We Interviewed Marcos About Iguana Removal 305 & Their Journey To 6-Figures ARR

Iguana Removal 305

Scaled from 0 up to 93 keywords on page one of Google in 6 Months

Industry: Iguana & Raccoon Removal

iguana removal 305 case study

Full Interview Transcription

John:

This artifact was commissioned by weadvertiseyourbusiness.com to tell the story of their clients' journeys towards seven figures in revenue. Hi, I'm John from Artifact. And in this episode, I spoke with Marcos from Iguana Removal 305. He told me how he got into the business, what sets this company apart, what he finds most rewarding about the work, his goals for the road ahead, and much more. Enjoy.

Marcos:

So my name is Marcos and I'm the owner of Iguana Removal 305. And we help our customers deal with iguana problems in their property.

John:

Very nice. So how long have you guys been in business? When did you start this company, and how did you get into this business?

Marcos:

So the company I started recently around April and it's taking a little bit of time to launch getting the right people together and getting the right plan in place. But it's kind of interesting though, getting into this business was a little counter-intuitive because I grew up in south America and we dealt with iguanas for generations. I mean like many, my parents and my grandparents are totally aware of the nuisance that an iguana can be. So in general terms, for the longest time when I lived in Venezuela or South America, my parents, my dad particularly with how the iguanas would be on the trees of the house. And so I came to Florida recently and I noticed that they have iguanas here as well, and that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission actually categorizes as a no native to Florida and therefore endangering a local native species. And so I started digging into that and little by little I decided that this was a business opportunity. And so I'm just trying and see where things can go.

John:

Well sort of stepping back. Tell me a little bit about the problems that iguanas can cause people, cause like I said I lived in South Florida for a year and you do, you see them sort of everywhere. I guess I had no idea they were non-native. I didn't know that they were threatening to local species. Tell me a little bit about why iguana removal is something that people need.

Marcos:

Well, I mean, in the [inaudible 00:02:23] an iguana here and there is not much of a problem, but the moment that they spoil your pool or your swimming pool and use your swimming pool as a bathroom, then you certainly start looking at iguanas in a different way. You come from a long week of work on a Friday evening and you want to use your pool, relax. And then you just find that there are some feces in, iguana feces in the pool. And so then it's no longer a pleasant relaxing activity. It just became something that is absolutely gross and you have to fix, and so in many situations iguanas will eat your garden. If you have any kind of flowers and fruits, they will eat them.

Marcos:

Additionally, though they could also create holes in the ground, they burrow and then they can undermine the foundations of infrastructure including your house and say seawalls and things that are natural part of infrastructure. And these are things that are not something that immediately connect to an iguana or like when you think about an iguana because iguanas are just generally cool. They don't mess with anyone. I mean, they definitely do not pose a physical threat to anyone, but certainly there feces can transmit salmonella in some cases.

John:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, tell me, you said you're a first time business owner. You said you were sort of looking into this and seeing that it was a problem and something that could be a business opportunity. What was that, what has that been like for you taking that dive into business ownership?

Marcos:

Well, it's been really interesting. I mean I like learning a lot and I've taken some business education and I have some background in business and finally putting some of that in practice has been really interesting in particularly the legal component of doing this type of work has been quite fascinating to me. Drafting all the service agreements and having them reviewed when the attorneys passed me, really interesting because the work that we do, it's a little bit involved. It's hard to catch an iguana with a hand. And so we have to employ different tactics and we have to make sure that we have the legal protection and sanctioned permissions from the private owner to execute on such activities. And so it's quite interesting.

John:

Were you sort of, you said you have a business background. Were you looking for business opportunities, is being a business owner something you'd always wanted and then you found the right opportunity here? How did that work for you?

Marcos:

It's more like the learning element of the business side of things that is partly interesting, as well as helping the community, my customers. But it's certainly something that I did through high school and most of my life, just that as a new immigrant to the US, getting to know how things work, it takes a little bit of studying and understanding to be able to execute on these things, but it's certainly something that is sort of like innate skill to me about if I had opportunities to work and take care of people in general. It's giving back to the community in one way or another.

John:

Well, you talked about learning a lot, what over these months that you've been starting out, what have been some of the biggest lessons that you've learned or challenges you guys have faced and had to work on in the first few months of the business?

