[View Point] There Has to be a #101

Columns - View Point

May 27, 2014
Jodi Dorsch

When March Madness comes around, there’s a lot of talk about who’s “on the bubble” — who’s in and who’s out of the NCAA basketball tournament.

In the Olympics, there always seems to be someone who finishes a tenth (or a one-hundredth!) of a second behind the bronze medalist.

And for every PCT Top 100 list, there has to be a #101.

This year, #101 is Bug Doctor Termite and Pest Control, Paramus, N.J. If you’ve been a loyal reader of PCT’s Top 100 lists over the years, you may recall that in May 2006 we ran an article about President Stuart Aust aiming to be on the list, but not quite making it…yet. “It has become an office goal to make the list,” he said at the time. “We’re using it as motivation for our managers and staff.”

Fast forward to May 2010. Bug Doctor made the list for the first time with 2009 revenues of $5.3 million. PCT celebrated the achievement, running a quote from Aust that read, “I’ve placed a small sign above my desk that says ‘PCT Top 100’ just to remind myself of this goal daily.” Aust’s employees’ hard work paid off and the firm came in at #94 that year.

This year, Aust’s revenues were $294,774 lower than Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions in Pearl City, Hawaii (which was #100). I was truly saddened the day I had to delete Aust’s company from my Top 100 Excel document. Why? Because he is such a positive, hard-working guy. He employs great people. And I know how important being on the list is to him. For those reasons (and many more), I called Stuart last month to tell him where he ranked on the list. But he wasn’t angry. He was excited to tell me about all the great things going on at his firm.

For example, he told me Bug Doctor is in the final phase of its fifth acquisition. He told me about the firm increasing its sales force by adding Dan Aust (a Taylor University graduate) who is joining the staff in a full-time sales capacity this month. And he told me about Jeremiah Braunlin (a Harvard University graduate) who recently came on board in the commercial business development/sales area. And although there are already five “doctors in the house” (Bug Doctor, Bird Doctor, Animal Doctor, Bedbug Doctor and Mosquito Doctor), Aust is exploring the possibility of adding more “doctor” divisions to the organization.

“With these initiatives being both considered and some already initiated, we feel that as an organization, we are positioned to soar to new organizational heights. Not only would I like to return to the Top 100, I look forward to the day when we move up the ladder into the Top 80 or 70,” Aust told me.

“Although we did come close at #101 this year, I am excited about the future of our organization. I believe we have assembled a top-notch management team and staff over the years. When we were first in business, we grew very rapidly, and then the focus changed from growth to becoming a more profitable company,” he said. “While growth is crucial, profitability is our primary goal. Now that we have reached our profitability requirements, I feel that we are in a good position to grow again as an organization.”

The PCT Top 100 list — which ranks the industry’s 100 largest pest management firms by revenue — is full of growing organizations. This year’s list is featured on the poster on page 27 and a map highlighting select companies with significant growth appears on pages 46-47. As we do in every Top 100 issue, we’ve included profiles of some Top 100 firms that offer unique services or innovative marketing plans. What are these firms doing that can be applied to your business? Additionally, in the article on page 36 (which applies to any size business), PCT explores the topic of how being a strong leader translates into higher revenues.

Whether your company is on the Top 100 list or not, there are a variety of articles in this issue to help your business. PCT of course wants every business to be strong — as strong as this month’s cover subject. Next month’s Top 100 Awards Ceremony and Executive Summit, sponsored by Univar, will be held in San Antonio, Texas (note the Old West-theme for this year’s Top 100). Coverage of that event, which will feature more content that applies to firms of all sizes, will appear in PCT this summer.


The author is editor of PCT magazine.