Banner image for Lind Pest Control & Inspection Services logo, Randy & Beth Lind, owners for 20 years

Lind Pest Control Marks 20 Years in Business

20 YEARS

Well, we made the 20 years in business mark this month.  Over the years, my wife and I have learned a lot about owning and running our own business.  After putting in 11 years of hard work as another company’s lead technician and sole pest inspector, my wife and I decided to take a leap of faith and start our own business.  With her business background, and work experience, we knew we would make a great team and make an equally successful run at it.  I thought I’d share some of the trials and tribulations of our “journey”.

STARTING OFF

We purchased a brand new truck, along with all of the necessary equipment and products it would take to be successful.  We set up a home office with everything we needed.  We put together our business plan, set up all of our forms, aligned all of our legal paperwork, and created our infrastructure.

We were now officially in business as LIND PEST CONTROL & INSPECTION SERVICES, INC.  It didn’t take too long for the phone to start ringing. My wife was still working her full time job (we planned for her to continue this for the first year).  I would field the calls and go out to the properties to perform pest control services.  She would come home and type up any pest inspection reports that I had performed that day.  This continued for approximately 1 year before we realized we were too busy for her to “hang on” to her full time position.  It was then that we made our next big decision.

DECISION 1

We were now both under the employ of LIND PEST CONTROL & INSPECTION SERVICES, INC.  This was a huge step seeing we were now in the sole responsible position of fending for ourselves, for everything.  All of our bills, health insurance, everything we owned etc!!!  Although it was a huge decision, and one we stressed over prior to making it and a bit of time thereafter, it didn’t take long for us to realize that, once again, we had made the correct decision.  We were off to a pretty  steady start.  That is until 9/11.  Yes that infamous date affected all of us.  Needless to say, pest control was the last thing on folks minds during the next few weeks.  We made our way through it though and managed to stay afloat.

We took some time out to go to a crab feed they had annually at Bellarmine Prep school.  We all were able to take our minds off of the tragic event and managed to have a real fun time.  The really fun part to that story is that my wife, Beth and I hadn’t taken a vacation since our honeymoon and didn’t see it in the cards (money-wise) to take another one for quite some time.  Well, they had a raffle at the crab feed, and first prize was an all-expense paid trip to Miami (or anywhere else) to see a Washington Husky football game.

You may have guessed this, but they called my name out for the grand prize!!!  We ended up going to Tempe Arizona where we stayed at the Mission palms on Mill Ave.  It was close enough to the stadium to walk and close to dozens of primo restaurants and watering holes.  We had a fabulous time and were so thankful for this stroke of luck that seemed to generate even more fire, ambition, and motivation to inject into our company.

DECISION 2

We built business and clients every day.  Word was out that LIND PEST CONTROL & INSPECTION SERVICES, INC. were the ones to call for the best service in the industry.  It was time for our next step.  We needed to move out of our home office and find a commercial spot for our business.  We couldn’t afford a big fancy place, but we needed to open up a public office that folks could see and come to if needed.  After much deliberation we decided to open up an office space on 6th avenue, near Pine street, in Tacoma.

It was a modest space with an open floor plan where we could set up 4 desks.  It had 1 bathroom and was connected to an insurance agency next door and apartments above.  We stayed in this office for about 18 months until the water heater upstairs burst and ruined a bunch of our papers and made a real mess.  We would move to a larger office space next.  On the corner of 6th avenue and Madison, a house came up for lease.  It was zoned commercial and had a big open space for our desks.  There was a back sunroom area, that would become my office, and a front enclosed area that would become our technicians space.  It also had a detached garage that could house 2 trucks.

DECISION 3

We were getting busy!!!  During our time at the 6th and Pine street location, we decided to hire an employee.  Of course, this meant we would need to purchase another new truck along with all of the equipment.  Thomas was going to be our first employee.  We hired him as a technician and I trained him to become the best technician he could be.  After a while, we discovered that with 2 technicians (Thomas and me) there was twice as much paperwork/office work.  This is when we decided to hire our second employee (Joanne) as an office assistant.

