WARDLE’S PEST CONTROL.
Termite, insect and rodent management.
Richard and his young family wanted to move back to Port Pirie. Self employment seemed like the right path. Richard had originally come from a military background and later moved into agriculture. With that training came pest control studies and practical work dealing with a fruit fly outbreak. “I was quite attracted to a job you can work hard in and get a good result,” explains Richard.
To get his idea for a new business into shape, Richard did a little research and found the NEIS program, which was provided in his area by BRACE Education & Training.
During NEIS training, each participant must work through some fundamental questions. What are my products? Who will be my clients? What do I offer that’s better than my competitors? Answering these important questions needs research and testing. Participants can then move on to how they will deliver results and measure progress. Help is on-hand to adjust and identify opportunities as they come up. This feature of NEIS training can be the difference between success and failure for a new business. It certainly worked wonders for Richard, during the growth stage of Wardle’s Pest Control.
Richard approached a large South Australian company with a business proposal. He had learned the company was installing termite management systems in new homes in the area, which require annual termite inspections in order to maintain their warranty obligations. Before Richard’s proposal, this work had included a huge travel component to bring a specialist out, in addition to the cost of the inspection itself. Richard offered to become accredited through the company’s training program; to perform installations, and provide warranty inspections for his local area. This deal saved the customer money, saved the company money, and secured a quality-assured foothold in the new building industry for Richard.
This was followed by more good contracts with government and private companies. Larger, regular and dependable work helps a business plan for the future. For Richard, part of this was a new truck, decked-out in a branded wrap to maximise exposure for his business.
Richard has worked hard, he’s that type of person. With self-employment you are creating the structures and conditions of your working life, week after week. You need to look after yourself.
“Last year I implemented a healthy diet and exercise program so I could run my business more effectively,” says Richard. “Since starting it I’ve lost 20kg, improved my cholesterol, blood pressure and general well-being. I could have quite easily driven myself into the ground.”
There has been a very tangible reward for Richard’s hard work and investment in both himself and his business. “I purchased my first home. The deposit was saved directly from my business income,” he explains with a smile. “I have never been able to achieve this in 20 years of working in other jobs.”
Richard recently rolled out a brand new website created by a professional who looks after all the content and functionality.
Always looking for opportunities, Richard was ready for a spontaneous interview with a local radio station. “I was surprised by a phone call from the ABC asking if they could do a live on-air interview that afternoon at 5pm. I said yes, even though I had no idea what I was in for. I managed to ‘wing-it’ for the duration.”
Live-to-air Richard explained the habits of insects very simply. For termites on colonising flights he compared them to teenagers wanting to establish themselves away from home. Spiders like their privacy in low traffic areas. The main message Richard came back to was that insects will exploit a weakness. He managed to promote professional annual inspection more than once, in amongst his helpful tips. Quite a skill when you’re working with a professional radio presenter.
The Facebook page of Wardle’s Pest Control also stays on message with timely reminders to call a professional. The message is illustrated with larger-than-life examples of pest problems. Post after post is interesting to look at – or more often, just hard to look away from (a possum-eating spider?).
Who you gonna call?
Do you have a great new business idea? NEIS is an Australian Government sponsored new business training program, to assist with self-employment. Use the postcode finder for your local provider and contact them for a chat.