How PCO Bookkeepers Instills Confidence During a Transition to the Next Generation

As baby boomer business owners continue to retire, being replaced by Gen X, Millennial and eventually Gen Z successors, it means lots of changes for companies across the U.S. economy in general and in the pest and lawn industries specifically. The team at PCO Bookkeepers has witnessed many clients transition from one generation to the next over the past few years, and many are making the change right now. The following are just a few of the ways partnering with PCO Bookkeepers for accounting, bookkeeping, CFO services and more brings an unmatched level of confidence during the pest control succession planning and execution process.

1. PCO Bookkeepers provides continuity during and after the transition. Often, family business successors don’t have financial backgrounds. They may have experience on the operations side of the company or they may have pursued other fields before returning to the family business in advance of their parents’ retirements. That was the case for Erin Richardson, the third-generation owner of All-American Pest Control in Nashville.

In fact, Richardson never planned to enter the pest control industry. She worked in graphic design. So when she found herself enjoying the family business and in a position to take over about a decade ago, she knew she needed to get the company’s chart of accounts in order, among other things, before buying out her father, Al Foster Jr. About a year before they made the ownership transition, Richardson signed on as a client of PCO Boookeepers. The move gave her peace of mind should couldn’t get anywhere else.

“I don’t think I would have been as confident stepping into the ownership role without the detailed P&L statements we created, and just having (PCO Bookkeepers Managing Member) Dan (Gordon) to rely on as I started making more decisions on my own,” Richardson says. Learn more here.

2. PCO Bookkeepers provides industry-specific financial literacy, business coaching and management consulting to decrease the next generation’s learning curve. Like Richardson, many new generation operators worked in other fields or went to school for different disciplines before returning to the pest management industry.

As they transition into the ownership role, they’re interested in becoming more financially savvy in terms of understanding a pest control-specific P&L, benchmarking themselves against others in the industry and more.

Younger operators are also willing to change things up, notes PCO Bookkeepers Managing Member Brian Post.

“If you’ve been doing business the same way for the last 30 years, maybe doing something different is a benefit,” he says. “We’re seeing the new generation of owners interested in getting a different view from a consultant like us in the industry, as opposed to just their local accountant.”

That was the case for Bernie Holtz III, president of Horizon Pest Control in Midland Park, N.J.

“I know how my father ran the business and I know how I run it, but working with (PCO Bookkeepers) brings an extra set of eyes and brainpower,” he says. Learn more here.

3. PCO Bookkeepers’ cloud-based, tech-savvy model appeals to younger operators. The next-gen pest management professional is nothing if not open to automation, technology and new ways of doing things. That’s where they’re a natural fit for PCO Bookkeepers’ offerings, explains Post.

With more than 300 clients in the pest control industry, the PCO Bookkeepers team sees it all. They’re experts at recognizing and recommending automation (read: money-saving) opportunities for their clients.

Besides, the accounting professionals at PCO Bookkeepers make it easy to do business with them. They set up and facilitate cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping systems for their clients, and they have the knowledge and expertise to access pest industry routing software programs for a seamless customer experience.

“We bring an automated, cloud-based appeal beyond your old school business owner’s relationship with the local accountant,” Post says. “We were using and embracing Zoom before Covid. We can work with clients anywhere.”

Are you working on succession planning in your pest control business? Contact us to learn how we can help.

Author: Marisa Palmieri Shugrue