We were moving right along now and our business was really growing.  So much so, that now we decided to hire another technician.  Another new truck and equipment.  Steven was going to be our next employee.  When he showed up, on his first day, we were in the midst of moving out of the 6th & pine street office to the 6th and Madison place due to the water heater fiasco.

We later realized, jokingly, what this must have looked like to Steven, but he quickly realized the top notch organization that he had signed up for.  Steven went on to work for us for ten years and was, to this date, the best employee we ever had (and we’ve had a lot of good ones).  He needed a lot of training, as he was young and inexperienced.  What he lacked in experience, he made up for with his attitude and perseverance.  Of course, we now needed another office person.  Enter Carissa.  We were officially on our way to serious growth.

DECISION 4

Some of our employees came and went.  This was one of the aspects of running a business we never considered.  Beth and I had always been employees who were loyal and dependable.  We did our job to the fullest and we worked to improve ourselves and our position for the companies we had worked for.  We tended to stay with our positions for long periods of time.  Neither of us considered how hard it would be to find those qualities in folks we wanted working for us.  Furthermore, how difficult it can be to hang on to them for a decent stretch of time.  Regardless, we worked hard to hire, train, and employee quality employees.

One day, as I was driving back to the office, I saw a “for sale” sign on a nice little craftsman style home on 6th and Monroe (by Stevens street).  After talking it over with Beth, and doing a little research to make sure it was a commercially zoned property, we were ready for our next commitment.   We loved our 6th avenue locations and familiarity, over the years, and being a part of the 6th avenue business district.  So we put an offer on it.  Our offer was accepted, and we reside in this place today.  We fixed it up inside and out and put a new landscape down.  Eventually, we constructed a new building on the back of the property for more office space, a conference room, and a shop.

WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN?

There are so many pros to owning your own business.  But there are many cons as well.  We have taken so many risks that could have easily gone the other way and left us high and dry.  We are constantly responsible for us, our employees, and our customers.  Vacations are affordable now, but it is difficult to take them with all of the responsibilities we have.  We are on the clock 24/7.  Employees are a constant concern and sometimes a battle.  Expenses on everything have gone so sky-high, it is difficult to maintain a balance of profit and loss without pricing yourself out of business with the customer.  In addition, employment laws don’t tend to favor small businesses too much these days.

After taking this all into consideration,  I would still answer yes.  I’d do it again.  We’re proud of the business we’ve grown and the name and identity we’ve given it over the past 20 years.  We have seen our employees buy their first nice car, get their first apartment, buy their first house, etc.  We’ve had the satisfaction of teaching folks how to work in a professional environment while training them on new skills they did not have prior.  We are able to do the kind of work that is rewarding to us.

We have helped tens of thousands of folks with their pest problems, given a lot of money to various charities, met hundreds of business connections and friends, worked on various projects within our community – all while building a business and reputation, with our name on it, as part of the history of our town.  And yes, we’ve carved out a pretty good living for ourselves, through constant hard work and dedication to our goal of providing the best pest control service in the industry. It’s been an amazing 20 years.

 

Stay at Home Time with Five Crown card game

Homebody Activities During This “Stay at Home Time”

This stay at home stuff is difficult, but there are some things we can do now that we never seemed to have the time to do previously. I’ve compiled a list of ideas of what my wife and I, friends, and family are doing.

15 “Stay at Home Time” activities:

