The disinfection services business has gained particular relevance due to the coronavirus pandemic. And you can start your own business in this direction even without a license.
In urban conditions, it is comfortable to live not only for a person, but also for his numerous neighbors, including cockroaches, bedbugs, ants, mice, rats and other not the most pleasant living creatures. All these residents not only frighten with their appearance and presence, but also suffer from many diseases, such as tuberculosis, leprosy, salmonellosis, infectious hepatitis, influenza, tetanus, diphtheria, and so on.
To get rid of all this evil spirits in residential buildings, offices, enterprises, and anywhere else, humanity has come up with special procedures, such as disinfestation (destruction of insects), deratization (destruction of rodents) and disinfection (destruction of harmful microorganisms – bacteria and viruses – and prevention their appearance).
When a team of “hit-men” takes over, the business is usually referred to as disinfection services or pest/disinfestation services. If one killer-IP is hired, then he is simply called a specialist disinfector or exterminator. In connection with COVID-19, the market for disinfecting services and products around the world is growing at a tremendous pace, and therefore this niche can be called promising.
Disinfection as a business: what to expect
Business in the field of disinfection, disinfestation and deratization can hardly be called suitable for everyone. Due to its specificity, it has many repulsive moments, but at the same time there are advantages that completely cover the disadvantages.
- You can work alone. In this area, an approach is common when a disinfectant specialist works for himself, registering as an individual entrepreneur and leaving for orders on call on his own.
- No licensing. From September 1, 2021, disinfection activities (disinsection, disinfection and deratization) are excluded from medical activities and now do not require licensing.
- Ease of business entry. In this area, there are no serious costs to start. You do not need your own premises, the equipment costs quite affordable money, the training is simple.
- Good market conditions . During the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for disinfection services has increased. Having mastered this business and not miscalculating with the target audience and channels to reach it, you can get into a trendy and profitable niche.
Disadvantages and difficulties of business:
- Business is not for everyone. Not every person, purely psychologically, can work with rodents and harmful insects, happily look for cockroach nests, see live and dead mice and rats every day, work with chemicals, visit places where hordes of fleas and bedbugs live, and often deal with marginal clients.
- Seasonality of demand. Disinfectors receive the largest number of orders from the end of March to the end of October. In the warm season, for example, there are more orders related to pest control, the so-called synanthropic insects, tied to human habitation, are most active during this period, migrate more easily and make themselves felt.
- High transport costs. One of the main items of expenditure is movement around the city, as disinfectors have to constantly drive around by car to visit customers, sometimes winding up a substantial amount per day. In a year, mileage can exceed 80 thousand kilometers.
- High competition . Due to the ease of entry into the business, there is quite serious competition in the market. In a large city, many large cleaning companies and disinfection services operate in parallel, competing for commercial contracts, tens and hundreds of private specialists who are ready to put spokes in each other’s wheels.
- Working with harmful substances. The disinfectants used in the process are highly harmful, so disinfectors need to be constantly on the alert and not forget about their own safety and protective equipment.
It is also worth noting that although services in the field of disinfection during the coronavirus pandemic seem to be a super-profitable business, in practice, not everything is so perfect. During the period of mass closure of office premises, catering organizations and shopping centers, cleaning companies lost most of their customers at once. At the same time, since Rospotrebnadzor has set new stringent conditions for the opening of many enterprises and put forward new sanitary requirements, the need for cleaning and disinfection has remained. Rather, there was a transformation of the market, to which many operating companies did not have time to reorganize. While there was a dip in the commercial sector, demand increased in the residential sector and government agencies. There has also been a significant increase in demand for transport handling services around the world.
Another trend that needs to be taken into account in 2021 is the growth of innovative activity. Many devices and disinfection robots, hundreds of types of disinfection booths, barriers and fences for offices and enterprises began to appear around the world, not to mention millions of types of disinfection and hygiene products and products. So an alternative or additional income option for people with experience and knowledge in this niche can be dealership and sale of similar goods, installation services, and so on.
Who are the clients
Before entering the market, you need to try to understand the current realities and offer your services to those who really need them. So, who are the customers of disinfection, disinfestation and deratization services?
