OSWALDO QUINTERO, 45, of Willow Grove, owns Jig-Saw Exterminating in Feltonville. He got into the business in 2001 and it has been on Rising Sun Avenue near Mascher Street since 2010. Jig-Saw does mostly commercial exterminating. Quintero recently finished the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses 12-week program at Community College of Philadelphia designed to help companies grow.
Q: What did you learn during the program?
A: I better understand financials. Sometimes we know how to make money, but it's not how much you make but what you do with it after you make it.
Q: You've grown your business since the program?
A: Part of what I learned was seeing opportunities to expand. After finishing the program, I began negotiating with the owner of Triumph Exterminating in South Philadelphia, and we have [acquired] that company.
Q: How'd you acquire Triumph?
A: I sold some property.
Q: How'd you get into the exterminating business?
A: I was living in Orlando and was the morning-show host on a Spanish-speaking talk-radio station. The show was canceled and I needed something to do. I came up here to run this business [which my cousin had been running] and eventually I bought it using my car as a down payment. I grew it from 40 accounts to 150 to 200 accounts in five years.
Q: The name Jig-Saw?
A: This business is kind of like a puzzle because pest control can be impossible to solve unless you have the right expertise.
Q: What's Jig-Saw do?
A: The business is 90 percent commercial and 10 percent residential.
Q: Some customers?
A: Restaurants, dental and doctors' offices, grocers and schools. Restaurants make up the single largest number of commercial clients, about 60 percent.
Q: Cost of services?
A: It averages from $45 to $120 a month, and they're recurring accounts. We have about 450 customers.
Q: What's the value proposition for Jig-Saw?
A: If I don't take care of your pest problem, you don't have to pay me. I don't think anybody can beat that.
Q: Biggest challenge?
A: Having the capital to do a broad marketing campaign. I've advertised mostly on Spanish-speaking radio and newspapers. But if I want to advertise in the mainstream media, I have to spend a lot more.
Q: How big a biz is this?
A: In 2013 we did $259,000 in gross revenue. I'm projecting an increase of 20 to 30 percent growth per year for the next five years. We now have six employees plus myself.
On Twitter: @MHinkelman