Case Study: Nat Hague, Whelan Pest Prevention
After leaving the Army I worked for various big corporates but I found going to the office, negotiating with various levels of management and tiptoeing through political mine fields on a daily basis was dragging me down.
I had the benefit of the resettlement process when I left the Army, this taught me to self-analyse and work out what would be the best type of job to suit me. So after going through this process again I decided that I was looking for a more physically active role, without too much heavy lifting, autonomy to make my own decisions, freedom to be able to work hard or relax when it best suited me and not have to answer to multiple levels of management. It was time I worked for myself!
I discussed this with various friends, most of them ex-military one of which had his own Pest Control business which appealed to me.
I decided the best way forward was to look at a franchise, as this was the quickest and most risk averse way to get started.
I looked at numerous options and decided to join Whelan Pest, as Sean Whelan was clearly passionate about his business and very knowledgeable. In addition Whelan Pest is personal to him, not owned by a faceless corporation that is only in the business to make money,
I had a real person I could relate to. Whelan Pest provide a fantastic start up model, give you initial training and get you through your national accreditation. They also have a training centre of their own which is used by the national bodies for their training.
With their support I was able to get started straight away, phoning them whenever I needed advise or assistance. Sean or one of his team came out regularly whenever I needed them and guided me through the early days.
Even after becoming fully qualified they continue to support and advise, keeping me up to date with changes in legislation, and driving me to pursue different type of clients.
Continued training and advise in gaining more clients and different types of work is something I knew I would need, this is possibly the most valuable ongoing support that I require and they certainly step to the plate in this aspect!
My biggest success to date was taking on a rush job to clear a building of Pigeons and Guano to get it ready for auction. With a weeks’ notice I needed to employ 5 guys for three days with various skills and equipment. Cleaners, grafters, landscapers, and a guy with a gun! Alongside this I needed equipment, safety gear, skip hire and the HSE documentation to support all of this. I needed to price it up and produce an estimate of costs in only a few hours and whilst I was doing the job, still needed to react to other incoming work.
I contacted Sean, we got together and within a few hours we had put an estimate together, Sean discussed this with the client directly on my behalf and sealed the deal.
The job was complete on time, client was happy and I had boosted my bank balance. If I had not had the support of Sean I would not have been able to take this task on.
A typical day in Pest Control is a variety of working with ongoing contracts, reacting to new customers who may be quite distressed with whatever pest they have discovered, taking to potential new clients with a view to taking them on as a permanent client and planning for the future. Never a dull moment and always something new.
I love the variety and dealing with new people, being able to help someone who in their perception have a ‘massive’ problem, but with the right equipment and training is dealt with quickly and cleanly.
In my mind, this type of business really suits an ex-military character, with discipline, self-motivation, ability to be trained and follow a recognised and proven process and desire to do well.
I would thoroughly recommend Whelan Pest Prevention and anyone who is considering this opportunity can come and talk to me, having made this transition before you I understand where you are coming from.
Nat Hague, Royal Engineers
Pictured: Sean Whelan, founder of Whelan Pest Prevention