When Blaine and Kristin Cardinale signed an area development agreement with Mosquito Joe in 2014, their plan was to open one territory in 2015 that would primarily serve Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Florida. From there, the team would add one territory per year as business grew.
Now, heading into spring 2017, the Cardinales are already ramping up operations for service in five territories just two years after the launch of business.
“We weren’t shy about going into the Tampa area,” Blaine Cardinale said. “Originally, we thought we could serve territories that we didn’t yet own if a customer requested service, but we realized if someone else bought the rights to the territory, we would have to give up those customers. That really influenced our decision to grow more quickly.”
For the Cardinales and their team, customer acquisition happened largely through word-of-mouth recommendations, leading to the fast-paced growth they have experienced in the Tampa area. As demand for Mosquito Joe’s services grew, the Cardinales recognized a need to add more of the brand’s service vans and service routes at a faster rate than they originally anticipated. This also meant onboarding more high-quality talent to work with customers.
“One of my biggest pieces of advice for other operators exploring multi-unit operations would be to front load talent,” Cardinale said. “Bring on people who care about their jobs, pay them so that they’re happy and will do small extra things for clients to build a loyal customer base and maintain a positive reputation for the business.”
Cardinale’s growing knowledge for small business success started when his family relocated from Ohio to Florida in 2001 to run Belleair Storage of Florida. Today, he and his parents, Randy and Amy, continue to oversee the storage facility while Blaine and Kristin run Mosquito Joe. Blaine is also a pilot in the Navy Reserve, and graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2004. He became a helicopter pilot in 2006 and discontinued Active Duty in 2014.
The Mosquito Joe brand takes pride in helping veterans find new purpose in giving back to their community by using the same skill set the military gave them to own their own business. Veterans like Cardinale have natural leadership and critical thinking abilities that make them successful franchisees.
“The Mosquito Joe corporate team has been trustworthy from the start,” Cardinale said. “They’re genuinely good people and care about our growth. Every time I talk to Kevin Wilson, it is a mentorship experience and he is great about reminding us to look at the big picture rather than getting caught up in worrying about tomorrow.”
For entrepreneurs like the Cardinales, the guidance of a corporate franchise structure balanced with an ability to grow and modify their business to fit the local needs creates a recipe for success.
“We want to fill up the state of Florida with Mosquito Joe’s services,” Cardinale said. “Even if we’re not the operators opening new territories, we want whoever does to be successful. As a franchise system, we only succeed when everyone succeeds and we are only as strong as the weakest link.”