  • For sports fans, the Mariners are re-airing classic games. 
  • Sling TV has added several new networks to their repertoire at no additional cost.
  • HBO is offering free services.
  • My mother-in-law just finished the main part of a very difficult (and beautiful) Alaskan quilt. She now has to wait for the fabric store to re-open to get the border and backing materials! 
  • I get daily email messages from a buddy of mine (hello Big Mike). I’m sure he spends hours surfing and compiling his various jokes, facts, videos, etc. It keeps him occupied during this stay at home time and gives several of us, on the feed, some chuckles and important insight.
  • Pull out some old photos and organize them. You can really get caught up in that for hours!
  • You can rent movies that were recently out in theaters for cheap. We watched Once upon a Time in Hollywood the other night for $2.99!!  There’s a ton of stuff on TV.
  • Anybody still have DVD’s and a DVD player? How about a VCR?  Dig those old classics out! It’s the only way I know of to watch Cool Hand Luke (one of my all time favorite movies).
  • Cooking! My wife loves to cook. We’ve been trying all kinds of new dishes. If you have any good recipes, please share them. 
  • Read a good book. I’m currently reading a good one from David Baldacci-The Fallen. My wife is trying to get through a book called The Lost Man written by Jane Harper. It was highly recommended to her but she’s having a hard time getting into it. I guess it’s starting to get good in the twelfth chapter (yikes!). My mother-in-law has resorted to re-reading The Pillars of the Earth trilogy by Ken Follett. She and I read this series a few years ago, they are epic masterpieces (in my opinion) but it’s a real time investment as they are very lengthy books. 
  • Playing cards. We play a game called Five Crowns. It’s pretty fun-we play each hand for quarters.
  • Happy hour with a wine and a beer listening to music.
  • Yard work!!! I’ve been spending hours out there cleaning up from the winter-weeding, moss out, pressure washing, raking, mowing, clipping, etc. I’ll be ready for fresh soil in the raised garden beds, herb beds, and re-seeded grass areas of the lawn. Then it’ll be time for bark.  Still much to do out there!!
  • Exercise. We’re putting a quasi-schedule together for our treadmill and total gym. Walking outdoors is great when the weather cooperates. Remember social distancing when you’re out in places like the Ruston Waterfront Park or Chambers Bay.
  • Finally, how ‘bout a nap? Not that I’ve had much of a chance to partake, but it sounds great!

 

My wife and I actually spend much of our time at work still.

Our heart goes out to all of those who are out of work due to the stay at home restrictions. We are proud to be able to supply our employees with steady work, and paychecks, as part of an essential business. 

Though we have slowed down considerably, we continue to supply full paychecks by filling our employees “down time” with cleanup work on the office, vehicles, equipment, etc. It also gives us a chance to train, re-train, and study. 

We understand these are trying times for everyone and we hope and pray for everyone’s health and survival…now and in the upcoming months and even years. 

 

A special offer:

If you are in need of pest control, we appreciate you supporting a local small business like LIND PEST CONTROL to take care of your needs. In recognition of these hard times, we are offering $50.00 off of any initial service in the month of April. We hope this allows you to get the professional help you need, with pests, at a bargain rate.

Thank you, stay safe, and God bless

 

Lind Pest Control Trucks

We’re Hiring – Pest Control Operators & Apprentice Positions

Join Team Lind

We are always looking and hiring full-time Pest Control Operators and apprentices. No Experience Necessary. A good driving record and customer service experience is a plus.

If you’re looking for a great career with a great company, we’d love to talk with you about joining our team.

We offer:

  1. A non-smoking environment.
  2. Employer paid expenses for continuing education, training, and licensure.
  3. Full and part-time scheduling.
  4. Salary based on experience plus a bonus program.
  5. Benefits: (Full time only) Medical/dental insurance vacation/sick leave accruals and holiday pay. 401K Retirement Program (Company Match / Profit Sharing).

Apply Now

For a full list of qualifications and position responsibilities: Pest Control Operator & Apprentice Position(s).

To apply head to our careers page.

 

Reviewed: 3/2018

Lind Pest Control & Inspection Services logo, Randy & Beth Lind

Our History

My family and I moved to University place in 1969. Back then, there were relatively few houses and not much commerce. There was one grocery store (Food King), one drug store (Don’s Drugs), and some other scattered shops. There were a few gas stations, one bank, a seven eleven, and Bob’s Burger Inn (which later was rebuilt and became Captain Nemo’s). The other burger joint (The Viking) became the Country Squire (restaurant and lounge). The thing we did have was a lot of woods and nature around us.

