Prokill Professional Pest Prevention: The franchise opportunity

Startups finds out more about Prokill’s unique franchise opportunity and the company’s plans for expansion

Franchise: Prokill Professional Pest Prevention
Description: Commercial and residential pest prevention and control
Started in: 2005
Founder: Dean Spiers
No. of franchises: 17
Coverage: Nationwide
Average cost per franchise: £55,000
Website:www.prokill.co.uk

Prokill have created a business that’s robust and recession-proof; as long as any location is plagued with pests, people will need to dispose of them. Established in 2003, Prokill Professional Pest Prevention does just that. In 2005, Dean Spiers, the founder, was ready to expand the business and asked Geoff Whittle to join him as co-director to roll out a franchise model. The plan was to reflect and replicate the company’s core values across a multiple of franchise sites. Prokill was immediately offered associate membership of the BFA and launched its first franchise in Manchester in 2006, on the back of exhibiting at both Olympia and the NEC that year. Now with 17 franchises nationwide, European expansions plans and a joint turnover of nearly £3m, business is booming and the brand is on the lookout for more quality franchisees. Here, Startups finds out more about Prokill’s unique franchise opportunity, including training details, growth potential and current franchisee success stories.

Moving into franchising

So how did Prokill move into franchising?

On the back of a highly successful and profitable core business that wished to expand whilst retaining core values of customer service.

Where did the business open its first franchises?

Manchester followed by Wirral/Liverpool, London, Hertfordshire and then Swindon.

How successful were those original franchisees?  

Very and they still are!

The franchise opportunity

What makes the franchise different / unique?  

After an intensive six week training course, franchisees are awarded an impressive raft of professional accreditations. The training enables franchisees to approach and pre-qualify for conversations with major commercial businesses which in turn elevates the service opportunities and profit levels for each franchise above the more conventional, residential day-to-day service that most pest controllers work within.

What services do you offer?  

A comprehensive pest prevention, control and ongoing maintenance package; dealing with pest problems in every environment.

How big is the market opportunity?

We believe that pest control is the largest and most robust marketplace in Britain (free of disposable income/fashion trends). In addition, because of the largely contract-based nature of Prokill pest control, a franchisee can build a rapidly growing asset year-on-year.

How many franchisees does Prokill have today?

We currently have 17 franchisees.

How is the brand marketed?  

Largely online through vertical market franchise websites but with several stand-alone PR activities, such as creating a ‘hole’ in Victoria railway station using 3D artists’ work.

How do you divide the regions?

Substantial territories are created by allocating a set number of properties per area so that irrespective of geographic extent each franchisee has an equal opportunity to succeed.

The perfect franchisee

What does Prokill look for in potential franchisees?

We’re looking for an individual who is honest with themselves about their attitude, drive and commitment towards establishing their own business by following the well proven path to success demonstrated by the core business.

So do franchisees work from an office, or are they home-based? Is it part-time or full-time?

Prokill is a full time business that commences from home and develops into an office/unit based business at the franchisee’s choosing, once the business has developed beyond the confines of he individual’s home environment.

How are franchisees vetted?

We hold a one-to-one interview followed by references and an ‘in the field’ experience day with one of our current franchisees for evaluation.

What do you offer franchisees that sign-up?  

Franchisees are offered:

  • A comprehensive training programme in all aspects of running a pest control business
  • Preparation for a nationally recognised accreditation in pest control together with several other nationally recognised supplementary courses.
  • A full raft of accreditations as pre-qualifiers for business opportunities
  • Full invoicing and credit control on behalf of the franchisee
  • Online/telephone/field technical backup and support, monthly reconciliations and a full online reporting and business evaluation operating system.

How much do franchisees pay and what are the ongoing franchise fees?

There is a £25,000 fee for buying into the brand/infrastructure of Prokill plus an additional circa £30,000 for all equipment, training and accommodation. There are also ongoing fees, 15% MSF on turnover after cost of sales plus a 2% advertising fund fee that is used exclusively for franchisee network promotion.

Success and growth

How successful are some of the franchisees today?  

One franchisee has just bought himself an Aston Martin and he wasn’t the highest selling franchisee of 2012.

How is the brand looking to grow?

Establishment throughout the UK initially, followed by expansion into Europe with our first franchisee appointment in Southern Ireland, who was appointed in June, being a pilot to establish best practice abroad.

What is the potential of the business?

Enormous. Franchisees are encouraged to replicate the core pest control business that generated £1m in sales by year five and is knocking on the door of £2m by year nine.

What will the challenges be in achieving that?

Our biggest challenge is finding the individuals with the hunger and application to achieve it, after that the sky’s the limit.

What awards has the business won?

We’re happy with the BFA Full Membership status and each of our national accreditations that reassures any prospective franchisees that we’ve been evaluated and excelled in all we do.

To what extent are the founders involved today?

The founders are constantly present and still very much involved.

Finally, is the company a British Franchise Association (BFA) member?

Yes, a Full member.

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