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Case Study – Costa Rica

As a world leader in pest management, Orkin®. has a franchise presence in more than 11 countries around the world. This number continues to grow as increasing numbers of franchisees align themselves with Orkin’s trusted name, more than a century of experience and consistent service worldwide.

To learn more about international franchise opportunities with Orkin, we spoke with Luis Elizondo, an Orkin franchise owner in San Jose, Costa Rica. Following is an edited transcription of that interview.

Why did you seek a franchise opportunity with Orkin?

“The Costa Rica marketplace includes various industry sectors, including food manufacturing and health care facilities that require highly technical pest management services to meet international health code standards. After recognizing this opportunity and forming a clear business plan, we knew we needed the experience and technical support of Orkin pest management experts in order to achieve our goals. We simply wanted to partner with the best.”

What challenges did you confront in starting your new business?

“We kicked off operations in June 2006 with just one Commercial Pest Specialist. Our biggest challenge was starting from scratch in the area of sales. We focused our efforts on the food manufacturing segment, and the response to Orkin’s service exceeded our expectations. Our challenge then became growing our business fast enough to meet the demands of food manufacturers in our market. We’re currently focusing on training and retaining highly qualified pest specialists.”

How did you develop your Orkin franchise business plan?

“Since we were concentrating primarily on the food industry, we assessed the scope of this sector to estimate our sales potential. We also consulted other resources such as the Costa Rica Industry Chamber, the Costa Rica Tourist Institute and the Costa Rica Restaurant Association to gauge the opportunity with other market segments. Orkin supported us throughout this process, providing an estimated cost structure to help us create our profits and loss analysis. All of this background information helped us arrive at a clear, concise business plan.”

How did you implement your plan?

“Since Orkin has a reputation for employing the best trained pest specialists in the business, in-depth technical training was the natural place to start. Our team traveled to Miami to complete intensive Commercial training because climate conditions in Florida are similar to those in Costa Rica. Our training was essential in equipping us with the know-how to carry out service applications and operate pest management equipment. Once we had the knowledge needed to start operations, we began targeting sales prospects. We kicked off our sales and marketing efforts by hosting a one-day pest management seminar for food processors. Several new accounts resulted from this effort.”

What advice do you have for franchisees who are getting their businesses off the ground?

“I recommend researching the best customer opportunities in your market, concentrating your efforts there and slowly expanding. Once we made headway in the food industry, we broadened our scope to the health care and hospitality sectors, using a similar approach.”

What results have you seen as a result of your partnership with Orkin?

“In a very short time, we have earned a reputation as one of the most effective and highly technical pest management providers in Costa Rica. Our relationship with Orkin has allowed us to benefit from the company’s vast technical expertise and earn our customers’ confidence. Our partners at Orkin have made themselves accessible to us and our clients.”

“Our relationship with Orkin has allowed us to benefit from the company’s vast technical expertise and earn our customers’ confidence. Our partners at Orkin have made themselves accessible to us and our clients.”

- Luis Elizondo, Orkin Franchise Owner, Costa Rica

For more information on the Orkin International Franchise Program, contact Tom Luczynski at 001.404.888.2360 or tluczyns@rollins.com.

To directly contact the Orkin Franchise in Costa Rica contact Luis Elizondo at 011.506.272.1010 or lelizondocsa@racsa.co.cr.