 

The Straightaway

As a young boy, I had a lot of friends around the neighborhood. I also had 3 brothers. We would go on day hikes through the woods in search of the perfect place to build a fort. I lived on a dead end, and the next “road” over was a long sandy dirt “road” that was surrounded by woods. There was a swamp at the end of the dirt road. My friends, brothers, and all of the kids from the surrounding neighborhoods were attracted to this area and it supported endless hours, days, and years of entertainment. We rode our dirt bikes down the dirt road (we called it the “straightaway”) and all around the tracks we made. We spent many a day playing baseball on the “straightaway”.  It was pretty easy to get enough guys and organize a competitive game. We would occasionally talk an adult into being our umpire. I remember my friend E.J.’s dad used to do it quite a bit. One summer day, while we were playing baseball, Ace Busby, flew his plane over us several times and waved. He seemed to be around a lot that summer. Of course, we did have an airport (Oswald’s Airport). The area it occupied is now businesses and apartments on 27th street.

The “swamp” was a particularly intriguing place where boys could have a lot of fun and also get into a little trouble. We would catch frogs, tadpoles, snakes, and all kinds of bugs. I think this was my introduction to nature and reptiles and bugs.

 

Mr. Michael

I started second grade at Narrows View Elementary School when we moved to University Place. In the fifth grade I landed in the classroom of Mr. Michael. Mr. Michael had the reputation of being a strict disciplinarian and had acquired the nickname of “Mr. Mean” (he was quite proud of it). He was also known for teaching WELL BEYOND the fifth grade educational curve. I learned very quickly that this was not going to be an easy year for me in school.

Our homework assignments were expected to be finished completely and correctly. The penmanship was to be neat and spelling correct. Mr. Michael would stand up in the middle of the classroom and grade each student’s assignment individually.  If done very well, he would take out his stamp and stamp “Grade Goal” on the sheet. If it was done reasonably well, he would stamp it “Approval”. If it was not done well, he would stamp it “Below Ability” and have some humiliating words for you. If you completely messed it up, he would take his red marker and literally slash and circle all of your “mistakes”. If he really got worked up, he would rip your paper up in front of the class.

About a quarter of the way through the year, I begged my parents for a transfer to another class. They, of course, thought that this type of discipline was exactly what I needed. Slowly, I started to learn that if I put my mind to it I was very capable of writing neat and coming up with answers to my homework assignments. I began to take on assignments and special projects. I started staying after class with a friend of mine to learn about photography and we learned the process of developing photos. We dissected frogs and learned a great deal about them. Mr. Michael showed us a project that he had done a few years prior. It was an animation project that he had help draw and film.

My friend, Larry, and I became very interested and asked Mr. Michael if we could try our hand at drawing some animation about frogs. To our delight, he was all for it! We spent the rest of the year drawing our animated film after school. We must have drawn more than a thousand pictures, all the while learning about frogs. I owe a lot of thanks to Mr. Michael. I ended up getting straight A’s out of the final trimester on my report card. Mind you, we were probably working at a 7th or 8th grade level! I learned a lot about discipline and how to apply myself and take interest in learning.

 

Mount Rainier for the Youth Conservation Corps

When I was sixteen, I had the privilege to work at Mount Rainier for the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). That summer was probably some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. We had a base camp at Longmire on the weekends and on Monday morning, our crew of 6 (plus our crew leader) headed out to the wilderness with 5 days provisions and pup tents on our backs. We learned about conservation of nature while we dug trenches and set drain bars along the trails to keep the soil from eroding the banks and trails. We built bridges, hauled rocks, cut down dead snags, etc. – all in the name of conservation of the mountain and National park. Those days of hiking 6, 7, 8 miles with all of our provisions were just as hard as the work itself. I learned what hard work was all about and the care it took for the animals and the surroundings to be protected and respected. This contributed to my next phase of interest in nature/science/Flora and Fauna.

 

Beyond Graduation

After graduating high school, I worked at a local gas station for a few years.  I moved out of the house and into the Lakes Apartments across the street from Tacoma Community College with my best friend Ty. We had a lot of fun but weren’t really going anywhere with our lives. One day he decided that he was going to join the military. In a few months, he was off to the Air Force (he retired a few years ago after 20 years of service).  I had to figure out what in the world I was going to do.