Marcos:

Well, generally speaking, I would think that the challenges are quite varied. We have plenty of challenges. I mean, I think there's no shortage of challenges. But certainly one of those that I guess I never saw coming, I guess it was obvious, but I probably didn't think of it at the beginning, was that it's not simple to be outdoors on 90 degree humid weather, chasing iguanas. It only takes five minutes to be completely drenched. And I guess since we've been in the lockdown, since the pandemic, it's a welcomed activity because we've been mostly indoors for the last year, if not more, like a little bit over a year now. So it's quite a fun interesting activity. And so that is one thing is it's a very physical type of job.

Marcos:

I don't think that this is something for everyone until everyone, or every homeowner is encouraged by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to take care of their iguana problems on their own hands. When some of the guidance that they provide, is certainly time consuming. I mean, iguanas are really skittish. They get scared very easily and they camouflage very well. So we're trying to leverage the cutting edge technologies that are available. I do and you may think this is really, it's really silly on my end but at the same time it's part of what makes it super entertaining for me. We have nearly $10,000 worth of equipment just to be able to detect the thermal or heat signature of the iguanas on the trees. So they don't camouflage. So we have a special equipment that allows us to see the iguana glowing in the tree. And though they are green on green, generally they're hard to see with the naked eye, but with this type of equipment, it's easier to see.

John:

Yeah. It sounds like you're sort of a problem solver and you do get enjoyment out of that when there's something and learning how to solve a problem or what the best technology is for it. It seems like that part of the job is fun for you.

Marcos:

Yes certainly, certainly. Trying to figure out the easiest way to solve a problem and in an effective way, because just getting rid of iguana is not enough. Sometimes we have to employ preventive measures. As far as like keeping iguanas away. And so that's basically where generational knowledge that gets passed down to my parents.

John:

Yeah, certainly. Well, so as you've kind of built up the business, you mentioned like technology and have you had to add people to your team? Are you having to learn some of the kind of business owner manager side of things?

Marcos:

The management side of things, I mean, I have some experience based on my previous jobs that I had, but as far as it's scaling out is basically the stage we're in, on hiring more people and growing. That's basically our focus at the moment. We really want to grow the team. And that's partly why we're working with Paul, making sure that we get all the support that is needed on the front to ensure that we have a steady growth and sustained growth for the next few months or years to come. That is basically our objective here. We want to create a big successful company and do it the right away from the very beginning, making sure that all the foundation blocks are there, and then we can grow without any restraints.

John:

Yeah, so that sort of takes me into that. Tell me about what you guys have hired Paul to help you with? What sort of areas are you using his expertise for? And like you said, it sounds like you've got a very good sort of long-term plan of setting the building blocks and stuff. So how does Paul fit into your company's growth? What are you hoping to get out of working with him?

Marcos:

I know Paul for a few years, well I mean not closely, but I met him a long time ago. We have a friend in common and he's done amazing work for my friend and my friend owns a multi-million corporation based out of San Francisco. It's just amazing work. And really I'm hoping that Paul can help me with the elements of lead generation and getting the marketing pipeline set up and all the different things that are, I mean, quite fast evolving I would say, in an area that possibly could have been quite still for the longest time.

Marcos:

As technology touches any area in particular or any discipline, there are some improvements in productivity gains, and I mean yes, there is a lot that I could slowly learn and do myself. Paul, it's already proven that he has good knowledge around his area of expertise. And so why spend my time, it would only delay my plans. So if I want to learn all that stuff by myself. So I think Paul is a great accelerator bringing in all his knowledge to help my company grow. And that's hopefully something that will be very effective and we'll see results very soon.

John:

It sounds like you have developed a customer base in the time you've been building this company up. Has the reception to what you're building been good? I know you're working with Paul to sort of accelerate that growth, but have you seen a good demand for your services?

Marcos:

Yes. I get no less than five calls every day. Different customers who have different type of problems. And so every customer has their own problem and we try to tailor our solutions to their problems and see which one could be most effective. But again, very different. So we got a customer that is having problems with the pool. The iguanas using that as their bathroom. We have the customer that has iguanas using their dock or their marina area where they tie their boats also as the bathroom. I mean, it's just kind of like a safety issue for them in the situation, which you know, because you kind of slip and fall in the dock or near the pool, that could be problematic in the least.

