Hollister Pest Aid Opens For Business With The Right Partners

Mar 04, 2024
4 min read
Hollister Pest Aid Opens For Business With The Right Partners
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By Eddie Wooten

The first customer payment, for a rodent exclusion job, carries a dubious distinction for Hollister Pest Aid.

"That check bounced," Jasmin Escobar says.

The customer made good on payment for the work that her husband, Juan Escobar, performed, and Hollister Pest Aid was on the road in February 2023.

How things have changed. Hollister Pest Aid took in $573 in revenue for that first month. One year later, they're surpassing $30,000 per month.

Turn the pages of the calendar just a bit further back, to fall 2022, and their success couldn't be fathomed.

"I lost my job," Juan says of his work for a previous employer.

"We were in a really bad place," Jasmin adds.

Juan Escobar possessed years of know-how, going back to 2008. And he had a feeling.

"You know what?" he said to Jasmin. "I think this is my time."

Getting started

Having the skill to be his own pest control technician wasn’t all Juan Escobar needed. He would need a partner, and Jasmin, his wife since 2007—“7/7/07,” he says—would be a natural.

After all, working and helping Juan get to customers would be an improvement on what she was experiencing after his job separation.

“I had panic attacks almost every day,” she says. “We have three young children, and then all of a sudden he lost his job, and I wasn't working.

“The mortgage is not going to wait for us. The bills. Everything."

Juan Escobar had earned his Branch 2 license in California, two companies back, allowing him to treat household pests excluding fumigation with poisonous or lethal gasses. He also picked up six years' experience in commercial properties.

Juan would add his Branch 3 license, permitting control of wood-destroying pests or organisms by the use of insecticides or structural repairs and corrections, excluding fumigation with poisonous or lethal gasses.

To start his own pest control company, Juan would need a city permit and would need to register with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, among other requirements.

Juan likes to sell, so he made door-to-door visits in Hollister, even amid overwhelming rain, to drum up business.

He would need to find equipment, most notably a truck for making service calls to customers.

"Right now, it's hard to get even equipment," he says. "There's shortages of material, equipment."

In fact, when Hollister Pest Aid added a second technician in October 2023, Juan would need to buy a second truck.

"I had to pick up the truck in Santa Cruz," he says of the city nearly 45 miles away. "I drove 5½ hours to L.A. to get a camper shell because there was just nothing around us. They said I had to wait four months to get one ordered and delivered. I'm like, 'Can't wait four months. I've got to get something now.'"

‘You guys have everything’

Being armed with the drive, licenses, permits, and a few prospects to start his own business had Juan Escobar almost ready to start Hollister Pest Aid with Jasmin. But they needed one more partner: One with which they could run their business operations, with Juan in the field and Jasmin managing the routing, scheduling, and communicating with customers from their home office in the corner of their dining room.

As Juan began to search for software, prospective companies would appear in his social media feeds. The Escobars watched demonstrations of two companies in December 2022, but within a matter of a few days and after watching videos and reading reviews, they knew which would be the best partner.

FieldRoutes.

"It was very convenient to have everything there, like invoicing and all the reports," Jasmin says. "Even the reports that I have to send to the Ag Department, everything. You guys have everything."

As the Escobars have moved through their first year with the FieldRoutes® Operations Suite, numerous features have made them sure they made the right choice to propel a fledgling business forward. 

"Starting with scheduling, that is very important," Jasmin says. "Another really important thing is we are able to add pictures to every customer account. We have apartments, and some of the owners want to see pictures and all of the service notifications. 

"It's really cool that every customer has their own portal," she adds. "They can go in and check their payment history, an appointment coming up, all of that. Every time they complete an inspection or they complete a service, the customer will get a service notification right away.”

FieldRoutes turned out to be the right software partner for the business, and Jasmin was the right partner, again, for Juan.

“She’s been on it,” he says of her office work. “She's been getting everything set up. That's her side of the work here; I do the dirty work. 

“But without your team—FieldRoutes is really, really convenient. We love it.”

Business went so well during the first year that the Escobars added a second technician. 

“We’re just booming,” Juan says. 

Hollister Pest Aid has expanded into Salinas, about a half-hour away, and the Escobars would like to add two more technicians in 2024.

“With your guys' help,” he says of FieldRoutes, “we're just chucking away and growing and concentrating on getting better and learning.”

In fact, they've shared their experience with another friend who wants to open his own pest control business.

"You have to have FieldRoutes," Jasmin told the friend. "That's going to be a really, really good asset for you. I'm all about being on time, scheduling, and that's going to help you a lot."

Nothing like good partners to help get your business off the ground.

“There's been a lot of sweat and tears, literally,” Juan Escobar says, reflecting on losing his job but creating his new opportunity. “It has been tough. But I think these times have made us tougher.”

Hollister Pest Aid

Owners: Jasmin and Juan Escobar

Location: Hollister, CA

Years In Business: 1

Technicians: 2

Office Staff: 1

Information: HollisterPestAid.com, 831.331.3977

In this Case Study
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