PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 13

best for his company of 21 employees who
primarily serve two counties in Colorado. The
most important thing to do is to put the plan
in writing, along with measurable performance
indicators such as revenue, customer retention
rates, expenses or staff turnover, he adds.
Prior to setting goals, perform a SWOT
(strength, weakness, opportunity and threat)
analysis of the current business, review client
demographics and evaluate current service
offerings, suggests Scott Steckel, strategic development director at Plunkett's Pest
Control. "Determine what type of client the
company wants to serve, and research which
customers are most satisfied and most profitable for the company and focus on developing that segment," he adds. "Review current
service offerings and keep only those that you
are truly great at providing and shut off those
you can't fix."
After creating the long-range goals for five
or 10 years down the road, reverse engineer
the plan to create incremental goals for upcoming years, suggests Kurt Scherzinger, A.C.E.,
vice president of operations for Scherzinger
Termite & Pest Control in Ohio. With 96 employees and three offices, the roadmap provided
by a strategic plan is critical, he says. "We are
a family-owned company, but key managers
from all areas work together to develop the
strategy," he explains. The company goals are
then broken down into goals at the department and employee level.
"Strategic planning is not something owners
can do alone," says Scherzinger. "Owners tend
to get caught up in the numbers but including people who know what is happening in
the field as well as operational departments
provides a perspective that is important."
Factors addressed in a strategic plan are
similar for all companies, but there is no
one-size-fits-all plan because each company's
goals are different.
For example, Lemasters and his leadership team decided to focus on growing their
business in one geographic area comprised
of two counties. This meant cutting ties with
a national alliance that produced work that
required technicians to go beyond the primary
service area.
"The national relationship was very beneficial as we grew the company, but after
11 years, we wanted to grow our business in a
focused area," explains Lemasters. "We have
grown every year while shrinking our service
area footprint."

Focusing on a specific audience is also
what Plunkett's Pest Control has done, even
though the company looks very different
from EnviroPest.
Located across 17 states primarily in the
upper Midwest, Plunkett's has 480 employees.
"About 90 percent of our work is commercial
and our sweet spot is large food processing
plants," says Steckel. The decision to focus on
commercial and on food processing operation is based on an understanding of the geographic marketplace-rural areas in which
agriculture is key to the economy. "We are
not located in large urban areas, and we are
in areas that experience five months of winter," he says. "Although it takes more effort
to identify potential customers and sell them
on our service by building relationships, our
focus on service and quality produces a high
retention rate."
Strategic planning at Plunkett's includes
key leaders throughout the company, including the owner, finance, marketing, training,
human resources and managers from different offices. Steckel suggests that no matter
what size the company or the group included
in strategic planning, set aside time to focus
on planning. "Schedule an off-site meeting
for a whole day with an external facilitator
because there are too many distractions at
the office," he says. Most importantly, don't
go through the process and set the plan on
the shelf until the following year, says Steckel.
"Schedule follow up meetings quarterly to
review and update plans."
Scherzinger's company finds it helpful
to keep the strategic goals top-of-mind at
every weekly managers' meeting. "Everyone
submits their statistics to me each Friday and
we review them at the following Tuesday
morning meeting," he says. "This gives us an
opportunity to determine the cause of any
changes in performance and make adjustments if needed."
Whether the strategic plan review is quarterly, monthly or more frequently, be prepared
to make necessary adjustments, or change
tactics to reflect changes in the marketplace,
says Lemasters. "For example, if your plan is
to double your revenue in five years, but your
review shows that you have stopped growing, ask yourself if a sales person would help,"
he says. "If you are growing, take a look at
when you need to add additional staff, another
vehicle or more equipment, and plan for
it ahead of time."

Once the plan is complete, share it with
employees, recommends Lemasters. "Let
everyone know the goals and how they can
contribute and explain how and why decisions
were made so they understand the reasons,"
he says. "We also update our financials at each
monthly meeting to let everyone see how performance relates to our goals."
Strategic planning was new to Scherzinger's company this year, so they held a
big company kickoff in March, he says. "We
talked about our core values and revealed
our strategic plan," he explains. "The plan
had always been in my father's head before
this year, but the time and effort we put into
writing a plan that involved input from others gives us trackable and obtainable goals
that will keep everyone moving forward in
the same direction.
While strategic planning may seem overwhelming, Lemasters points to resources available to all companies. "In addition to informal
networking, NPMA's MentorMatch is a great
way to get guidance from an industry professional, and local small business development
centers offer advice to small businesses," he
says. "We are fortunate that members of our
industry are willing to help each other-it
makes our industry unique."
Taking advantage of existing resources to
enhance the strategic business plan is worth
the time and effort, says Lemasters. Being able
to plan ahead and evaluate your progress is
critical to growing a business and making
timely adjustments, he says. "You can't turn
a ship or a business quickly, but a good plan
gives you a chance to make changes and keep
the business growing." ●

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PestWorld - July/August 2018

President’s Message
Marketing Corner: 5 Ways to Keep Your Company Newsworthy
Membership Programs: NPMA Health Insurance
Ask the Expert
Standards: QualityPro Accreditation
Calendar of Events
Index of Advertisers
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - Intro
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - cover1
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - cover2
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 3
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 4
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 5
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 6
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 7
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 8
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - President’s Message
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - PLANNING FOR GROWTH
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 11
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 12
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 13
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - MARKETING FOR GROWTH
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 15
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 16
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 17
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 19
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 20
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - Marketing Corner: 5 Ways to Keep Your Company Newsworthy
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - Membership Programs: NPMA Health Insurance
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 23
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 24
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - Ask the Expert
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - Standards: QualityPro Accreditation
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 27
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 28
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - 29
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - Index of Advertisers
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - cover3
PestWorld - July/August 2018 - cover4