When considering what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I had a few choices in life for my career. I always wanted to own my own business. Growing up in Brooklyn, NYC in the 60’s and 70’s I had my connections and had many choices of jobs. I could have been a city worker — NYPD, FDNY or even the Department of Transportation (To give a few examples). I had some friends in construction unions making lots of money, and they always tried to take me under their wing. At the time those were well paying jobs- Pension, 401k, 20 years retirement. It just wasn’t for me, because here was always this yearning in my heart to have something of my own. At the time, all i knew was pest control and it was what I loved. One day I woke up and said, “Screw it, ill just do it”. Its more then just killing bugs to me, it always has been. After 20+ years in the game, this is why I Like to be a small business owner.
- Make your own hours. Or so I thought. When i was young and naive, little did I realize that I would be working around the clock. Being a business owner is a 24/7 gig. The great part of it is I get to go to family gatherings, have all holidays off and i’ve never missed a special occasion.
- Treat your employees how they should be treated. I am here for all my guys. I always saw poorly run businesses and noticed their downfall was how poorly they treated their employees. These things go hand and hand, you respect them and they respect you.
- Provide a service with a personal touch. I used to work for many PC companies and HATED the customer service. I push customer service and customer satisfaction more then anything. Many business owners don’t realize that the customer experience is everything. I have gone above and beyond to make some customers happy, and it puts a smile on the faces of all involved. Its my company, so i want people to feel good after we have left.
- No limit to how much money can be made. When you work for a salaried job, theres only so much money you can make. Sure theirs OT, Holiday pay etc, but there is eventually an end to the pay. A salary cap. Having your own business on the other hand? The sky is the limit, if your a hard worker and hustle you can make as much or a s little as you want.
- Help out the community. I don’t like to tell my left hand what my right hand is doing, but donations are key to success. Not financial success, but internal success. Putting money toward something for a good cause has always been my goal. My money is not just for myself and employees, I live in my community so I am just repaying the debt that i owe for my city allowing me to work in it.
- Help people. People outside of the pest control industry do not understand when I say this, but some people really need our help. Sometimes people are suffering bad with infestations and they just need someone who cares. Its very uncomfortable and detrimental to their healthy when they are living in a building with a 20 year history of pest problems. I always loved helping those who needed it most.
- Self motivation. I wake my self up, no one else wakes me up. From day 1 till now it has been a rainbow of emotions but I have always kept my self on track. Personal problems, family problems etc I have had to keep my self on track during these and being a small business owner has taught me how to be a leader in very difficult situations.
- Family insurance. G-d forbid my kid breaks his leg, or doesn’t know what he wants to do, he has what I built. He needs some money, the business is here. He can also build on it. If my wife needs a second job, she knows Iwill pay her a decent salary 🙂
What do you appreciate about small businesses owners? If you are a small business owner, what do you love about it the most?