Mosquito Joe franchisee Dan Nicastro grew up in Youngstown where he attended Youngstown State University to earn his degree in marketing. He's held various jobs in retail in both inside and outside sales, including Frito-Lay (Division of Pepsi Co.). Currently, he works at FFR Merchandising out of Twinsburg, OH in outside sales. The job causes him to travel to the East Coast a lot, which is really what initiated his search.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I have a 10-month-old son and my wife travels a lot herself. With both of us out of town so frequently, one of us had to make a career move. I started looking into new opportunities and have always been interested in owning my own business. Eight months after exploring my options, here we are with Mosquito Joe. I purchased 10-13 zip codes on the West side to start with this year and will focus on zip codes to the East next year.
What was your first job ever?
Throughout high school and college, I worked part-time at a local grocery story called Sparkle.
Why did you choose to become a franchisee with Mosquito Joe? How did you learn about the brand?
I started my search by Googling opportunities but a friend of mine set me up with FranConnect who helped narrow down my franchise search. We live off of Lake Erie, so whenever we have people over our parties are cut short by 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. because we are getting eaten alive by mosquitos. We live in a wooded neighborhood and would have hired someone years ago to take care of our mosquito problem if the business existed here. When my son was born, everything was really put into perspective for me. I don’t want him or anyone his age to be outside getting chewed up day and night. If I’m looking for a service like this, other people must be too.
What were your perceptions of franchising before starting the process?
I had no prior experience to franchising. If you would’ve told me I was getting into pest control a couple years ago, I would have thought you were nuts. I have learned a lot of about the franchising industry through research, the advice I got from FranConnect, and starting this process. The advice FranConnect gave me was to not only look at the business or service you’re providing, but more so how the whole system works. With my son being so young, a seasonal business is a perfect fit for me.
What’s next for you and your business? Do you have any development/expansion plans with the brand?
I am working on getting all of the necessary equipment together and will then begin hiring for the season. At this point, I am doing a lot of research on the Zika virus – four cases have been confirmed in Cleveland and people have been returning from South America to the states after contracting the virus abroad. I think it’s going to become a major influence on our business.
Visit the International Franchise Association’s @OurFranchise website for more stories of passionate local franchise owners, employees and their communities.