Mosquito Hunters heads into 2019 expecting big things with an aggressive growth plan and a development team hitting on all cylinders. The Chicago based mosquito and tick-control service brand’s development staff draws on expertise gained through extensive experience to make the Mosquito Hunters franchise opportunity one of the most attractive available. By leveraging their collective knowledge, combined with over 50 years of home services franchise experience with sibling brand Lawn Doctor, the team plans to rapidly expand the concept to target markets nationwide.
Eric Martin, Vice President of Franchise Development for Lawn Doctor and Mosquito Hunters, began his career in the franchise industry nearly a decade ago working in development for a senior home care franchise. During his tenure, he helped double the brand’s unit footprint from 250 to more than 500, gaining valuable industry knowledge and honing his team building ability along the way.
With such quantifiable franchise development success and a broad skill set bolstered by extensive sales and recruitment experience prior to his franchising career, it was no wonder Martin caught the eye of Lawn Doctor CEO Scott Frith in 2017.
“Scott approached me about joining Lawn Doctor’s development department because I understood recurring revenue, membership and service-based business,” Martin said. “He presented me with a plan to join the team, continue growing the well-known and established brand, but to also be ready to launch a new brand we were in the process of partnering with called Mosquito Hunters, which had seven locations at the time, and essentially grow it from the ground up.”
Martin found the opportunity compelling and joined the brands soon after, overseeing development efforts for both. His unique experience working for a legacy brand while it joined forces with a new business made him a great fit for the role, and he began assembling his team not long after.
The first move Martin made was bringing on Tom King as Franchise Development Director. King has worked in various capacities throughout the franchise industry for more than 40 years, building three franchises into award-winning businesses, working as a franchise consultant and serving as a franchise development executive before joining Mosquito Hunters.
“Tom has been instrumental in helping numerous brands grow,” Martin said. “His extensive business ownership experience coupled with his time consulting makes him an invaluable team member.”
Kris Simonich was already an existing member of the Mosquito Hunters development team before the alliance with Lawn Doctor was formed. Martin met with Simonich and quickly discovered Simonich’s excitement for the brand to be contagious. With 15 years of retail and service-based franchise experience building businesses up from the ground level and an intimate familiarity with Mosquito Hunters already, Simonich was an all-around “great fit” for the team as Franchise Development Director, Martin said.
Martin’s next move was to transition Ronald Ens over to the Mosquito Hunters development team from the Lawn Doctor side of the business. Ens spent many years in development roles across several industries, including home services, and also held several senior management positions in the financial services industry. With Mosquito Hunters, he manages the consultant and prospect experience along with territory checks and mapping, team reporting and other day-to-day development activities.
Mike Carnahan rounds out the development team. His three decades of franchising and business ownership experience were gained as a franchise consultant and as the owner of eight different businesses. Carnahan also spent part of his career working in development for another high-performing home service concept, which is what compelled Martin to bring him on.
“I knew Tom King from my time as a consultant and he reached out to introduce me to Eric,” Carnahan said. “I started consulting to help others get into business for themselves and was loving it, but when I got the chance to do the same thing with this new franchise full of great people, I quit my job and joined the team.”
In addition to his duties as Director of Development helping prospects evaluate the franchise opportunity, Carnahan has an ownership stake in his own Mosquito Hunters franchise in the greater St. Louis area with a business partner who handles the day-to-day operations.
“Not long after coming on board, I fell in love with the system,” Carnahan said. “I told my wife when we sold our last business that I wouldn’t be purchasing any more, but Mosquito Hunters’ low investment, simple business model, high profit margins and low overhead compelled me to dive back in. I was also born and raised in St. Louis, so it means a lot to bring such a needed service to my own community.”
The Mosquito Hunters development team is having immense success growing the brand’s footprint through franchising thanks to the same strong qualities that convinced Carnahan to buy in. And with its ability to leverage the backing of a legacy brand like Lawn Doctor that not only operates in a similar industry, but utilizes a route-based model with a similar revenue stream and customer base, the brand is poised to scale rapidly in 2019 and beyond.
“Mosquito Hunters is emerging in a space that doesn't yet have a dominant force,” Martin said. “We see a lot of room for a challenger brand like ours to differentiate, cause disruption and quickly gain market share. Being able to draw upon the similarities between our brands and apply our success with Lawn Doctor to Mosquito Hunters is helping us build out the brand’s next phase. With our experience, infrastructure and capital, we’re well on our way to becoming a top player in the segment.”
As the young brand prepares to take off, the knowledge and experience of its development team has helped attract franchisees who are interested in becoming early adopters of the Mosquito Hunters system.
“We've seen rapid growth through organic means and have brought on a very strong new group of owners set to launch their businesses in the spring,” Martin said. “What we’ve seen with both lead generation and the caliber of candidate we’re attracting has exceeded my expectations. Couple that with the talent we continue to add on our operational support and marketing teams, we’re well positioned to increase our footprint and unit level performance nationwide. A lot of prime major markets with need are wide open for development, but I don’t think that will last long. We've set lofty goals for ourselves that I'm confident we will exceed.”
At the end of the day, good franchise development teams pride themselves in finding great candidates who are an ideal fit for the system. The research and due diligence process the Mosquito Hunters team has designed is set up to ensure that happens each time.
“Our team is made up of some of the greatest people I’ve worked with in all of my career,” Carnahan said. “They’re sharp, honest, fun, sincere and an integral part in why Mosquito Hunters is exploding.”