- Residents and owners of private houses. Especially when it comes to old houses, for example, pre-revolutionary tenement houses, converted in Soviet times into communal apartments, or Soviet Khrushchevs. Where the walls are leaky, there are cracks or even holes in the floors, and dysfunctional neighbors live nearby, there will always be a lot of pests.
- First floor residents. Here, buildings can be absolutely any, practically no one is insured.
- Dormitories . University students, workers and other residents of hostels are rarely cleanliness, and disinfectors have to deal with the consequences.
- Management companies and HOA . If many people suffer from the dominance of insects or rodents, residents can apply through companies and partnerships representing their interests.
- State organizations. Contracts with state-owned companies can bring significant profits, but getting municipal orders and tenders will take time and connections.
- Hotels and hostels . For the hotel business, cleanliness is one of the key issues.
- Restaurants, cafes, canteens . Wherever food is handled, there are problems with cockroaches, ants and flies. If the owners of the catering establishment do not keep cleanliness, then after the inspections of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Station, you can completely be left without a business.
- Industrial premises and warehouses . For many industries, disinfection is a mandatory procedure.
- Transport companies . One of the most relevant areas of disinfection and cleaning in connection with covid is the disinfection of public transport – buses, trolleybuses, trams, train and metro cars.
- Kindergartens, schools . Moreover, both public and private schools, gardens and clubs.
- Fitness clubs and sports clubs . The abundance of customers creates problems with cleaning and unpleasant odors, in connection with which the owners often use disinfection and deodorization services.
- Construction trailers at construction sites . Temporary housing for workers and all kinds of change houses are the favorite habitat for blood-sucking insects, such as bedbugs.
From this exhaustive list, it is not difficult to understand that the majority of clients are somehow concentrated in large cities. Therefore, the main market for disinfection services (about 60%) falls on Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Services of the disinfection service
Here is a list of services that can be provided in this type of business.
1. Disinsection . There are several basic principles of insect control. This is either a mechanical method, when traps, Velcro, nets are placed or they are exposed to temperatures. Or a chemical method – using pesticides or insecticides. And the biological method, when insect enemies come to the rescue, for example, special bacteria.
The service usually includes several stages:
- Inspection of the premises and identification of nests. One of the key skills that distinguishes a professional from an ordinary person who is about to poison pests is the ability to quickly find their nest, as well as knowledge of the most common breeding sites. Sometimes such places can be quite unexpected, such as old sockets or wall paintings. As a result of examining the premises, an experienced disinfector will be able not only to quickly identify the outbreaks, but also to understand how the pests initially entered the premises. The case here is not limited to cockroaches or bedbugs, sometimes you have to deal with nests of wasps, hornets and other stinging insects.
- Choice of means of processing. At this stage, depending on the results of the inspection and the parameters of the room, the specialist selects the processing methods and chemicals, determines their dosage. Here you need to know the types of tools and the nuances of their use. In areas where food is stored, pets or children are often present, this is especially important.
- Room preparation . There is a clearing of places, if necessary, furniture is taken out, bed linen, mattresses, etc. are removed.
- Room processing . The actual disinfection process, which is performed by a specialist. When processing, it is important to remove curious owners from the premises – sometimes this can be difficult to do.
- Preventive measures. Sometimes, after processing, a specialist may take additional measures to eliminate pests. For example, set up sticky cockroach traps to finish off those individuals that will still be able to move.
2. Deratization . Various methods are also used to exterminate rodents. With the mechanical method, traps and traps are also placed. In addition, there are all kinds of baits with poisons and ultrasonic repellers. Unlike working with insects, derat control requires a specialist to come to the site more than once to check the traps. When working, it is also important to block the access path of rodents to the object: they can come from warehouses or basements, food markets, neighboring garbage dumps. Most often, anticoagulants are used against rodents, which prevent blood clotting. A special type of service is disinfestation of moles – with its own selection of methods, preparations used and methods of payment (the price is usually set not by square meters, but by the number of acres).
