Owner, Gecko Pest Control
"Now we’re operating very successfully with a lot more confidence."
Gecko Pest Control
“I started listening to the PMP Industry Insiders podcast on the second episode. I went back and listened to the first episode, and now I can’t wait for the new episodes to come out. (Listening to it) is a no-brainer. It’s like they say in the podcast’s intro, ‘If you’re serious about building your business, then you’re in the right place.’”
New Partnership Instills Confidence & Rejuvenates One PCO’s Passion
Although he’s been in the pest management industry for nearly 40 years, Daren Horton feels a renewed enthusiasm for his pest control company these days. He’s inspired by the opportunity to grow his company, Gecko Pest Control in East Texas, and a sense of empowerment he’s acquired from newfound knowledge about his business.
Where’s it coming from? He can point to a few places. One of these is a new partnership with the accounting firm PCO Bookkeepers.
Daren hired PCO Bookkeepers late last year after learning about the firm on the PMP Industry Insiders podcast, which is co-hosted by PCO Bookkeepers Managing Member Dan Gordon and Donnie Shelton, owner of Triangle Pest Control in Raleigh, N.C., and digital marketing firm Coalmarch.
PCO Bookkeepers work with more than 300 pest control and lawn care companies across the U.S. to provide accounting, bookkeeping, and CFO services; tax preparation and planning; and accounts payable management. PCO Bookkeepers also provide in-depth monthly benchmarking reports that compare clients to other firms in the industry.
“Now we’re operating very successfully with a lot more confidence,” Daren says, noting he always assumed he had good financials because of his experience working for a national pest company in a management role years ago. But he wasn’t certain. Seeing his numbers in black and white next to the industry averages in PCO Bookkeepers’ monthly benchmarking reports has been invaluable to his operation. In fact, this knowledge has prompted Gecko to make a few bold moves, including building a new facility and expanding into a new market.
“These are things I knew I wanted to do and didn’t have the confidence to,” Daren says. When his new accountants told him that he was sitting on too much cash, he knew it was time to pull the trigger.
“PCO Bookkeepers said, ‘You have the money to purchase a property and pay yourself rent instead of paying it to someone else,’” he says. “So we’re doing that right now. We’re also opening up a branch in Longview, Texas. It has a much higher topside than the smaller city we’re in now.”
In addition to helping him make big decisions, the team at PCO Bookkeepers has advised Daren on smaller changes that have added up quickly to improve his bottom line. For example, when he learned his materials and product usage numbers were high, he began using an inventory management app to rein in these costs. He’s also added a customer texting platform and ramped up a plan to get more Google reviews thanks to advice from PCO Bookkeepers Managing Member Brian Post.
Daren says he also appreciates the clear communication and responsiveness provided by his accounting team. “I’m a bug man,” Daren says. “The way everything is communicated in our monthly meetings is in layman’s terms, and if I don’t know something I can ask and they’ll slow down and explain. That’s extremely nice.”
As Gecko expands – which is definitely the plan – a solid understanding of the financials is more important than ever.
“As a small business owner, you lay awake at night and worry about things that might go wrong,” Daren says. “But working with them and looking at the P&L and knowing exactly where we’re at compared to the industry has instilled a lot of confidence in me. It’s turned out to be a great partnership.”