New to the List: Hoffman’s Exterminating
Hoffman Exterminating Company, Mantua, N.J., started in 1990 the way so many pest management companies do — with one determined entrepreneur working out of his home and knocking on doors to win customers. But after many years of steady organic growth, William Hoffman welcomed industry veteran Robert Schwenker to the company and the partners started looking at a new approach to business building: strategic acquisitions. Hoffman Exterminating, which serves the food-processing, health-care and property management industries in addition to residential customers and municipalities, has since grown to 60 employees (during the peak season) in four offices, with projected sales of $7 million in 2019.
“We aren’t flying under the radar anymore. Acquiring eight companies in the past three years has helped us become the largest family-owned pest management company in the Southern New Jersey market,” says Hoffman. The acquired companies include Shur-Kill Exterminating, Term-A-Pest, Delsea Exterminators, Mosquito Platoon, Total Pest Solutions, Ideal Pest Control, DC Watkins Company and Willow Pest Control.
Hoffman emphasizes that each of these transactions was carefully planned in collaboration with the previous owners to ensure continuity of customer care. “When we set out to grow our residential business, we found that there’s a distinct segment of small, family-run businesses interested in selling to a company like ours, with a leadership team who prioritizes customers and employees. After personally building these businesses, these owners are much more interested in ensuring that their customers are treated with dignity and respect than in selling to the highest bidder,” he says.
Word of mouth led one company after another to Hoffman, as business owners explained that the standard acquisition model simply didn’t appeal to them. “They felt that their ideas and concerns would not be heard if they were acquired by a large company. We’ve given them the opportunity to continue to have a say in how their customers’ needs are being met,” says Hoffman.
Hoffman attributes his company’s success to the talents and commitment of its people. As the firm continues to grow, Vice President Eve Pappas is focused on building a team of exceptional leaders through strategic recruitment, training, development and mentoring. Those who have been with the company since the early days, including Mike Jenzano, lead account manager; Jodie Gallagher, lead customer retention specialist; and Bethann Wheeler, controller, who all started as part-time employees, are also key players in Hoffman’s growth today.
“I set out to build a business people would be proud to work at and retire from, and now we continue to build that brand together,” Hoffman says. “Whether we’re doing our jobs or participating in local festivals or sporting events, we’re focused on connecting with our communities to let them know they can always count on us.” — Donna DeFranco