There are many ways to start a pool cleaning business and each deserves careful consideration.
For anyone thinking about entering this field, this article will be a step in the right direction of a long and rewarding career in this business.
Starting a Pool Business
Wondering how to start a service business? Right away, you have some critical decisions to make. Should you purchase a route or go the organic route instead?
If you’re the patient and have some understanding of marketing, go the slightly harder path and start your pool maintenance company from scratch. The advantage to this approach is the lack of debt required to get started. Buying a routing pool cleaning business, on the other hand, could set you back tens of thousands of dollars not including the truck you’ll need as well.
The disadvantage to beginning organically is that it’ll take time to build up your income.
Developing Your Client List
There are a lot of ways you can develop a client list, one of which is known as a “work off.” In this way, you work for a traditional pool cleaning business for free or at a reduced rate with the arrangement that you get some accounts at the end of a decided period.
This method is only useful if you’re making money in other ways while you intern so to speak.
But it is a lower cost way to get into the business and get on the job experience.
Another way is to join up with pool builders to land new clients. Contractors can take the cost of your labor and factor it into the value the pool, making use of the first-month free offer as a significant selling point. Most builders are into providing the service after construction as plaster dust can make things more challenging in the beginning stages.
You win, and the builder wins. At the conclusion of the month, ask the homeowner if you can continue at the rate he’s been paying you. If your work is well done, they’ll probably accept your offer.
One thing though: Don’t expect to do any repairs. Ordinarily, new equipment is covered by warranty for 2 to 3 years, and the builder typically takes care of that.
Home service platforms are becoming more popular in the pool cleaning business. These services connect you with homeowners in need. Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor and Amazon Home Services are just a few of the great options you have to choose.
Some of the platforms are even created explicitly for pool professionals and bid on one-off gigs like ongoing maintenance and filter cleaning. Prices vary across all platforms.
You can even use the internet to find peers who are performing similar services to yours, in a similar locale. For instance, if you want to crack the market on Texas fiberglass pools, it helps to do your research first to see what works, and what doesn’t.
The Fast Route
Getting quick money is very attractive, and pool professionals are as game for it as any business owner. So they usually buy a route. Routes typically cost 12 times the monthly service rates on each account.
For example, if one of your routes makes $5,000 a month, you’ll pay $60,000. So consider purchasing a route with a grain of salt. Pool professionals recommend buying from a reputable pool broker.
It protects the buyer from being stuck with the customer who won’t pay and troublesome pools.
Ultimately, the broker figures out the best deal for both of you.
How it works is the broker lists available routes and then after checking out the potential buyer matches him/her up with a seller. The buyer takes a look at the seller’s accounts. That usually means they’ll request a payment history, inspect the conditions of each pool and how far the accounts are spaced apart.
A tight route is often the best route. Aim for two pools an hour and closer they’re together the better. Upon the completion of the transaction, the buyer usually gets a brief two-week training period with the seller before customers are informed their pool is now taken care of by a professional.
Things To Keep in Mind
You own the route, but that doesn’t mean your customer can’t fire you, move away or decide you’re not worth the money and clean the pool themselves. For this reason, brokers have the clause in their contract that makes it so any account lost during a specific timeframe, will be replaced by the buyer.
That’s why many pool service professionals go with brokers. They act as an effective defense against deceitful sellers who give you no training and sometimes try to steal accounts back after the transaction.
Your best bet is the slow but steady option. Buy a part-time route that’ll keep you busy for three weeks before going all in at full-time.
Starting a pool business is never easy, but once you get going, there is a world reliable and well-paying work around the corner.
Are you interested in learning more? For more resources on starting a new business, check out this article.