I was artistic and wanted to do something fun. Into cars at the time, I had a vision that I could create beautiful, custom paint jobs for cars and could own a business doing it (owning my own business was always a dream of mine). I decided to go to school and learn auto body repair. I soon discovered working a full-time job on the graveyard shift every night, going to school full time every day, and working on cars was a very difficult schedule to keep.

I persevered through a year and a half of this rigorous schedule until I received my certificate of completion. I began looking for work only to find the industry didn’t have much opportunity and the pay wasn’t great. I was so exhausted and disappointed, I got kind of soured on the whole idea of painting cars and gave up my dream.

 

My Start in Pest Control

I answered an ad in the paper for a small pest control company looking for a technician. “No experience required.” Hmmm. I liked physical work, I had an interest in bugs and nature and science, I enjoyed the work I had done in landscaping (which had some similarity) and thought this might be my niche. I sent my resume, filled out an application, had an interview, and got the job!

A few months into the job, the guy I was training with suffered a minor back injury playing baseball and I was catapulted into his position. Though still “training” me, he was unable to crawl under houses, which was a big part of the job. At that time, a real estate boom was going on and I was pumping out 4 to 6 inspections each day. Pest inspection work was in high demand and I was performing these inspections at a high level, with very little supervision in a very short period of time.

I also learned about the various pest treatments, performing them on a regular basis. I soon took over the truck my “trainer” had been driving. I felt bad, but this was my chance to create a successful career. It wasn’t long before I was on my own, getting to the office first and being the last one to leave every day. I often worked 10 to 12 hour days but only claimed 8. About 6 years into my position, I met a wonderful and beautiful girl (I later married her). We met at the Roy Rodeo through a mutual friend. In addition to her beauty, Beth was very smart and a great person.

I became the lead technician and remained at my position for 11 years. While I liked my job and wanted to keep doing it, options for moving forward were limited. I kept going back to my dream about owning a business.

 

The Birth of Lind Pest Control & Inspection Services, Inc.

My wife worked for a grocery distributor in management and we often talked about the challenges and rewards of owning a business. After 11 years of hard work, I decided to leave my position. Together we would build the best pest control business this town had ever seen. With our dedication to learning, hard work, good upbringing, experience, and much more, we have built a wonderful and successful business that we are proud of.

In the early years of our business, we operated out of the basement of our home in North Tacoma. Beth was working a full-time job and I had resigned my position. It was a huge leap of faith. Once our business plan was complete and our system was in place (which took considerable time and planning), we were ready to field and respond to calls. I would answer the phones while Beth continued her management position at her day job. At night, when Beth returned home from work, she would often spend hours typing up daily pest inspections reports (on a typewriter!!) We would also spend hours completing administrative duties, etc. After one year, we became so busy that Beth had to resign her position and devote all of her time to our business. About a year later, we moved into our first commercial office space, purchased another truck and hired our first employee who studied and trained to become a pest control technician.

Beth and I have run LIND PEST CONTROL, INC. for over 17 years now. The satisfaction of running a successful, caring, and supportive company has been a dream come true. That is not to say we haven’t faced our share of challenges, but through perseverance, hard work, and commitment we continue to own and operate our business at a very successful and respectable level and we take great pride in it. We have developed close relationships with many of our employees (past and present) as well as many of our customers (many of whom have become friends). We are proud to be regular contributors to local community events and fundraisers as well as several charitable organizations which include the American Cancer Society, The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, and The United Way (to name a few). Seeing our employees being able to better their lives through their hard work is a very proud and rewarding feeling for us. We have seen them raise their kids, purchase new vehicles, purchase houses, and earn a better life created through the opportunity we have provided and their hard work.

 

Our continued mission

Our continued mission is to provide our customers with a great experience while taking care of their pest problems at hand.  We are proud to continue to help our local economy grow through the provision of top-notch employment opportunities while being caring and supportive members of our community.