Many wildlife control operators (WCO) wonder how to set up their pricing schedule. It’s a difficult task because there are so many variables in a service business. How do you know where to set your pricing? Plus, to be frank, most people who get into wildlife control did it
because they like working outside and with wildlife, not staring at a spread sheet. Some WCOs just call the competition and just copy or mimic the pricing of the competition. Copying is one way to do it but the problem is your costs may be much higher than theirs. If so, then you have essentially destined yourself to be underbidding yourself and putting your financial stability at risk. I think there is a better way.
So here are a few tips to help you establish your pricing.
Step 1. Determine what you need/want to make on an hourly basis. Whatever the number is, double it to cover costs of taxes, insurance, and other employment costs. If you want $25/hour you should charge at a rate of $50.
Step 2. Determine how long it takes you to do set up a standard squirrel removal job. Time yourself, as soon as you park in your own driveway and go through the steps of inspecting the house (yours) and setting up the traps. Go through the motions in an honest way. Stop the clock when you have finished with the client (spouse or friend) and put the ladder and equipment back and you get behind the wheel.
Step 3. Determine your home range. Keep in mind that you need to be paid for windshield time. I suggest your prime service area is 30 minutes from your home-base. That means add an hour to a service call because you have to be paid to drive too and from the job site. Add the miles too by converting the miles into dollars using the Federal government’s business mileage deduction number. In 2018, that number is 0.545/mile.
Step 4. Phone time. Customers take time on the phone. Add that in to your initial service.
Step 5. If you want to be thorough, calculate how much your business card, paperwork will cost per client.
Step 6. Add up all the time, multiply it by your service rate and then add the expenses of mileage and materials. That is what you should be charging for your initial visit to the job.
Certainly, there is more to say here but the above material gets you started. For info on the role of depreciation see DepreciationStephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE, is the owner of Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. He helps people restore their balance with nature through publishing, training, consulting, and the internet. He has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications along with several books (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. Copyright All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.