America’s leading mosquito control and tick control franchise opens in Chattanooga, TN to help fight Lyme disease and West Nile Virus, on the web at http://chattanooga.mosquitosquad.com/

Mosquito Squad mosquito control welcomes Brad Ledford as its newest franchise owner as Mosquito Squad of Chattanooga is now open for business.

“We’re happy to add Brad to our team,” says Boyd Huneycutt, Vice President of Operations at Mosquito Squad mosquito control. “He’s truly passionate about protecting people against mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they carry.”

Mosquito Squad mosquito control is North America’s fastest growing outdoor living concept franchise. Known as the “mosquito exterminator,” Mosquito Squad mosquito control currently has five ways to ensure affordable, dependable and effective protection against the nuisance and dangers of mosquitoes (and ticks in participating locations) and the diseases they can carry, like West Nile Virus, Encephalitis and Lyme Disease, just to name a few.

  1. 21-day Barrier Spray, which kills on contact and continues for three weeks.
  2. 14-day All-Natural Spray, which kills adult mosquitoes on contact and has a two-week repellent effect.
  3. Intensive Tick Treatment to reduce the spread of Lyme disease.
  4. Special Event Spray for mosquito-free outdoor parties, weddings, picnics and concerts.
  5. Automatic Misting System providing continuous control 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via timed bursts of protective sprays at key times when mosquitoes are at their most active.

Tennessee has had confirmed cases of West Nile that were transmitted by mosquito bites, as well as many cases of heartworm. Ledford, who considers his two dogs family as well states, “I want to protect my dogs as much as the rest of my family.” The best way to keep safe from these illnesses is to limit your exposure to bug bites. Mosquito Squad mosquito control protects people and pets (and allows them to enjoy the outdoors) by administering a spray that keeps properties virtually free of pests.

Mosquitoes weren’t the only insects on Ledford’s mind when he was considering bringing Mosquito Squad mosquito control to the area. “Insect borne diseases are a real problem in the Tennessee Valley,” said Ledford. “Most people you speak with have heard of Lyme Disease, heartworm and West Nile. Mosquito Squad has the ability to control mosquitoes and ticks before they get to our families. It makes perfect sense that we have a company in our area that can combat them.”

Mosquito Squad is bringing its brand of professional mosquito control and tick extermination to the area. “Whether for season-long protection or a one-time event such as a wedding or other outdoor events, we can ensure that mosquitoes, fleas and ticks don’t get the best of you,” says Brad Ledford, owner of Mosquito Squad of Chattanooga.

Mosquito Squad of Chattanooga will service Hamilton and Bradley counties.

The Mosquito Squad mosquito control technology is similar to that which has proven to be extremely effective in the dairy farm and horse industries in controlling annoying flying insects. Part of Outdoor Living Brands’ franchise company based in Richmond, VA, Mosquito Squad mosquito control keeps families, residences, businesses and special events like outdoor weddings and picnics mosquito-free. Mosquito Squad mosquito control was recently rated one of the Top 50 Franchises by Franchise Business Review and received their 2010 Franchisee Satisfaction Award. Mosquito Squad mosquito control also received the World Class Franchise Designation from the Franchise Research Institute.

To find Mosquito Squad mosquito control near you, call toll-free 877 MOSQUAD, or 877-667-7823.

For information on Mosquito Squad mosquito control franchise opportunities, call 800-722-4668 and ask for Franchise Recruitment.

Potential franchise owners want to have as much information about a concept as possible prior to making a decision regarding licensing the brand.  As stated in my previous blog, franchisees are a great source of “front line” information regarding the franchise business that you are exploring.  Franchise concepts with a well defined recruiting process require you talk with some of their existing franchisees as you are nearing the end of the discovery process.  Franchise concepts with a less defined recruiting process may suggest you speak with their existing franchisees earlier in the discovery process, and may expect their franchisees to “sell the concept” for them.

Experienced franchise recruiters are respectful and protect their franchisee’s time and privacy.  Franchisees are very busy individuals as they build their businesses while maintaining the proper balance between work, family and other community activities.  Franchise recruiters want to ensure that their franchisees only spend time interacting with qualified candidates.  Often a password is utilized to signal franchisees that you have reached an important milestone in the qualification process, and the franchisee will speak more candidly with you.

No franchisee is obligated to talk to you. If they do so, it is strictly voluntary. If you are awarded the franchise, in the future, potential franchisees will be calling you, so please consider how you would want that conversation to be conducted as you call existing franchisees.  Please remember, the more pleasant you are, the more likely that they will be to talk to you.  Please understand, as you prepare for these calls, franchisees are not required to reveal their earnings to anyone. While they will want to help, human nature is to be relatively private when discussing income and earnings – especially to someone that they have never met before.

