Starting up an ADC business

Posted By: Michael Lippold

Starting up an ADC business - 09/30/19 01:18 PM

My dad and I fur trap together and have tossed around the idea of doing some ADC work. Well he got offered a buyout and will retire in December, so with his new found free time we are thinking more about starting up a business. I wonder what some of you might suggest we need to know, or what supplies one should have before ever officially going into business. Thanks yíall ll
Posted By: LAtrapper

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 09/30/19 07:00 PM

Michael Lippold,- I suggest that you peruse the ADC ARCHIVES- https://trapperman.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/forums/17/1/animal-damage-control-archive. Although most of the posts there are quite old, most of the information is still valid. Using the search function of the forum will allow you to find updated answers to just about any question you may have. It does take quite a bit of time to establish a good reputation in an area.

Do you plan to do mainly country damage control or work in towns and cities? I worked mainly in urban areas. I worked mainly with armadillos, raccoons, fox, opossums, skunks, and bats. Wishing you the best of success in all of your endeavours.
Ron Fry
Posted By: Michael Lippold

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 09/30/19 11:47 PM

LATrapper thank you for the response Iíll start scouring the archives this evening. Not sure where most of the work will come from, we live in a rural county but I work in a small city with a population of around 75k people and itís roughly 30 miles from home. Couple of smaller towns in that radius as well
Posted By: LAtrapper

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/01/19 02:23 AM

That sounds very similar to what I had to work with.
Posted By: Getting There

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/01/19 12:01 PM

Michael, in rural area where there are a lot of people that have lived there a long time seem to take care of there own problem except for moles. The city people are different. A lot of my business come from people that have summer homes. Just make sure you have a enough client base to make a living. The numbers are some place in the archives. Good luck!
Posted By: Michael Lippold

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/01/19 12:55 PM

LATrapper thanks again for the initial info, Iíve spent a couple hours searching the archives and got several more hours to go!

Getting There, yes sir I agree that people from the country take care of there own problems, I grew up on a farm so I know all about it. Would be cool to someday make my living off of trapping but right now just want to test the waters and make a little side money, that will all just get put back into buying supplies. If I had it my way and could do it I would only trap on acreages doing depredation work and some beaver and rat work but I just donít think itís feasible around here. There are a lot of City folk trying to build homes outside of town that have no idea how to take care of there problems themselves. Who knows we may try it out and decide if takes the fun out of trapping.
Posted By: Joe Taylor

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/01/19 10:15 PM

Originally Posted by Michael Lippold
Who knows we may try it out and decide it takes the fun out of trapping.

I expect that doing ADC work will bring a new level of satisfaction above and beyond your past trapping experiences. With ADC work your mission is to resolve a problem that someone else canít accomplish on their own. You get to see the relief on someoneís face as they peer at the culprit you caught in a trap. You return peopleís lives to normal. You safeguard a customerís home. And after that they gladly fling wads of cash in your face. Win win!
Posted By: EatenByLimestone

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/01/19 10:55 PM

Remember to always consider how the setup looks to a non trapper. That foothold trap may be legal, but it's not going to look good to a customer's neighbor who's an animal lover.
Posted By: Getting There

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/01/19 11:10 PM

Joe Taylor had some real good points. The mind set of a ADC trapper has to be much different than that of a fur trapper.
Posted By: Michael Lippold

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/02/19 01:40 AM

Joe Taylor that makes perfect sense. It is nice to have a skill that many others rely on.

Eatenbylinestone that is definitely something to keep in mind we sure donít need any negative press as trappers
Posted By: Michigan Trappin

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/02/19 09:56 AM

Itís a hoot at times, especially when catching animals in the cities. Some people are just terrified of animals

But to make a lot of money at it, you may need to do exclusions and repairs. I have a lot of experience in construction but just hate doing repairs and exclusions so it limits my income, but itís a choice as my place in life now is different

Also if you are going to just do it part time, I recommend limiting yourself to certain species/methods. As live trapping requires daily attention to every jobsite. While moles/beavers/rats/ect can be attended differently

Good luck and have fun too
Posted By: Muddawg

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/04/19 12:41 AM

The best advice I can give is to learn something about home and building structure. Carpentry skills are a big plus in this business as the damage left behind will need repair. For that matter, a large amount of our exclusion work IS damage repair. It's also helpful to know how a home or building is put together so that you will have a better understanding of how an animal may travel through or live in a structure. Knowledge of roof and roofing materials is almost a necessity as you'll be faced with some roof repair as well.

Secondly, learn all you can about every species of wildlife in your area. Your customers will look to YOU for this knowledge. They will have questions and you need to be prepared to answer them. They consider YOU to be the expert on wildlife and animal habits.

Third, you must keep in mind that fur trapping and ADC work are completely different. While a background in trapping can help, you'll find that ADC work requires a different set of skills. You'll be dealing with a wider variety of animals in some situations that, quite frankly, you may not even imagine. And public education is gonna be a large part of it. You'll have to explain what you're doing, what your intentions are, how long it may take you and at what price.

