The success story of Rentokil

Here's how one company's ambitions saw success in a sector others wouldn't touch.

In the world of business, exciting opportunities don’t always seem apparent instantly. Unless you’re working for a ‘sexy’ company like Coca-Cola or Apple, you won’t be applauded for every entrepreneurial breakthrough you make in your field. And in many cases, the jobs that people don’t want to do are the ones with rich ore to mine.

Funeral services, pest control, crime scene cleaners, waste disposal; they’re the kind of job that the average Jo or Jolene avoids like a hated acquaintance from school, but they’re always ripe for the taking.

Tricky jobs

It’s a lesson that company Rentokil is more than aware of. The company has made a killing performing jobs that other people won’t, turning the act of getting one’s hands dirty into an art form.

The broad range of its services include:

  • Graffiti removal
  • Pest control
  • Rot removal
  • Industrial kitchen cleaning
  • And many more

The business portfolio is too vast to catalogue in a brief article, but includes washroom services company Initial and corporate interior design company Ambius. Looking over the vast empire, it can be difficult to imagine where it all started.

The answer is, however, much like the start of any other ambitious start-up. Rentokil had ambition and spotted a gap in the market, and it flooded that gap until they had a monopoly on it.

Small beginnings 

Since its inauspicious beginning, the company has become a global trendsetter in its industry, creating new ways of catching rodents or utilising the latest technology to remove graffiti from walls.

So what exactly can you learn from their example?

Lessons to be learned

For one, that knowledge is power.

Instead of carving out one small section of the hygiene market for themselves, Rentokil researched every facet of the world of hygiene. And with that knowledge in its back pocket, it went on to dominate the industry.

The second lesson you can learn from the company is its sheer dedication.

From website design to customer service to the actual work performed onsite, one of the watch words of Rentokil has always been quality. And it shows. This is why customers continue to flock to it.

A glowing website

You only have to look at the depth of content on the site to discern how much Rentokil knows about its clients’ needs. Every page has been written sharply and succinctly with the layperson in mind.

With a well-written site, a company gains the trust of a client in instants, ensuring that  in safe hands.

What’s more, those at Rentokil are willing to get their hands dirty. And unlike other waste companies, the company provides experienced staff, not poorly-paid drones.

There’s a lot to take from the Rentokil company history, and even more that you can try in your SME. So research its past further and see what qualities you can steal.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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