New to the List: Green Pest Solutions

Cover Story: Top 100 - Cover Story: Top 100

Lawncare Offshoot Takes on a Life of Its Own

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May 10, 2019

Left to right, Green Pest Solutions’ Tom Knopsnyder, Michael Heiner, Alex Wolfington, Matt Jesson, Josh Willey, John Guth, Alex Tartar and Ben Schloss.

New to the List: Green Pest Solutions

when Matt Jesson established Green Lawn Fertilizing in West Chester, Pa., in 2004, his goal was to create an industry-leading company. After building the business steadily for several years, Jesson recognized an opportunity to accelerate its growth by adding a dedicated pest and termite division. He launched Green Pest Solutions in 2012, the same year his firm was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The company held a spot on that list for each of the five subsequent years; it has also been among the Philadelphia 100 fastest-growing privately held companies twice.

“A visit to Massey Services in Orlando by several members of our leadership team in 2009 was highly influential on our decision to go into pest control,” says Jesson. “We saw a world-class company that was successful in both lawn care and pest control, with great synergies between the two business units. We made the decision right then and there to go all in on pest control. It took a lot of planning and investment in the right people, but less than three years later, we were ready to hit the ground running.”

Green Pest Solutions is still running strong: Its momentum continues as the company focuses on recurring business from its primarily residential customers (89 percent) in the tri-state region of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Pest control revenues grew more than 30 percent in 2018, says Director of Marketing Ben Schloss, due in part to the firm’s environmentally friendly positioning.

“Families appreciate our IPM approach and use of water-based products,” Schloss explains. “We focus on outdoor applications, applying products indoors only as a last resort.” This “Green Band of Protection” approach has earned Green Pest Solutions local accolades, including being named 2018 Best of Philly Earth-Friendly Exterminator.

The company’s service has been lauded as well, with honors including the 2017 Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Customer Service Excellence Award and Philly.com’s Reader Choice Award for Best Pest Control. Schloss says, “We are constantly evaluating our processes, and if something isn’t working, we change it — improve it so we continue to exceed customer expectations. For example, when we noticed that a lot of customers needed follow-up service calls about a month after their initial service, we revamped our pest program to proactively get out to each customer 30 days after their initial service to get ahead of any potential recurrence.”

In terms of sales and marketing, Green Lawn Fertilizing and Green Pest Solutions do cross-sell services, but they each maintain a separate database and an independent presence on the web. “It’s important to capitalize on synergies while also building strong individual brands,” Schloss says. — Donna DeFranco