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Meet Cory Hodnett of Green Machine Pest Control in East Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cory Hodnett.

Cory, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started my company after having an entrepreneurial moment while mowing my lawn. I had been in pest control sales for years, I had several friends that started their own pest control businesses all over the country. So I ran some numbers and figured out how much it would cost to start the business and at what point our personal savings would run out. I figured out how many sales I needed to have by the time the bank was empty and I went to work. I sold accounts door to door and serviced every account on my own at first. Then I hired my first technician to take over services as I focused on sales. I was surprised at how much office work there was to do. I was working 100+ hours a week facilitating our growth and running the back end of the company. They say “Mo money mo problems” and that is true. As we got bigger, I had to buy more trucks, hire and train technicians, do quality control, order inventory, and so much more, all the while answering the phones and making sure our customers never felt like just a number in a database.

We went through several technicians in our first 2 years. I didn’t want any Joe off the street that was just there for the paycheck. I recognize that our customers are real people. They pay our bills and put food on our table. They need to be treated that way. I wanted technicians that are problem solvers that genuinely care about accomplishing our goal as a company: Make your home a bug-free zone. We have a really great set of technicians now and I am confident each of them gives our customers the attention they deserve.

We are now midway through our 3rd year in business and we have expanded pretty quickly. We started off concentrating on residential general pest control. Since then we have expanded our services to include German Roach Treatments, Rodent services, Bedbug Treatments, and Termites.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
When starting a new business, I think the most important part is how big your tires are. ‘Coz the road is gonna be bumpy! At first, we struggled to find reliable long-term technicians. Especially while we were a 1-technician show, every time we lost a technician I had to stop working on the business and spend a few weeks running the route with the new tech until I felt he was trained to handle anything that came his way.

We also struggled with cash flow as we grew. The summertime is our growing season, so buying chemical, payroll, overhead, insurance, licensing, buying trucks, sales reps, and more – adds up really quickly. We put everything back into the business and emptied all of our savings. A word to the wise, the faster you want to grow, the more money it’s gonna take.

One of my biggest struggles is collections. I personally feel like my integrity is tied to paying my bills. When our customers get behind on paying us, I try to be flexible with them to figure something out. For the most part, customers make the effort to pay their bills. The hard part was when I started running into those few that didn’t feel like they needed to pay us for a service they had agreed to have done, and some of them would even get mad at us for calling to help them get caught up. It’s hard not to see the few that don’t have that same integrity to pay their bills as a personal jab. I had to remove myself from that part of the company. I was taking it too personally.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Green Machine Pest Control – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
In 2015, Cory Hodnett started Green Machine Pest Control after working in the industry for some of the industries largest companies since 2004. Throughout his career, Cory worked in many states and experienced a multitude of knowledge in refining his pest control tactics. His experience with controlling pests, and keeping customers happy, led him to start a business that puts those 2 values in the forefront, not the pushy sales and upsells with poor service that many companies have shifted their business towards. The Green Machine way is one that allows the customer to feel comfortable in communicating their needs, and we find a way to meet them.

At Green Machine, we know bugs don’t just nest in the walls. They nest in your yard and beyond. So in addition to putting up a pest barrier around the base of your home and eliminating the pests inside (that’s where most of our competitors stop), we take it to the source. We target nesting areas throughout the property to eliminate the problem before it arrives at your door. Also, since we are a smaller company, you get that personal touch with how we communicate with you and make sure your needs are met.

Green Machine Pest Control is built on providing what our customers want – to make their home a bug-free zone.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
As we grow we want to expand to the entire Phoenix Metropolitan Area, then Flagstaff, Tucson, and Yuma. I would love to add additional states as well, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself.

We have seen an uptick in Bedbug issues through the East Valley and we have developed a 5 star service to knock them out quickly. I would like to give some focus on getting our residents free of those little blood suckers!

And then in the next year or two, we plan on adding a division for pool service, so watch for that!

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