3. Disinfection . Disinfection is aimed at the destruction of harmful and pathogenic microorganisms or the prevention of their occurrence. Like pest control, it can be current, preventive and final. Disinfection methods include:
- Physical. Includes exposure to temperatures and different types of radiation, as well as methods of washing, shaking, and so on.
- Air. Hot air is used in the sterilizer.
- Chemical. With the use of various substances, such as chlogeskidin, deoxone, chloramine, ampholane.
- Steam. Steam saturation of the sterilizer.
3. Deodorization. Sometimes disinfectants are called in to eliminate unpleasant odors. For example, when moving into an apartment from previous owners, an unfading smell of older people may remain. Very often it is required to eliminate the smell left in the apartments of cat owners and dog owners, to carry out deodorization in car interiors. There are also quite unpleasant stories when customers contact the company because of a putrid smell and then it turns out that a lonely elderly neighbor died behind the wall. In addition to private clients, there may be orders from companies, for example, from hotels, sports clubs, libraries, and so on.
4. Comprehensive services. A standard set of services can be combined into packages, providing discounts for them. For example, “disinfection + deodorization”. Or processing of several apartments at a discount.
5. Consultations. A disinfection specialist spends a lot of time advising clients on the phone. The more facts you can find out, the easier it will be in the work. You also need to guide a person on prices, because sometimes even in the price list it is impossible to give an exhaustive answer about the final cost of services. After all, it depends on specific conditions, area, processing methods and distance to the object. Usually all consultations are provided free of charge.
In addition to the price list, one way or another, it is important for clients to find out the duration of the procedures. Therefore, it must be indicated, or denoted by time ranges. Also, many companies give guarantees for their services, which are prescribed in the contract. For example, a 12-month warranty with one free re-treatment.
The cost of purchasing equipment and drugs can be called relatively inexpensive. One of the main types of equipment can be called cold fog generators – devices for spraying aerosols. Fog generators allow fast automated processing of residential and commercial premises and vehicles, as well as public areas with working solutions. A pair of generators of different power and range (for large and small rooms) can be purchased for about 50-60 thousand rubles.
You will also need a motor-knapsack sprayer, pump-action sprayers, an ozonizer, protective equipment (masks and respirators), and overalls. The same costs can include chemicals, starter sets of traps and baits. For equipment and consumables, 100-150 thousand rubles may well be enough.
It is also worth mentioning that a car can also be considered one of the types of equipment, since the craftsmen work on site. Sometimes you have to fulfill a wide variety of orders in a day, so you have to carry everything with you. Therefore, it is worth thinking about the ergonomic organization of space in the car. And also make sure that personal belongings do not coexist with chemicals and other dangerous goods.
Safety at work
All poisons are divided into 4 hazard classes. The most dangerous of them is the first class, which includes, for example, magtoxin-type fumigants. The use of such poisons indoors is prohibited. But in the work of disinfectors, only poisons of the third and fourth classes are usually used.
When it comes to safety, keep in mind that precautions apply to both the disinfector itself and its customers. Of course, cases of death of people as a result of disinfection procedures practically do not occur. However, from time to time there are cases of death of pets, for example, dogs. Often, some drugs can cause serious skin irritations and allergic reactions to the owners or tenants of the premises. As a result of such stories, the company can easily be sued.
Of course, the specialists themselves, in addition to the correct choice of acceptable norms for the amount of volatile substances, should always work in protective suits and masks, and wear gloves.
Staff and training
You can work as a disinfector on your own, or organize a service by hiring assistants. It should be borne in mind that there is a rather high turnover of personnel in this area. Intelligent specialists are quickly drawn into the business and try to work independently. Others consider it just a temporary “rough” job, with a rather low, as a rule, salary and vague prospects.
According to Russian laws, such activities require appropriate education. To do this, you will need to take courses in any educational organization. Training takes about 430 hours. During the training, it will be necessary to familiarize yourself with educational and methodological literature, sanitary norms and standards, and pass exams.
