Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022

How a Former Military Career Prepared This Mosquito Hunters Franchisee to be a Successful Business Owner

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How a Former Military Career Prepared This Mosquito Hunters Franchisee to be a Successful Business Owner

Todd Thomas translates the lessons he learned in military service to franchise leadership. Finding immediate success with the supportive and innovative franchisor, Thomas recently expanded to new zip codes.

After an impressive career in the military, serving in both the United States Coast Guard and Army, Todd Thomas was ready to challenge himself with business ownership. His time in the armed forces taught him a long list of commendable traits for leadership, and he thought franchising would be a great way to apply those skills. After leaving the military and connecting with a franchise advisor to review a number of options, Thomas stumbled upon Mosquito Hunters, the 130-plus-unit pest control franchise that services residential and commercial clients under the Happinest Brands umbrella. Mosquito Hunters’ subscription-based mosquito, flea and tick control services offered a streamlined model for Thomas to run a business from his home, enjoy nature and have a recurring customer base. 

“The brand checked all my boxes,” Thomas explained. “I wanted a home service business and something where I don't need any type of real estate investment. I wanted something where I could be outside all the time. And I was seeking something with a renewing revenue model.

He spent a couple of months vetting the business and doing diligent research, conducted several “Meet A Hunter” calls with existing franchise owners and then spent the day with the Mosquito Hunters corporate team. By October 2019, Thomas had signed a franchise agreement with Happinest’s Mosquito Hunters company and started operations out of northern New Jersey just a few months later. With the spiking pandemic keeping the general public home and causing increased spend in the home service sector, Thomas was busy from the get-go. 

Thomas’ Mosquito Hunters operations took off. The business was successful so quickly that it even took him by surprise: He was receiving so much business the first season that he had to quickly hire team technicians and an accountant. By only the second season, he had already made back the money he had spent on the initial franchise investment. 

“It has gone exceptionally well, even from the first year. We reached 100 customers pretty fast — sooner than I had anticipated. The growth has been great, so we recently expanded our territory and added four more zip codes,” he said.

With that expansion, Thomas’s operations now span from the Newton/Lafayette area to the Mahwah/West, Milford, New Jersey area. His growth has reached 250 customers and 500 programs, with hopes of this recent expansion causing those numbers to double by the end of 2023. Should the trend continue in Thomas’ favor, he plans to add two more vehicles to his fleet and hire more full-time employees. 

As for what he appreciates the most about running his Mosquito Hunters, Thomas said he likes applying the skills he learned in the military as an employer. Those valiant characteristics have helped him become an effective boss and franchise owner.

“In the military, there’s no room for excuses or allowing excuses to dictate any type of shortcoming or failure. I've never allowed excuses to stop me, whether it's with hiring or finding clients or whatnot. And punctuality is a big thing in the military, and being punctual is something our clients appreciate. When we say we're going to be somewhere, we're there on time,” he explained. “I like training our technicians, passing those skills on, and watching them develop professionally.”

The total investment necessary to open a Mosquito Hunters franchise ranges from $89,187–$116,187.

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