Having your questions formulated is key to having a productive validation call.  Consider the following guidelines:

  • Validation provides an opportunity for existing franchisees to meet and evaluate you as a potential franchisee. Franchisors will seek feedback from their franchisees so please make sure these conversations reflect you at your best.
  • Please respect their time and keep the conversations to a length of approximately 15-20 minutes. In order to address the points that matter most to you, please keep your list organized and in order.
  • Ask questions that build on the knowledge that you have already learned in the discovery process.
  • You should avoid questions about the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and Franchise Agreement. While these are very critical documents, most franchise owners will not remember the content as the FDD typically collects dust on a shelf after operations are launched.

As you see from the guidelines, beginning the validation process prematurely may be detrimental and unproductive for both you and the franchisee.   The vast majority of  franchisees will be willing to schedule a time to talk with you, but they are very busy managing their businesses.  Work with your franchise recruiter to ensure this process is handled properly.  Your recruiter should have some basic guidelines and information that will take you through the process and make it both informative and enjoyable.

Have you considered or are you embarking on the path of franchising?  As franchise candidates move through the process of selecting the right concept for their endeavor, often they request, or are required by the franchisor, to speak with Franchisees for the “validation” process.

Franchisees are a great source of “front line” information regarding the franchise business that you are exploring.  As you are considering which franchisees you would like to speak with, do a little soul searching, be realistic with yourself and determine what you truly want to learn from these people.

Pessimists are typically looking for Franchisees that are struggling or who have failed in the past.  Are they looking for reasons not to enter the business, or perhaps they are looking for guidance that will keep them from making the same mistakes.  By doing this, they are aligning themselves with underachievers.  Human nature for underachievers is to look for some one or some thing to blame for their under performance, and typically aren’t following the systems of the franchise.

Optimists are typically looking for mid level to top performers.   The optimist is looking for secrets of success and is looking to mimic the results of the successful.  They want to align themselves with people of similar traits and characteristics.  They are looking for a mentor, a wise and trusted counselor or teacher who will help them rise to success.  Successful Franchisees are proud of their accomplishments, are leaders in the franchise community, and typically have a proven track record of following the systems of the franchise to top.

Franchisors should encourage you to speak with a wide range of individuals in their system so that you are truly validating the business.  Keep in mind however, establishing rapport with top performers early in the process of franchising may allow the opportunity for a mentoring relationship that can help you to be successful.

I recently read an article by Anita Campbell in which she spoke about the demographics regarding people who are entering the world of business ownership and franchising.  There were some eye opening facts regarding the ages of first time entrepreneurs.

Anita quoted statistics from a November 2009 Bureau of Labor Statics study that showed, “The incorporated self-employment rate is four times higher among those aged 65 to 69 than among those aged 25 to 34—and a whopping 25 times higher than among those aged 20 to 24.”

There are a number of reasons this may be taking place:

  • Investing may be easier with the utilization of built up retirement funding
  • With grown children, the ability to save and gain necessary capital for start-up may be easier
  • Lay-offs – higher paid senior executives were greatly impacted during the economic down-turn – rather than going back into Corporate America, invest in yourself and your skills
  • Nearing retirement age, but still having the desire to contribute
  • Empty-nest syndrome – many mothers have more time on their hands and the ability to take charge of their time – with the battle to gain employment being an uphill one for many stay-at-home moms, starting a busy may be much more plausible

If any of the above scenarios sound familiar, I suggest you read the entire article, and perhaps consider franchising as an option.

When considering a franchise opportunity, you may want to think outside the box.  Often people looking at business opportunities search inside their current skill set or trade.

Carpenters look at construction related franchises, electrician looks at franchises in the electrical field, etc.  Consider the other experience you  have and think of how you could utilize that in almost any field.  You may have sales experience, marketing experience, management experience, etc. and none of these skills are “field” specific.

Grady Barnard began to look for opportunities outside his field and shares his experience of getting into the franchise arena below.

“Hi, my name is Grady Barnard.  I am in the Technology field with a great company, but wanted to diversify my income, so after looking at several opportunities decided to go with the Squad. In the end I feel as if this opportunity will give me financial freedom and a better quality of life for my family.

