Top 7 Tips for Exponential Growth

Clendenin has a long history of leading pest control companies. Currently, Clendenin is preparing owners to sell their businesses to the right buyer through his consulting firm, The Clendenin Consulting Group.

Clendenin shared some practical tips at this year’s PCT M&A Virtual Conference that he had developed over the years for driving growth to position a company for sale.

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In Clendenin’s first tip for business leaders, he urges them to visualize the end result with growth in their minds. It’ll never be in your hand if you can’t visualize it in your mind. Rather than focusing on acquisitions, Clendenin argued that PCOs should focus on organic growth.

A growth type can be incremental, or any growth above zero, or exponential, a growth that is increasing in rate. It is important not to rely entirely on incremental growth. If your company’s growth is less than its overall cost of operations, not only will your company lose money, but other negative factors like struggling employees could negatively affect growth as well.


There is always an opportunity to improve a company’s operations and growth, according to Clendenin. The next piece of advice he gives PCOs is to avoid some of the common myths that surround the business world.

As Clendenin explains, there is no such thing as the status quo when it comes to growing your business. The same cannot be said for any period of time, he said. “Business either moves forward or backward; it either grows or it dies.”

There is always new potential revenue sources or ideas to consider when your business is constantly fluctuating. In this respect, Clendenin believes that one everyday mindset harms rather than helps a business grow: If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

Clendenin said a good leader has to see around corners so that they can fix things that aren’t broken. Furthermore, it is fine to wish to improve on something that works as it should technically. A look toward the future like this allows PCOs to offer new services or implement changes in strategy ahead of market trends.


The only way for exponential growth to occur is on a sustained basis, and quality service should always be the company’s foundation.

The quality of the service has a direct correlation with the number of customers. Clendenin emphasized that customer satisfaction drives revenue and the growth of the customer base is what drives revenue. “Getting good service is the cornerstone of growing your customer base.” she said.

Your quality service may serve as one of your company’s unique selling points, or the X-Factor. The customer wants to know what you do well and what you offer well. The service differentiates you from your competitor. It puts the client first.” he said.

However, delivering quality services and adding the X-Factor is just the first step in increasing the number of customers. It is imperative to know where your money is going once the money starts coming in and how it’s being spent.


As someone with experience working with businesses that struggle with cash management, Clendenin saw the long-term impact that it can have on a business. It really hindered their ability to grow, Clendenin said. Benchmarking can be one of the best ways to avoid poor cash management, he continued.

The benchmarking process begins by asking what goals your pest control business is striving toward and then determining how you will achieve those goals. Examples of questions to ask include what percentage of your customers you should retain in different service areas? What should your closing rate be? The ratio of management to employees?

Establishing benchmarks and meeting them are the next steps to building your business. Clendenin said benchmarking is vital to determine what you need in place to operate smoothly. By benchmarking, a company sets itself up for success and challenges everyone, from CEO to technician, to participate in meeting those goals.


Clendenin went on to remark that the most important component of growth for PCOs to remember is that you “create a business by growing people,” in addition to fulfilling your set goals.

Using people to grow your business can take many different shapes. Clendenin stated, for example, that when recruiting a potential employee, look for character and attitude first. As a result, their strengths and professional confidence can be easily developed as their work grows.

Clendenin also stated that “everything rises and falls on leadership,” and that middle management plays a significant role in firm leadership. That is why developing effective leaders in management positions is critical.

“Your branch managers may make or break you,” he stated, citing the fact that they are in charge of everything from building management to customer service, as well as maintaining a positive corporate image. “Eagles, not ducks, should be in charge of your middle management positions. Ducks quack, eagles soar.”


Another important aspect of expansion is building a motivated and results-oriented sales team.Clendenin cautioned that, even if your company has a high client retention rate, a poor sales performance could keep incremental growth in the single digits.

Clendenin explained, “You need a large enough sales team, and the amount of new sales should overwhelm the number of customer cancellations each month.”

To have a great sales approach, sales material should be both illustrated, so the consumer knows exactly what they’re paying for, and competitive, so customers desire to pay for your services..

Salespeople must also be knowledgeable about lead generation, which is determining which products or services would be most appealing to clients and allocating more money, time, and effort to those areas.


Each and every customer is vital. PMPs should, however, focus on their most profitable customer when setting service prices. Determine which services, which types of homes, and which places are most frequently associated with customers.

“Are we charging enough?” says the narrator. Clendenin enquired. “Or is that a loss-making customer?” We must identify the unprofitable consumer and take the appropriate steps to make the situation more profitable.”

PCOs should market and tailor pricing for recurring revenue services more aggressively than one-time services. And once you’ve determined your price approach, make sure you stick to it.


Scalable, documented systems and procedures are also important components of growth. Past failures have left scar tissue in the form of systems and practises. PMPs must avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over if they are to achieve sustainable exponential development.

Clendenin refers to “footprint management” as another aspect of expansion. How long do you have to drive to reach a stop before you start losing money? The “eighth wonder of the world” is route density. It’s possible that reducing windshield time is more significant than a management realises.

Finally, organisational alignment is one of the most important aspects of exponential growth.This implies that everyone in the company is pulling in the same direction and aiming for the same outcomes and objectives. “If we work together in a coherent and cross-departmental manner, we get more done and get there faster,” he says.