Franchisee of the Year Featured in April Issue of Entrepreneur Magazine
It’s always great seeing Mosquito Joe franchisees in the headlines, but this month we were especially excited to catch our recently named Franchisee of the Year in Entrepreneur Magazine.
In the article Kurt and Melissa Godwin, owners of Mosquito Joe of Baltimore and Mosquito Joe of Annapolis, discuss how their drive and commitment to family helped them advance into a flourishing franchise business.
Meet Kurt and Melissa
The Godwins were happy in their respective jobs prior to owning a mosquito control franchise. Kurt was an airline pilot for over 30 years, and Melissa spent 25 years working for the state of Pennsylvania. However, the couple imagined of one day taking control of their work and owning their own business to have more time to spend with family. While most would consider business ownership a pipe dream, the Godwins had the ambition and will to make it happen. Kurt is now the Commercial Certified Applicator of Mosquito Joe, and Melissa is Director of Operations. Their teamwork and focus on helping families enjoy outside again are two very large components that keep the company going strong. When asked what their favorite part of the job is, Melissa said, “making a difference for thousands of families across the Baltimore metro region.” Kurt’s favorite part is being able to go to work with his wife, Melissa, every day.
Why A Mosquito Control Company?
Kurt and Melissa had very different backgrounds career-wise, but they both shared a distaste for outdoor pests. Melissa describes herself as a “mosquito magnet,” and avoided outside areas because of it. Kurt’s son battled Lyme disease as a child. Since this cause resonated with both Kurt and Melissa, when the opportunity with Mosquito Joe arose in 2013, they knew this was the business opportunity they’d been looking for.
Tips from the Godwins For A Successful Business
1. Be all in. “We are constantly talking about Mosquito Joe and how we can grow. Since we’re always together, MoJo is always in the back of our heads. When we break out a bottle of wine, the ideas start to flow.”
2. Send mail to potential customers. “We send everything in snail mail so they can’t delete it. They have to at least open the envelope.”
3. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm with other franchisees. “We have really good relationships with a lot of the other Mosquito Joes. We’ll often talk with them, bounce ideas around and gather as much info as we can to find inventive ways to continue to grow our business.”
4. For seasonal businesses like Mosquito Joe, give them a reason to come back. “At the end of a season, if customers sign up for the next season, they get a discount,” Kurt said. To encourage employees to come back next season, they started a “virtual banking system where every month an employee works for us, a small bonus goes into their virtual bank. At the end of the season, provided they’ve stayed with us, they get the money.”
The Godwins are a model example of what can result from hard work and commitment. Taking a chance on a franchising opportunity has led them to become not only a success story, but innovators in the franchising industry.