The Pest Pros and owner Dan Caouette were highlighted in Cape Cod Times’ Sunday edition of ‘Take 10’ business interview. Check out some of the article below!
Thank You to Sean F. Driscoll and the team at Cape Cod Times.
Take 10: The booming bug-busting business
POCASSET – Dan Caouette has seen it all when it comes to bugs, pets and vermin in homes on Cape Cod and the South Shore.
Caouette, owner of Cape Cod Pest Pros in Pocasset, has spent 17 years building his business from its humble beginnings (he started solo, driving and old pickup truck that eventually succumbed to a broken frame) to its current status, helping customers rid themselves of everything from mice to ants to termites. The one-time furniture store owner said when he and his wife moved to the Cape to settle into a better environment to raise their son, he didn’t see himself owning an extermination company.
But after he fell into it, he realized it was a perfect fit.
“It wasn’t what I was thinking at all,” he said. “It was being a detective, going on the inspection, finding out that problem and making that person smile again. It was the science, it was all the stuff I just got hooked on.”
What is the most important thing your business does?
Service. We pride ourselves on that. We focus on service. That’s always been our mantra from Day 1. We were never going to compete with Terminix or Orkin so we wanted to be the good guys.
How long have you been in business?
Since 2000 in several different locations. We just moved Nov. 1 to our new facility.
What did you do before?
I had a small appliance business in New Bedford.
How big is your staff?
It varies between the winter and summer, but we’ll have 20 people during the summer easily.
How has the market changed since your business started?
The biggest change has been the way we have to market ourselves. When I first started, you fought in the Yellow Pages. You wanted to have the biggest ad to make yourself look big. But now, it’s almost like an even playing field with the internet. You get good (search-engine optimization) and a good marketing agent and that’ll help.
Watch a video of Cape Cod Pest Pros owner Dan Caouette at capecodtimes.com/videos.
What are your plans for your business’ future?
We’re still growing. We grow substantially every year. And I have a plan for one of my employees to learn the business and take over. When I decide I get the Rolex and roll off into the sunset, he’s going to take the company and roll it forward. But it’s still a few years off.
What’s your most memorable moment with this business?
Surviving two heart attacks. I was 46 years old and suffered two heart attacks. Looking back, the company wasn’t that old at that time, so for us to survive that and get through all of that with limited staff was pretty good.
What advice do you have for someone starting out in business?
It’s simple – if your competition works 10 hours, you work 14. Work harder, be better. Put your nose to the grindstone, don’t take no for an answer. You’re going to meet a lot of challenges, but you’ve got to get over them.
What’s the biggest challenge about having a business on Cape Cod?
Finding employees. We offer careers, we’ll get your license, we pay for the training, we’ve got pension plans and health insurance. Find me some employees. These people have to be in people’s houses, sometimes alone. You have to trust them, they have to have a good driving record, they have to do good research on them and have them willing to stay. I’d make three more techs tomorrow if they came to me.
What’s the best thing about having a business on Cape Cod?
I love being here on Cape Cod. We have the local Cape people, we have the scientists in Woods Hole, we have the summer people. It’s so versatile.