Few animals on Earth evoke the kind of hatred that mosquitoes do. Their itchy bites and nearly ubiquitous presence can ruin any backyard barbecue or hike in the woods. They have an uncanny ability to sense our murderous intentions, taking flight milliseconds before the fatal smack of a fly swatter. And the high-pitched buzz of their wings in your ears is nothing short of maddening.
Here’s the thing about mosquitos—no matter how much citronella and DEET we douse ourselves with, year after year, those pesky little midge-flies keep coming back. While that’s bad news for most of us, it’s great news for companies like Mosquito Joe, a pest control and treatment franchise.
With hordes of these bugs descending upon backyards every spring and summer, the demand for a healthy and insect-free living space has grown—and for good reason. According to the Center for Disease control, almost 40,000 people in the United States have been exposed to the West Nile virus, a disease that’s most commonly spread by mosquito bites.
When current Mosquito Joe CEO Kevin Wilson first discovered the brand, he saw an untapped opportunity to help communities. Having built a career based on finding emerging concepts with upside potential as a partner at Envest Ventures, a private equity group that oversaw $160 million across three funds with over 28 investments, Wilson knew Mosquito Joe was onto something, he just needed the right fuel to spark its growth.
By early 2012, Wilson raised $3.5 million dollars and recruited seven executive team leaders. After executing a complete rebranding of Mosquito Joe and developing a consistent image and brand across all mediums, the team was prepared for the brand’s methodical growth. But there was one element he introduced that would really help the company take off—Mosquito Joe was being promoted to prospective franchisees as a low-cost business investment with innumerable perks.
Today, with more than 100 units throughout the country, Mosquito Joe has made a strong name for itself. With one of the highest hiring rates among American brands and one of the lowest signing prices in the industry, the company has become an increasingly popular franchise choice for first-time entrepreneurs.
“I’m a huge supporter of franchising—it’s an affordable and less-risky way to succeed in business without a big investment. That’s how I envisioned Mosquito Joe, and for years now we stayed true to our promise,” said Wilson. “I’ve been lucky to come across a lot of talented individuals who would not have been able to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams if it had not been for the franchise model. It’s gratifying to know that with Mosquito Joe, we have allowed more people to experience business ownership.”
At Mosquito Joe, a typical investment is less than $75,000 to get the business up and running. This includes a supply of chemicals, comprehensive training and support, marketing supplies, equipment and a vehicle. This initial cost is significantly lower than most franchises, particularly due to low initial staffing needs and no necessity to build out retail space. The company also offers special financial aid opportunities for community safety professionals, such as current or former policemen or firefighters, as well as veterans.
After spending three years full-time in the military, Benjamin Grace returned home to Flowery Branch, Georgia looking for a way to break into a new line of business without putting his family’s finances at risk. After spending an afternoon researching low-cost franchise opportunities, Mosquito Joe popped up on his computer screen.
“I immediately called up Mosquito Joe because they presented themselves exactly that way—as a low-cost franchise filled with infinite potential. They want you to succeed, and they give you everything you could possibly need to make that reality,” Grace said. “I opened the business with little trouble on April 2015, and we’ve been busy every single day since then.”