I’ve been in pest control for years. Mainly as a door to door salesman but I’ve also had responsibilities in an office. Hands down, some of the biggest headaches come from dealing paper. paper is a plague, it effects everyone in the company, including but not limited to:
-Owners paying for the expenses that come with day to day operations using paper
-Technicians chasing service tickets down the street on windy days
-Overtime having to be paid to office staff
Sometimes I wonder, what does paper really cost a pest control office?
Paper contracts require you to have paper, a printer, and ink, the cost of printing out contracts becomes a hefty expense overtime, and the larger a company is, the larger the cost. Many Owners of pest control companies don’t ever calculate just how much money they are spending on paper each year, but sadly on average paper makes up about 5% of total expenses!
Think about it! Not only is the cost of paper an issue, there are also other challenges with using paper. For example: as a summer salesman I once made the brilliant decision to leave my clipboard which had all of my newly signed contracts inside, on top of my car as I drove away. As I entered the freeway I heard a crash and my stomach immediately sank. I went back as fast as I could and started chasing those agreements down the freeway. Being hit by a car wasn’t my only concern, I had people’s credit card information on those agreements! What if one got away? What if someone found that information and stole the credit card info to pay for a vacation in the Bahamas? These days, you never know.
After a great lesson in dodging traffic and some intense cardio, I was able to gather all of the paper. Some contracts were creased and wrinkled over customer information that still needed to be entered into the system back at the office ,and others had gotten wet. I was so embarrassed! Needless to say, I never made that mistake again and was lucky to avoid any serious repercussions because of the event.
My sister and brother-in-law own a pest control company. When I was in college, my sister offered to pay me $50 to fold, stamp and mail invoices to their customers. At the time, $50 was food for days if I planned things right so, I accepted. I didn’t realize what I had gotten myself into! First, I had to fold each invoice into a ‘hotdog’ trifold. Then, I had to place them inside of an envelope with a little window where the address would show. I had to place a stamp on each envelope and lick each one closed. Finally, I had to mail them out. All of this doesn’t sound like a big job but with hundreds of invoices, it took quite some time to complete. You’d have to pay me a lot more than $50 to do that again! I couldn’t imagine doing that every month.
While these situations do happen in almost every office that still uses paper, there are more common problems with using paper. Finding storage, keeping files up to date, running out of printer ink at the worst time, purchasing ink, paper, stamps, envelopes and the list goes on.
Paper doesn’t just cost you money. It costs time, headaches, focus, communication, organization and to be frank… image. So, if you haven’t asked yourself this question yet… let me help. Why are you still using paper?