Are you kidding? What can a Pest or Landscape Company owner learn from Van Halen except how to party like a rock star? Well, at least one thing about how to manage your pest control or landscape business.
Why Brown M&Ms?
Van Halen’s contract specified that concert venues meet a long list of requirements dealing with safety, sound, power and wide range of other conditions. One of those requirements, buried in a very technical section of the contract, was for a bowl of M&M’s with all the brown M&Ms removed. The M&Ms were to be placed in a prominent place in the Band’s dressing room (Source: Wikipedia).
Van Halen did not include this demand because they were prima donnas. No! They included it because they were smart businessmen!
The Band could walk into the dressing room and immediately look for the candy. If the bowl of M&Ms was missing, or there were brown M&Ms in the bowl, the Band would have good reason to believe the contract had not been properly followed. It was an easy, visual way to determine if the venue had actually read and complied with the contract.
Use Visual Cues Help Manage Your Business
I love this idea of visual cues to determine how a business or employees are performing.
In our pest control equipment business, we have a long list of start of day and end of day procedures. When I walk into the showroom, I check the drink cooler to see if it is full and neat. The cooler is the last item on the start of day procedures, so if it looks good, then I have confidence the inside sales team has performed all the startup tasks properly.
In the office, I check the fax machine to see if there are any inbound faxes. If there are faxing piled up, then I am concerned that morning tasks (such as prompt follow up of overnight orders in the form of faxes, phone messages and emails) hasn’t occurred.
What are the visual cues for your business? What visual tests can you use to make sure your pest control technicians, their vehicles and their pest control equipment are meeting your Company standards and requirements?
You have to decide what works for your business, but here are some ideas to get you thinking:
1. Open the power sprayer filter. Is it clean? If not, spray equipment problems are coming.
2. Is the vehicle bed neat and clean? If not, the technician is not paying attention and is not honoring your brand.
3. Check the respirator. Is it in good condition, sealed in an airtight bag and within its expiration date?
4. Check the 1-gallon compressed air sprayer. Is it neat and clean, or covered in chemical?
Spend some time figuring out the visual cues for your business. Get in the habit of checking these cues regularly and train your supervisors to do the same. If your expectations are always met, change up the cues to drive further business improvements. Rock on PMPs!
Andrew Greess is the President of Qspray.com, the leading website for professional grade Pest & Landscape Spray Equipment. For more great suggestions on improving your equipment productivity visit SprayEquipmentBlog.com or follow Greess on FB & Twitter.