Eric Bassett on How To Scale Pest Control, Hiring The Right People, and The Bug Bux Project.

Danny Leibrandt

May 17, 2024

Welcome to another insightful episode of the Pest Control SEO Podcast! I'm your host, Danny Leibrandt, founder of Pest Control SEO, where we specialize in growing pest control companies through strategic SEO. Today, we have an exceptional guest, Eric Bassett, co-owner of Natura Pest Control. Natura boasts over 2,000 five-star reviews on Google, and Eric himself is a veteran in the pest control industry with over 16 years of experience. He also runs the Bug Bucks podcast, making him a well-known figure in the pest control space. Let's dive into Eric's journey, his insights on scaling a pest control business, hiring the right people, and the exciting Bug Bucks project.

Eric Bassett’s Journey into Pest Control

Early Days

Eric Bassett’s entry into pest control was almost accidental. Right out of high school, Eric's brother-in-law suggested he try selling pest control during the summer. Initially skeptical, Eric gave it a shot in Bakersfield, California. Despite the grueling heat, he managed to secure over a hundred accounts, earning good money but vowing never to return to the industry.

Eric's determination was tested the following summer when his brother-in-law found a pest control company in Boise, Idaho. Reluctantly, Eric joined again, eventually helping the company establish an inside sales team. This opportunity paved the way for his future in the industry, culminating in his role at Natura Pest Control.

Growth and Leadership

Eric’s journey took a significant turn when the pest control company he worked for was acquired by Rentokil in 2016. He then joined Rentokil’s team, managing the Pacific Northwest and training inside sales reps. By 2018, Eric had joined Natura Pest Control, and within a year, he became a co-owner by buying out a business partner.

“It's been a wild journey, but as you guys have probably figured out, and maybe a lot of the people listening, you know, you don't really expect that pest control is going to be a career for you. And then it just finds you and ropes you in,” says Eric.

The Importance of Door-to-Door Sales

Learning from Door-to-Door

Door-to-door sales played a crucial role in Eric’s growth within the industry. Despite its challenges, Eric believes it can be an effective growth tool if used correctly.

“Door-to-door pest control can be a very effective growth tool if used effectively. You can have really good route density with door-to-door. You can also set some very concrete goals and achieve them,” Eric explains.

Pros and Cons

The benefits of door-to-door sales include achieving concrete goals and increasing brand visibility. However, Eric warns against the pitfalls of poorly trained sales teams and unlicensed operations, which can tarnish a company’s reputation.

“If you're going to use door-to-door as a growth method, do your research, make sure you train your team really well, and make sure that you understand that they are representing your brand to everybody that they talk to,” advises Eric.

Hiring the Right People

Key Traits and Training

Hiring the right people is essential for scaling a pest control business. Eric emphasizes the importance of accountability and avoiding entitlement in potential hires. He also highlights the need for thorough training, including role-playing scenarios to prepare technicians for real-world situations.

“Make sure that you give them the tools. If you give them those types of tools that allow them to redirect their attention and the customers, they'll be way more confident,” Eric notes.

Recruitment Strategies

Natura Pest Control relies heavily on employee referrals for hiring. This strategy has proven effective, with about 85-90% of their staff coming through referrals.

“Every time we need to hire somebody, we always reach out to the departments first. And then I provide incentives where I say, 'Hey, I will pay you $500 bonus when that employee hits their 90-day mark, and then I will pay you another $500 bonus when that referred employee hits their 180-day mark,’” Eric shares.

The Bug Bucks Project

Origins and Mission

Bug Bux started as a Facebook group aimed at helping pest control owners share tips and strategies. The project quickly grew, rebranding to Bug Bux Plus, and now includes a podcast and a training platform.

“Bug Bux was kind of a crazy little side project that me and one of my other business partners, Allan Draper, owner of Proof Pest Control, started in 2020. It's designed to give back to the industry,” Eric explains.

Impact and Community

The Bug Bucks Facebook group now has over 4,200 members, and the podcast receives around 3,500 to 4,000 downloads a month. The training platform offers curated content for pest control owners looking to scale their businesses.

“We recently started our Bug Bucks Plus training platform, a paid subscription service offering professional content that helps pest control owners build and grow their companies,” says Eric.

Marketing and Scaling Strategies

Leveraging Digital Marketing

Eric stresses the importance of digital marketing for modern pest control companies. Natura Pest Control has shifted from door-to-door sales to focusing more on digital strategies, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our growth is probably like 90% digital, 10% door sales. It’s probably even more heavy on the digital side than that,” Eric notes.

Google Ads and LSA

Google has been a significant lead generator for Natura Pest Control. They invest heavily in Google Ads and Local Services Ads (LSA) to maintain a strong online presence.

“Google's always been a big one for us. AdWords, LSA, we got in early and had great volume, great cost per lead, great quality,” Eric explains.


Final Thoughts

Eric Bassett’s journey in the pest control industry is a testament to the power of perseverance, effective marketing, and strong leadership. From door-to-door sales to running a successful pest control company and launching the Bug Bux project, Eric’s story is inspiring for anyone looking to scale their business.

“Success isn't something that happens by accident. You have to be intentional about what you're doing and how you're trying to spend your time,” Eric concludes.

Connect with Eric

For more insights and tips, you can connect with Eric Bassett on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Check out the Bug Bucks podcast and join the Bug Bux Plus Facebook group for more valuable content and community support. Visit Bug Bux Plus for curated training content to help you grow your pest control business.