After looking at several opportunities, I decided on Mosquito Squad for several reasons:

  1. Initial Investment
  2. A true need in our area, plus the ability to help others enjoy the outdoors as I do – Mosquito Free
  3. A company (OLB) that has been around for a while with other successful franchise opportunities

So far the company has been a great help getting us started – I think what closed it was the fact they do not take everyone who has money to spend. You go through an evaluation process to determine:

1. if the opportunity is right for you

2. if you are a good fit with the company.

That was big in my mind.  I am looking forward to a big season in 2010.”

As you have read, Grady decided to think outside the box and consider utilizing his skills in an unrelated field to reach his goals.  With the right mind set, the sky is the limit with franchising.

As you begin your quest to learn more about business ownership, do your homework, and know the rules of the game.  When you are considering franchise opportunities, remember that the Federal Trade Commission has set forth many rules and guidelines that franchisors must follow to remain in compliance.

As a Franchise Recruiter for Outdoor Living Brands, I hear stories of interactions my candidates have had with other franchise opportunities.  Typically, when the first question I receive from a candidate is “How much money can I make”, I know they are either testing me and my credibility, or they may not have worked with ethical franchise professionals in the past. 

As per Federal Trade Commission rules, there is only one legal way to answer that question as a franchisor.  Franchisors may include an “earnings claim” in their Franchise Disclosure Document (or Unified Franchise Offering Circular), but must have the historical data required to verify the information being disclosed.  This “earnings claim” is found in the Franchise Disclosure Document as an “Item 19”. 

Most franchise concepts do not have an Item 19 in their Franchise Disclosure Document.  Perhaps the historical data isn’t available, the information does not put the franchise’s performance in a good light, or they are simply not comfortable providing that data up-front.  If you are looking at franchise concepts, and hear claims of “100% success rates” or “our franchisees make a lot of money”, etc., buyer beware – if you can not find this information documented, it may not be accurate.  Ask the franchise concept if their Franchise Disclosure Document contains and Item 19 – and if not, why?

Outdoor Living Brands currently works with franchise candidates of Archadeck, Mosquito Squad, and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.  Each of these concepts offer an Item 19.

The franchising industry is the doorway to a world of opportunity. Thousands of franchises offer countless concepts, all with varying startup costs. And while many require a storefront and overhead expenses, a large number of them – ranging from pest control to dance fitness lessons to deck and lighting companies and repair services – can be operated right from home. Home-based franchises are becoming viable options for business ownership, enabling many new franchisors to grow their businesses more effectively Franchise Finder Find the right franchise for you! Explore our directory of over 800 franchise opportunties.

The popularity of home-based businesses has been growing for a while now. Home-based entrepreneurship has become so common, in fact, that those running businesses from home have earned their own title, “homepreneurs,” and have become significant pillars in the economy. According to a recent survey conducted by Small Business Success Index and analyzed by Emergent Research, there are currently about 6.6 million home businesses nationwide that generate at least 50 percent of the owner’s household income. These businesses employ over 13 million people; 35 percent of them generate more than $125,000 in revenue, and 8 percent generate more than $500,000.

So what’s driving this trend? There are many factors, one of which is the struggling economy. “Home-based franchising is alive and well and, in this down economy, thriving,” explains Harold Kestenbaum, a franchise attorney who has worked with more than 100 franchise concepts. “More franchise companies have gone to the home-based model, when possible, since the tightness of the credit market has made selling the big-box franchises very difficult. The home-based model opens up the opportunities for prospects with lower budgets, which is a good thing.”

Additionally, as technology becomes more sophisticated, it’s easier than ever to operate a business from home and still portray a professional image. “As technology continues to offer more and more communications abilities, such as Web conferencing and seamless communication systems, home-based franchising will continue to be a viable option for many companies looking for qualified buyers and for buyers who wish to have the flexibility of working at a home base,” says Alisa Harrison, Vice President of Communications and Marketing at the International Franchise Association.

Finally, the once somewhat negative stigma associated with working from home is dissipating as the entire image of the traditional workplace is undergoing a metamorphosis. According to data released in January from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people who worked at home increased from about 9.5 million in 1999 to about 11.3 million in 2005. Furthermore, nearly half of these home-based workers had college degrees, and nearly half of them earned $75,000 a year or more. As the whole concept of working from home becomes more common, so does the idea of running a franchise from home.

The flexibility and freedom of running a business from home helps franchisees realize their dream of starting a business, but it also enables franchisors to introduce new concepts and grow their businesses. With home-based franchising becoming more widespread, those searching for a franchise may not have to roam too far from home to find – and start – a business of their own. (Sara Wilson)