It is worth noting that, as in many other areas, the presence of a “crust” in our country, unfortunately, does not guarantee any knowledge. Therefore, self-education and the desire of the person himself to learn and develop in the chosen field come to the fore. Professional communities can provide great assistance to young professionals. Disinfectors have such experience exchange groups both in social networks and in popular instant messengers. So if you have questions regarding the use of a drug, or the exchange of orders, today there are always those who can answer you in touch.
After completing the training, you can register a business as an individual entrepreneur or LLC and start working. As the main OKVED codes, you can specify:
- 39.00 Provision of services in the field of elimination of consequences of pollution and other services related to waste disposal
- 81.10 Integrated premises maintenance activities
Usually, specialists work with chemicals that are freely available, and no special permits are needed for their use. No license is required for this type of activity. According to the new document “Regulations on Licensing Medical Activities”, approved on June 1, 2021, disinfection activities (disinfestation, disinfection and deratization) were excluded from the list of works constituting medical activities. Therefore, from September 1, 2021, a medical license is not required to carry out disinfection work. However, if you wish, your organization can undergo voluntary certification for compliance with international standards in the field of disinfection.
Advertising and sales channels
In this type of business, both traditional advertising methods, such as posting ads on information stands in stairwells and in elevators, and modern methods of promotion on the Internet can work equally well. It must be remembered that for the first time a person usually goes to disinfectors either through word of mouth, or trying to find information on their own on the Internet. This means that in order to be known about you, a website, contextual advertising, ads on sites like Avito, Yula and Yandex.Ads, and others are desirable.
As additional methods of attracting customers, you can make discounts for pensioners, the disabled and students, reduce the cost of collective orders when a call is made to several apartments or premises. Very often, such companies agree to adhere to the principle of working 24/7, guaranteeing the departure of a specialist at any time of the day or night.
If you have a talent for writing or the ability to hold a camera in your hands, you can start your own blog. Any disinfector will always have something interesting and incredible to tell his subscribers. If necessary, your subscribers will definitely remember you. In any case, remember that generations of customers are always changing and today people born in the early 90s are becoming more and more solvent and active customers. And they will be followed by the generation of the 2000s, whom many still perceive as children in 2022. This means that new approaches to the audience are needed.
Since disinfection services can hardly be called a stable business and there is a significant seasonality factor, it is worth considering an additional source of income. For example, you can sell drugs. And the first buyers can be your own satisfied customers who want to purchase a “miracle remedy” that finally rid their premises of cockroaches.
Of course, the best advertisement for you will be positive reviews and the reputation of professionals in their field. Unfortunately, in this area there are a large number of amateurs who rip off three skins from gullible citizens in a few minutes by spraying an apartment with the cheapest insecticides.
Attachments . The amount of start-up capital depends on the scale of the planned activity. For independent work, with the appropriate education, the very minimum required for the purchase of equipment, drugs and protective equipment, that is, 100-150 thousand rubles, is enough. To be sure, let’s add another 50 thousand rubles – for future transportation costs, communications, advertising (for example, creating a simple one-page site), the costs of registering your business.
Revenue . Since orders in this area are always different, depending on the area, the number of rooms, the availability of additional services and other factors, it is difficult to name any more or less stable average bill. For example, disinfection of rooms up to 50 square meters can cost 3-5 thousand rubles, but rooms of 200-300 square meters – already 7-15 thousand rubles. Or the standard disinsection of a one-room apartment with cold fog will cost about 2.5 thousand rubles, and for enhanced premium treatment for a four-room apartment with additional services for barrier protection and odor removal, you will already take around 10 thousand rubles.
Considering the above, and also not forgetting about the influence of seasonality, any income planning here is akin to guessing on coffee grounds. Understanding should come only with direct work in the field, ideally if you already have experience as an employee in this niche by the time you launch. But if we assume that your company will receive about 15 orders per week for conditional disinfestation of one-room apartments, then the average monthly revenue will be about 150 thousand rubles.
Net profit and payback . After deducting expenses, which should include spending on transport, advertising, chemicals, traps, etc., you will receive a pre-tax profit. Say, from 100 thousand rubles of net profit under the simplified taxation system (USN 6%) will be in the region of 90 thousand rubles. That is, theoretically, you can recoup the invested amount from the very first months of work.