Beth Sehlhorst is the owner and operator of a Mosquito Joe franchise in Cincinnati, Ohio. They offer mosquito, tick and flea suppression services designed to protect outdoor family fun. And right now, Sehlhorst is having some fun. As a busy stay-at-home mom to five children, this franchise allows her the freedom to run a business of her own without missing out on all the fun kid stuff.
“My husband owned his own business, in the construction industry, so we had the background and mentality to launch another,” she says. “We were primarily looking for another opportunity to invest in and fortunately for us, a friend of ours recommended we speak with FranNet’s Todd Pfister. That’s what got the ball rolling.” Pfister owns FranNet MidAmerica, covering southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky. It’s a key advantage that FranNet’s representatives both live and work in the communities of their franchise candidates.
The Sehlhorst’s were definitely thinking of the long-term picture when considering franchising. As their family began to grow, their prime goal was to secure a strong financial future and lifestyle for their children’s future. After all, that’s a lot of college tuition down the road.
After the introduction to FranNet’s Todd Pfister, the initial meetings about franchising were eye-opening for the couple. “Todd had us take the personality tests and assessments, which really help define what franchise concepts might be a good fit. Lots of things go into these considerations, not the least of which includes what income level you’d like to invest, how much risk you’re willing to take and—most importantly for us—the time commitment necessary to run the franchise.”
The answers would surprise them. When Pfister returned with a few concepts for the Sehlhorst’s to consider, Beth was intrigued. “I don’t think I would have picked 80 percent of the concepts Todd showed us. But he did such an amazing job of explaining why these particular franchise opportunities matched up with what we both said we wanted and needed out of a business of our own.”
So, what exactly appealed to Beth? First and foremost, the Mosquito Joe franchise turned out to be a business you could run from your home. That’s definitely a plus when you have five kids under the age of 10 to look out for. They also loved the outdoor aspect of what the service provided. “We’re patio-based people,” says Beth. “We enjoy being outside, near the pool, watching the kids play. And to see exactly how this franchise solves a simple problem we all deal with—I mean, nobody likes to get bit by mosquitos!” In the end, it was also the flexibility of the business model and talking with other Mosquito Joe owners that cinched the deal for them.
“After talking with some of the other franchise owners, we could see that this business was going places,” remembers Beth. “I think at the time there were about 20 and now there’s around 200. That’s excellent growth.” The Sehlhorst’s opened their Mosquito Joe franchise on May 1, 2015 and have enjoyed over three years of prosperity and success.
But what has been the biggest change in their lives so far? “I’d have to say that owning a franchise has definitely put our family on sound financial footing,” says Beth. “Having the two income streams just gives us a better measure of security for our future. But there’s also a different mindset. I’m not just a stay-at-home mom anymore—though I still get to be. I’m also a business owner.”
Beth also related that it’s fun to have her children involved in the business. “Yes, they do get to help mommy with some of the things we do. They love to meet our customers and go with us on sales appointments or help with paperwork. Everybody gets a chance to contribute and I love that about Mosquito Joe.
So, what’s next for Beth Sehlhorst? Believe it or not, they’re so sold on the franchise concept that they recently bought a second territory for expansion. The couple is dedicated to using franchising as a means to build up a Sehlhorst Family Business.
When Beth looks back to her experience with Todd Pfister and FranNet, she is greatly appreciative of the path he recommended for her family’s future. “What FranNet does is provide an excellent framework for finding out the true franchise you should own,” she says. “If you were to go online and try to discover this on your own, you’d be lost compared to the guidance FranNet can provide you for free. The process wasn’t intimidating for us.”
Sehlhorst is already recommending FranNet’s services to another mom in her circle of friends. “That’s how I got to be a franchise owner—through a friend recommending FranNet to me. I guess you could say that I’m trying to pay the favor forward.”