After two decades, pest control company MosquitoNix is franchising.
“Going into 2023, we said, ‘What’s the best way to grow?’” President Mike O’Neal said. Pursuing further corporate expansion, he said, would take a lot of time. “Franchising is the perfect model for someone in Minneapolis who has no idea about this space. … Franchising now, in our opinion, gives us growth capability.”
The 20-unit, family-run brand partnered with Franworth and FranDevCo to launch its franchising initiative. Franworth invests in brands that aren’t franchising yet and have room to grow. “We’re 50-50 partners in this, so … the family and the people with whom we partner is the most important thing,” Franworth President Dave Keil said.
MosquitoNix’s bread and butter is a non-toxic mosquito mister customized to a client’s property. The Jacksonville, Florida-based company offers holiday lighting and decorating services, called Elves, in the winter to keep the business operating year round. Those services make up 18 percent of sales in Jacksonville, O’Neal said.
“It’s definitely a big driver of our business,” he said.
Jennifer O’Neal—MosquitoNix’s vice president of operations and Mike O’Neal’s wife—said the pair are looking forward to helping franchisees grow and operate their businesses. “What we’re so excited about is meeting with other husband-and-wife teams, meeting with other young entrepreneurs, meeting with other veterans who this is their next adventure,” she said.
MosquitoNix has a recurring revenue model in which customers pay each month for the services after installation, which helps make up for slower winter months in northern states.
“Every single month, the consumer is going to get the same bill, but that’s how it can help the franchisee to be consistently making money,” Jennifer O’Neal said. “It really helps them keep their books looking great.”
From Franworth’s perspective, nothing is changing at MosquitoNix. “They’re actually pretty sophisticated in their branding and their value proposition,” Keil said.
Franworth will work to improve the brand’s web presence and marketing nationwide.
“Our goal isn’t to disrupt or change what’s already working,” Franworth CEO John Rotche said. “But in our experience, when a brand builds locally, it’s a lot different than how you take it regionally and nationally.”
MosquitoNix is generating interest from potential franchisees who are looking for a more passive investment, the O’Neals said. The company has a customer acquisition center to help generate interest and bring in customers. The technology has a 70 percent closing rate, Mike O’Neal said. Franchisees could, in theory, hire a manager to run the business and could take a hands-off approach to running the business, he said.
“It’s an exciting model overall,” Jennifer O’Neal said.