FORT MYERS, Fla. – Striking out on one’s own and starting a business is an undertaking always filled with challenges. How about launching a business in 2022, which presents additional adversities such as sky-high fuel prices, supply chain issues and an uncertain economy? Luis Arroyo, owner of All Pro Pest Control, Ft. Myers, Fla., is doing just that.
Arroyo, 34, launched his business in June, after having worked in pest control for three years and as a landscaper (including owning his own landscape business) for seven years. While he takes care of his customers’ pest control needs his wife, Lety Arroyo, manages the office and helps with advertising/marketing.
Luis actually had to take a hiatus from pest control the last two years because of COVID. During the week he stayed out home with his newborn daughter, while Lety worked, and on the weekends he did landscaping.
Having launched in June, after gas prices shot up, routing was top of mind for Arroyo. “Right now, I decided to just focus in the area where I live so I don’t have to travel far for follow up visits. I am trying to keep everything in a 10- to 20-minute drive,” Luis Arroyo said, adding that he has one apartment complex that is a 40-minute drive, but otherwise his accounts are close together.
Arroyo has seen the impact that higher gas prices and inflation (e.g., higher electric bills) is having on the community he services. “They might be hesitant to spend right now because they don’t have that disposable income,” he said.
Other challenges he’s encountered include finding an insurance provider and purchasing service vehicles. He currently owns one truck and is looking to purchase another (and hire a part-time technician). “It was difficult to find a dealer that wasn’t overpricing new trucks. I had to drive two hours away (to Tampa) to get a fair price on a truck.”
Despite these challenges Arroyo is optimistic the future. He sees opportunities to develop a strong team by focusing on training and he thinks he can find a niche in his largely Hispanic neighborhood, which he says has been underserved. He said a lot of people in the community are hesitant to call pest control providers because they don’t want to get locked into paying for a recurring pest control program. “So I wanted to do my own thing where I just charge a flat out rate. For that first service, try us and see if we can take care of the issue. And then, the service is up to the customer, either monthly or bimonthly. I just want to offer people quality they can afford — I think that’s my motto.”