states all over the country—and as of Q2, that count includes Alaska.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of success, with around 20 new doors opening within the past two months. We are hearing reports that some have more than 100 clients already,” said Ron Ens, Mosquito Hunters’ Franchise Development Manager. “There’s definitely a big market for mosquito control.”
With mosquito hunting season ramping up in the spring and summer, Mosquito Hunters offers a few roll out options for franchisees to choose from throughout the year. That way, after months of working their “ground game,” franchisees can start strong when the weather turns warmer.
“It’s a seasonal business, so the Soft Roll Out really helps—you can go to training in the summer, start your ground game, get local marketing going and begin gathering clients,” explained Ens. “Then, come spring, start your full-court press to address the opportunity and get out there to service the community.”
Mosquito Hunters’ marketing and branding strategies are a big reason why the franchise has found so much success. Ens said that franchisees frequently express their excitement about the company’s bright branding that leaves a memorable impression—including the cartoonish Mosquito Hunters mascot head that each franchisee receives.
He is a mustachioed man in a dapper hat named Gunther.
“The Gunther figure attracts a lot of attention, especially among kids, who are one of the target audiences for mosquito control—we are committed to keeping kids safe,” said Ens. “He is front and center with our brand. Gearing up for spring, owners will do a Park and Wave, parking their branded van on a busy spot, with Gunther out there waving at everyone who passes. Gunther is designed to attract attention and create a strong memory that people draw upon when they need mosquito control. Now that we are fully into the season, our owners are getting calls thanks to those efforts.”
Another key differentiator in Mosquito Hunters’ marketing strategy is its new telesales center, which opened in late Q1. The sales center alleviates Mosquito Hunters franchisees of the burden of digital marketing—as well as directing and closing sales.
“With most brands, a big part of a franchisee’s life is dealing with SEO, posting on social media, getting their website up, working directly with media outlets, answering the phone when customers call to ask questions. But with Mosquito Hunters, it’s a different story,” explained Eric Martin, VP of Franchise Development. “Our franchisees receive new customers and just have to schedule a time to go treat them. The sale is already made. It eliminates a lot of the back-and-forth on the phone.”
Instead of spending all their time on making sales, Mosquito Hunters franchisees can concentrate on local networking and their growing business with a new base of clients. “We wanted to give our owners the ability to focus on their Ground Game activities and as importantly, customer retention,” said Martin. “We prioritize adding bandwidth for our franchisees so they can optimize their businesses and build customers for life. It’s a very different sales model and one that we’re really proud of.”
The telecenter, which is managed in-house at the company’s headquarters in Holmdel, New Jersey, works with franchisees of sister brand Lawn Doctor as well. In late Q2, Mosquito Hunters officially joined Lawn Doctor under the Happinest brand umbrella. As additional home service brands are added over time, the resources and infrastructure available will continue to expand.
“Sharing resources—such as the call center as well as decades of knowledge—with our growing family of brands is pretty cool stuff,” said Martin. “We are creating infrastructure and formally functionalized processes for growing our franchise portfolio and integrating best practices.”
As for the year overall, Mosquito Hunters’ goal is to sign 40 new franchisees. Considering the brand will exceed 30 new partners by the end of June and that autumn is the busiest time for signing new owners, Martin expects to far surpass that goal.
“Our new franchisees are happy with how things are going so far this year, especially those who experienced our fast start-up times,” said Martin. “By the time Q3 and Q4 roll around, we will certainly see accelerated growth to hit our goals—and then some.”