Mary and Rich Crawford are the owners of the Mosquito Squad in Norfolk-Chesapeake VA. They are in their first season right now and we asked Mary “Why did you go with us?”

Mosquito Squad was the answer for me for many reasons.  First and foremost, I have three young children who are so important to me so I was looking for a great balance between being a Mom and having a career.  Mosquito Squad allows me to be my own boss and set my own schedule so I can be at home when my children get home from school.  I love the challenge and thrill of starting up my own business and trying to get as many customers as I can.  When I need help, I simply call “the mother ship” and they are always responsive and helpful.  It is comforting to know you have excellent support behind you!  I can’t say enough good things about everyone associated with Mosquito Squad.  We ( all the franchise owners)  have a great time together but more importantly, we are there for each other and actually do call each other for suggestions and help.  It is a great organization to be a part of,  Couldn’t be happier.

Mary Crawford

Mary’s Blog


If you feel the time is right to nourish your entrepreneurial spirit, consider looking at a franchise instead of trying to go it alone.  There are many reasons you may want to consider franchising as an alternative to starting your own business.  Books and articles are being written each day emphasizing why franchising is a good idea.

As a Franchise Recruiter at Outdoor Living Brands, I find many of the same driving factors that have future business owners looking to become involved in a franchised business. 

  • Training – you don’t know what you don’t know.  So allowing a successful franchise organization to guide you through the process of figuring it all out is crucial.
  • Marketing – knowing who your target market is and how to reach them can make all the difference in the beginning of your business and through-out it tenure.
  • Help Getting Started – what do you need to do to start a business?  Sound like a simple enough question to answer, but again, you don’t know what you don’t know.
  • Brand Recognition – if you are starting from scratch with a name no one has seen or heard before, the touch points needed to get your brand recognized increases.
  • Lower failure rate – with a dedicated team of professionals working with you, you avoid making the same mistakes they may have made when starting out, so your ability to succeed is increased.
  • Faster Return on Investment – if you are constantly infusing capital into your business to compensate for rookie or novice mistakes, the amount of time it takes to recoup your investment grows.

Take advantage of the experience of others and investigate the opportunities franchising affords you.  There are many franchise concepts available in multiple arenas and finding the one that works for you may be easier than you think.  Check out the websites of some of the businesses that appeal to you.  Your future endeavors could be a click away.

Were you laid off?  Did “your company” downsize?  Are you struggling to find a job?  Are you saying – “I can not believe this is happening to me.”  “What am I going to do?”  “Where do I go from here?”  “What does this mean to my family?”  “Who do I know and where can I go for help?”  “Unemployment is just not going to cut it.”  “At least I have a severance package to help until I find something else.”  “Thank goodness I had put some money aside.”  Many people are facing the same dilemma you are.  With the October, 2009 nationwide unemployment rate at 10.2% and predicted to rise to 10.5% in November, 2009, looking for a job is much more difficult than it was earlier this year.  More companies are laying off employees and fewer companies are hiring.  On all levels, from the Executives to the Administrative Professionals, the impact has been wide spread.  The answer isn’t to look harder – the answer is to look smarter.

Step back from the emotional turmoil, and begin to analyze your options.  Do not fall into the trap of utilizing your savings, spending the money you received as severance, or exhausting your credit to stay on the same path.  What happens when your funds are depleted?  As a Franchise Recruiting Specialist for Outdoor Living Brands, many people contact me to discuss their options.  All too often, they wait until their ability to properly fund a business has passed them by.  “Had I known it was going to be this difficult to find something . . .”; “I got a decent severance package when my company down-sized, but I used it for living expenses – now the banks won’t even consider lending me money”; or “I’ve tapped out my credit trying to get through this, and I really need a job” – these are all too common themes.  Perhaps it is time to consider alternatives finding a replacement job.  If you are one of the lucky people who received a severance package, who has funds available in savings or a retirement account, or who has been mindful of their credit, why not invest that money in you? 

Now is the perfect time to take care of business – your own business.  There are some low initial investment opportunities out there that may be perfect for you.  Even better, there are low initial investment franchise opportunities out there that may be perfect for you.  A franchised business offers aspiring new business owners the opportunity to start their own business at a much lower risk.  A fine example of this is Mosquito Squad. Ask yourself this question – “How long can I sustain my current way of living if I do not find a job to replace the one I just left?”  If you want to be your own boss, be the decision maker, and not worry how other people’s decisions are going to impact your life tomorrow, take action now.  The answer isn’t to look harder – the answer is to look smarter.  Start your own business by utilizing what you have today – and invest into tomorrow.

Spring is definitely my favorite time of year.  Everywhere I look, nature reminds me of new beginnings and fresh starts.  The perennials in the garden that were dead looking sticks are now sprouting leaves in abundance. Also abundant are buds of spectacular flowers that are certain to blossom.  The birds begin singing at the break of dawn each morning as they busily fly back and forth tending their nests filled with their latest arrivals.  I noticed the deer in the field looking plumper than usual when my husband pointed out that several were getting ready to welcome a fawn.  New beginnings are all around me, and when I take time to notice, I find myself being awed and inspired.  I am motivated to begin again, to stretch and do new things as well as adopt a new and better attitude as I approach each day.

Spring comes at a perfect time.   About three months after New Years which is also about three months following the date of my New Year’s resolutions.  Some of my resolutions I am on track with and some not so much.  I had lunch with a friend and shared my realization of how Spring is another time for new beginnings and an opportunity to begin again on those “resolutions” made about three months ago.  She admitted to feeling a little discouraged because like me (like many of us) the goals she made on the first of January were quickly being placed on the back shelf because…well just because.  It was from talking with my friend that I realized I was not alone.  Most of us get off track in the pursuit of the goals we made with the best of intentions just months ago.

No more of that, Spring is another reason for a new beginning!   What would you like to begin?  A healthier diet? Better exercise? Start your own business? Build the deck of your dreams,? Investigate franchising? Take piano lessons? Spend more time with your family? Stop procrastinating?

This is your life and you are always worth a new beginning!  Helen Keller quoted said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”  Sign me up!