A Franchisee’s Journey: Getting to Know Tim Lanai

Tim Lanai operates a Mosquito Joe franchise in Nashville, Tenn. And as you read about his entrepreneurial journey, you’ll begin to understand why clients like Tim are nothing short of dream candidates for franchise consultants.

In the first act of his career arc, Lanai specialized in sales—specifically with high-tech companies. He put in about two decades of time on the front lines, propping up corporate earnings for other people along the way. But deep down, Tim always harbored the desire to go into business for himself. His reasons will resonate with many people who can relate to the things we sometimes have to put up within the corporate world.

When discussing the pain points that led him to entrepreneurship, Lanai can be pretty blunt. “I grew tired of working for other people,” he recalls. “I never liked people always looking over my shoulder, checking in on me and worst of all, making decisions for me.” By his early 40s, he was ready to make a move. It was 2006 when he visited his local library and checked out a book called, “Franchising for Dummies”. 

It’s safe to say that Tim bought into franchising as his ownership route from Day One. “I’m a numbers guy—always have been,” he says. “I do my due diligence, review financials and create pro forma spreadsheets. What drew me to franchising was the business model itself—a proven system. And the concepts are different in how brands run them. I happened to find a great fit, but the overview is the same. With franchising, you’re giving up a marginal amount of freedom for an operating system that has built-in safety features.”

Mosquito Joe is actually the second franchise that Tim and his wife, Lisa, bought and have run successfully. Their first go-round was a recruiting franchise, but they eventually grew bored and wanted to try another business. In January of 2015, they embarked on their pest control franchise business. 

The Lanais stuck to the script provided by Mosquito Joe. A home office setting, consisting of one van and 1-2 employee technicians was all it took to get up and get going. Now in their sixth year, the Lanais have moved into a highly visible rented retail location with a whole lot more vans (11) and employees (20). 

Tim’s experience with FranNet was guided by Dan Aronoff, FranNet’s Market President for Tennessee and Arkansas territories. In a twist, Aronoff and Lanai only live about 10 minutes apart, and Aronoff was their first customer! What stood out to Lanai about his experience with FranNet? “Dan wasn’t pushy at all,” recalls Lanai. “We went through the assessments, Dan brought about five finalists for me to review and I got to work doing my due diligence on the numbers.” It quickly became evident that one franchise concept, Mosquito Joe, stood head and shoulders above the others. “The business model had a much better chance for financial success than the other choices,” said Lanai. “The numbers made the most financial sense to me. I didn’t have any previous pest control experience, but at the end of the day, I’m running the business, not outside spraying.” 

Tim Lanai is certainly enjoying his time as his own boss. No longer is anyone around to watch over his shoulder or second guess his decisions. He now has the freedom and flexibility to run his business as he sees fit. For Tim, franchising was the right choice, summed up in his final thought. “One of the best aspects of this business model is this—our decisions determine our success.”

We couldn’t agree more.

For more information, please visit Tim and Lisa’s landing page on the Mosquito Joe website.

Mar 31, 2020