And, finally, if you have a fear of heights or claustrophobia, then this may not be the line of work for you. You may be crawling under a house today to remove a venomous snake and standing on the top rung of a 35 foot ladder tomorrow to evict a colony of bats from a gable. I know a couple guys around me who got their certification, jst like I did, but refer a lot of work to me. One, because he doesn't do ladders or snakes, so I get all of his bat, squirrel and snake jobs.

Businesses like this tend to do much better in large cities and heavily populated areas where the residents know little about wildlife and are afraid of everything. Rural areas where people are spread out, there is very little business to be done.

You'll need to set your pricing to match other service professionals in your area. For example, if the average service call for a plumber or an electrician is $125.00, then your service call should be around $125.00.

For the most part, ADC work is fun and rewarding. I don't make a lot of money at it as I live in a mostly rural county where average incomes are low. But I have a chance to educate people and help to conserve our wildlife for generations to come.
Posted By: Joe Taylor

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/05/19 01:54 AM

Originally Posted by Muddawg
You'll need to set your pricing to match other service professionals in your area. For example, if the average service call for a plumber or an electrician is $125.00, then your service call should be around $125.00.

I think this is one good starting point to consider in tandem with others. Other contributors have noted factoring in business expenses and mileage to arrive at a service call fee. I think another way to price out your fee is to calculate how much you need to earn per day (or week) to earn what the business needs to be profitable (including your wages), and adjust your service call fees accordingly. To increase or decrease your service call fee by (for example) $25 may appear arbitrary, but if it is backed by your business plan, then there is a basis for it. Play out the math. If you have five service calls per week, that translates into an extra $125 per week, which might be significant to a start-up business. If enough people balk at the price, adjust accordingly. If things go well enough for the business, you might even find that you need to adjust your prices up just to slow down the number of people saying yes to your services. All this to say that I think it is good to know why you charge what you charge, and donít feel that you have to rigidly stay set on that price. You do not need to break all of this down to customers, but it is good as a business owner to think it out.
Posted By: Trapper Don

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/06/19 08:53 PM

You come from trapping back ground. This is a business. Dont think like a trapper in pricing. Per animal will not pay the bills. 27 years in business here, we only really got successful when started working and pricing as a consultent. People think trappers get paid by the pelt.....only real successful businesses I know charge by the hour and get paid for everything they do. After a quick interview on the phone I start the clock. Get paid for what you know as well as what you do.
Attend one of the training seminars. Little investment will yield better bottim line.
Check the archives as others said.
Don LaFountain
Posted By: Muddawg

Re: Starting up an ADC business - 10/16/19 01:07 PM

Oh! One last thing for you to consider.

In ADC work, you're still gonna get calls for animals that you are experienced with in fur trapping, such as coyotes, bobcat and beaver.

I'm going to use beaver for my example here. By the time the land owner calls you to come trap beaver for compensation, he's already had fur trappers in there. He'll start with the guy that will do it for free. This is the average fur trapper who is grateful for a place to trap. What he's gonna do is go in, take as many as he can, as quick as he can, then pull out to go somewhere else to trap where he can catch numbers. To him, it's all about how many furs he can send to market. I don't blame him. When trapping for our own purposes, we all do the same thing. But the land owner is still left with a beaver problem because he just took out the dumb ones and left the wiser ones to breed and continue to build dams and flood fields and such.

Next, the land owner offers some minimum payment per animal and another trapper comes in thinking he's making out like a fat rat because he wants to put fur on the truck and someone is PAYING him to do it. He'll mill around in there for a week or two, but when he sees that it's not cost effective, he'll pull out and go elsewhere as well. The land owner is still left with the wise old beaver that's made himself a home body there.

Now, the land owner calls you, because you are the professional and you are the one who is suppose to solve his beaver problem. So by the time you get there, 2 or 3 or even more trappers have already been in there ahead of you. They've taken all the young beaver, the stupid beaver and the easy catches. Now the ones who are left are wise and trap shy. They've already seen every set that you have on the truck. But now, it's still your job to catch them. You can not do it at a per animal price! You'll go broke doing it that way. Now it's up to you to come up with some new set that nobody has ever used, find those travel ways that are still fresh, distinguish the new sign from those left by the beaver already removed and catch all that are left there! This will take time!

Prime example: I had a guy call me to get the water off his young pines. When talking about price, he was surprised at my per week price and thought that was just too much. He told me the last guy only charged him $25 per beaver. I looked him straight in the eye and told him, "If the last guy had done his job, then you wouldn't be calling me." He grudgingly agreed to my price and I did the job. I was in there for three weeks. I took 6 beaver the first week, 2 beaver the second week and on the last day of the third week, I finally caught the last beaver. But I got them all. That was three years ago and the last time I checked, the dams had still not been built back. The landowner was happy and has since hired me for other jobs.

Point is, had I done that job at a per beaver price, I would have lost money. The trappers around here who charge are taking beaver for $50 apiece. 9 beaver at $50 per is only $450. That's not even a good weeks pay. I was there for three weeks! The first day I was in there for about 6 hours, then 2 hours a day for three weeks and about 3 and a half hours to pull all my sets. A total of 11 hours in the water when I could have been making $50 an hour on other jobs.

So, the short of it is, charge for the time, not for the animal.
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