Marcos:

But yeah, no I mean so far a lot of happy customers. The other day I took out possibly like 6 iguanas off a single property in a single day. And I thought, wow. Yeah and they had more, I came the other day, another day and then I got a few more. Yeah. So there are places where they have a lot and people are really happy to get back their space, because really just in my end, you have these beautiful property and you want to sit down in the dock or the marina in your property to watch the sunset just like basically just sit down there with your feet in the water, that's the thing.

John:

What is it... It obviously, like you said, it's this thing that people, this service, these people definitely need and are happy to have. What is it that sets you apart from other people that are doing this you think?

Marcos:

So far what we've noticed right, is our service is centered around the customer service and the satisfaction of the customer, meaning that we'll deal with a situation in the most professional manner. And not to say that others aren't, it's just that we'll book the time and we'll call in for a couple hours to a customer's property and do our job during those two hours. It's not like I'll call them any time. I'll show up anytime and I'll get somebody once for you. I mean, the thing is just showing up anytime of the day is not effective. There is a pattern when the iguanas are out and about, either in the mornings or the late afternoons or based on the shade or the sun, the way the sun hits the house or the property, like the shade pattern and the amount of sun that hits the property is what triggers the iguanas to come out because they need to self-regulate their temperature so that we get to understand what time of day they're seeing the iguanas.

Marcos:

And we come exactly at that time of the day when they see the iguanas to get the most that we can, because otherwise it's just time wasted. If I show up at 8:00 AM or 7:00 AM anywhere, I won't see an iguana, but I showed up and I did part of my agreement and many other companies would say, but professionally we tried to aim and increase our effectivity. I don't think that anyone has the thermal cameras that I have that allow us to see the iguanas in the trees so that they kind of camouflage. These are very expensive equipment and cameras that I think not a lot of people should be able to get a hands on. I mean, law enforcement, grade type equipment and these very expensive, yeah.

John:

Sort of looking forward. What are the goals that you have in sort of both the near term, medium term, long term? What are some of the things that you are hoping to accomplish as your company takes the next steps, working with Paul, the stuff you're doing already yourself. What are some of the things that you're shooting for in the near future?

Marcos:

Well, in the near future, it gets tough. I mean, because we're a really young company and we're really starting and so we need to build our customer base. And so there is quite a lot of stuff that we need to do. And so in the short term, I think just getting a sustainable steady stream of customers is critical. Even though we have a handful of customers, I think we can get a lot more customers. It's just a matter of, I guess, ironing out the packages and the bumbles and the right incentives in place. And identifying which ones are those. Obviously price is always a good incentive, but it also has to be in line with the technology and the tools that we're using and the activities that we offer when doing our jobs. So that in the short term, medium term is a sturdy revenue and starting to hire and grow.

Marcos:

I guess, having like five people work constantly out and about doing the work will be great. It's a good medium term. Long-term, it's complicated, I guess. Because if we do a very good job, then there won't be any iguanas left here in South Florida, but we're really hoping that we have a lot of happy customers in the long term who rely on our service to ensure that they're properties stay free of iguanas so that they can enjoy their properties to the fullest. And there is nothing getting in their way on them enjoying their property. I think that is the ultimate goal, right? It's a customer that is really happy because they don't have to worry about these type of problems anymore because we just take care of it. And the thing is, it's like that end to end vision that I have, right?

Marcos:

The customer doesn't have to worry about what happens as far as the iguanas go. They are just gone, period. They don't have to worry about any other detail. We just figure everything out for them. If they need some fancy in and we'll get the contractor that gets defensive. If they need some application of tree rocks for the trees to avoid the iguanas getting on the trees, we'll just get the person that'll do that. I will just iguana proof their property and that way they can get that enjoyment back. Yeah.

John:

Yeah, that's great. That's a perfect perspective on it. Okay. Well then let's wrap up with no sort of like to do speaking to a customer who listened to this or who, found you guys on your website. What would you tell somebody about your business? And if they were thinking about calling you, if they heard this little profile of you, what would your message be to a prospective customer?

Marcos:

Well, here at Iguana Removal 305, we're happy to help with iguana problems that you may have in your property. We offer one time services, recurring services for big properties or the preventive services. And with all these services, we'll make sure that they are tailored to the needs of your property and you as a customer. And I ensure that over the long term we'll reduce the presence of iguanas in your property, where they will be barely noticeable. And that is basically my pledge to every customer that calls, and we're there to help them 100% with our best advice to deal with their iguana problems.