The pool service industry grew almost 7% from 2020, indicating steady growth in the popularity of this field. Want to dive into your own pool service business but aren’t sure how to go about it? This article will give you some pitfalls to avoid as you go about making a splash in your community.
- Benefits of Running a Pool Service Business
- 6 Biggest Mistakes in the Pool Service Business
- How to Avoid these Common Pool Service Mistakes!
Benefits of Running a Pool Service Business
- You don’t need a large investment to get started: The startup costs for a pool service business can often be as little as $2,000 (not including any licensing fees). Most capital is put towards equipment and supplies, such as water test kits, cleaning chemicals, skimmers, brushes, and leaf rakes.
- You can work outdoors: Tired of the typical cubicle gig and craving fresh air? Running a pool service business is great because you inherently spend time outdoors.
- You don’t need to dress professionally: Board shorts and a t-shirt will suffice; no more fancy pants and button-downs!
6 Biggest Mistakes in the Pool Service Business
When operating a successful pool service business, be sure to avoid making these mistakes to ensure longevity in the field:
Incorrectly Charging for Chemicals
In the pool service business, chemicals play a vital role in making sure a pool stays clean and safe for all swimmers. While you can’t predict when a pump motor needs to be replaced or when a skimmer can get clogged, you can anticipate the chemicals needed during peak season. For the busy summer months, you’ll need to be prepared for the soaring cost of chemicals.
There are a few different options to address this problem:
- Invoice chemicals directly without a contract
- Yearly contracts that increase from May through September to account for the uptick in pricing
- Yearly contracts that divide that increased cost across all months
Whatever way you decide to structure how your company charges for pool servicing chemicals, you can’t neglect the increased cost of chemicals during the summer.
Whether you handle commercial, residential, or a combination of both types of clients, you need to be efficient in your routing to maximize your business. A set route can help you manage your daily scheduling to help best utilize your employees and their time.
You can’t predict the exact amount of time you are going to spend at a property for a cleaning, so it’s important to make sure both travel time and overhead charges, such as gas, for your vehicle aren’t wasted crisscrossing your service area.
A set route can help you manage your daily scheduling to help best utilize your resources.
One common type of route used by pool service business owners is the “Circle Route” in which you map out all your daily properties from a starting point and basically create in which you start from the office and end at your office. This ensures your technicians are serving all clients within that area.
Another popular route type is the “Mountain Route”; the main idea is you drive out to the farthest property from your office then work your way back to your office, stopping at all scheduled properties for the day as you get closer to the office.
Defining an efficient method of routing will help reduce all your vehicle costs and make your labor spend more efficient – this is important because the time spent between jobs is “non-billable” time. After all, you’re paying your employee (or yourself) and not getting paid for that labor. The shorter you make this time through your day by routing efficiently, the more profits you make in your business.
Optimizing service routes also lessens the overall wear and tear on your service vehicles, which saves money in the long run on preventative maintenance being scheduled more frequently than needed.
Miscommunication Between Technicians and Customers
You might not be accounting for this mistake, but if repeated frequently enough, it can cost you customers. Your technicians should be paying attention to specific customer requests and delivering top-quality service every time in order to build trust, rapport, and loyalty with your clientele. When notes get overlooked or technicians mix up customers, it can reflect poorly on your business.
No Contracts in the Off-Season
Pool parties and fun in the sun are mostly associated with the summer months, but what about when the summer season is over? It’s common for residential pool owners to want to cancel their service until the next season or, for commercial properties, to question the need for service in a yearly contract.
However, as the weather changes to the winter months, there are plenty of opportunities for your company to continue working. For example, the piles of leaves that fall on the yard will also fall into the pool. Depending on the area that your company is based in, you could easily schedule 5-day week services to skim leaves.
During the freezing months, it is important to make sure the pools are still operating to keep the PVC pipes from freezing and splitting so that they can be up and running for the following summer. Working during the Fall and Winter months typically will not require as many chemicals during the summer since pools are not in use and the water temperatures run cold. However, the amount of time and labor that will need to be spent on each job will likely increase.
Full-year service contracts are an excellent way to prevent your business from falling into the trap of “seasonality” that can force annual layoffs and reduce your income during the off-season.
Complicated Payment Methods
The days of sending payment through the mail to pay paper invoices that might get lost in the mail – or be missed completely – are over. You don’t want to make it painful for your customers to give you their money! With all the electronic and technological resources available to process invoices and payments, your pool service business should have a streamlined and effective way of handling transactions.
Trying to Run Your Pool Service Business on Paper
Mountains of paperwork might be how your pool service business started out its operations, but it doesn’t have to be such a struggle today! Telling your technicians to track everything they’re doing in a notebook or rifling through file folders to locate a client’s information can be incredibly unproductive and frustrating. Not to mention that everyone has different handwriting – some of which is easier to read than others, and which can lead to misunderstandings.
If you have a handful of clients, you can keep this balancing act going for a few months before you start to miss appointments, forget important details, and ultimately lose money.
How to Avoid these Common Pool Service Mistakes!
Do you know how many hours would be saved by automating all of your manual tasks? Trade-in your pen and paper and adopt an all-in-one platform management system that allows you to have unprecedented visibility and control over your entire business!
With the easy-to-use ProValet management platform, all of your routine manual tasks between you, your technician, and your homeowners are automated for one seamless, efficient solution for optimal communication and customer service. Track your team’s progress, respond to and invoice customers, and schedule services while receiving updates in real-time! With our dedication to your success, you can be confident that you’ll master this easy-to-use solution to transform your business. Contact us today to learn more!