How to Grow a Pool Service Business

Diana LamirandAugust 23rd, 2020
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Learn how to build your own pool service business plan, create pool service marketing ideas, and gain more job leads.

Ready to dive into better net profits by growing your pool service business? If it feels like you’re only skimming the surface when it comes to realizing your company’s true profit potential, it’s time to test the waters to see whether you’re capitalizing on every opportunity.

No matter the season, opportunities abound for pool cleaning, pool maintenance, and complete pool service—for both residential and commercial customers. It’s just a matter of knowing your market and sending the right messages at the right time.

Homeowners need pool service for their outdoor pools, whether it’s cleaning and maintenance to open pools up for the season or preparing to close them down for the winter. Some customers even require regular service for indoor pools, or they live in warmer climates where their outdoor pools get more use (and more calls for repair).

Pools located in hotels, apartment complexes, hospitals, schools, fitness centers, and other commercial buildings need even more cleaning and year-round maintenance. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to provide commercial pool service, as these contracts help provide steady income for profitable pool companies.

In this guide on how to grow a pool service business, learn how to position your pool company for growth and push net profits from the shallow end into deeper waters.

Create a pool service business plan.

Describe your business.

  • Outline your service area.

  • Identify your target market.

  • Analyze market trends.

  • Know your competitors.

  • Set pool-service pricing.

  • Establish an organizational chart.

  • Choose hourly or flat-rate labor rates.

  • Brainstorm marketing ideas.

  • Include financial projections.

A business plan—whether it’s a pool cleaning business plan, pool maintenance business plan, or pool service business plan—sets the roadmap for your company to follow now and into the future. Think of it as the foundation for how you want your pool company to operate, and reference it often.

A swimming pool business plan sample typically starts with a business description that explains what services your company offers, your geographic service area, and your target market audience. Analyze market trends and identify your competitors, then set base pricing for your products and services.

According to Home Advisor, average pool service costs:

  • $177 for weekly services

  • $267 for bi-weekly services

  • $190 for monthly services

  • $266 for opening and closing only

Create an organizational chart for all employees, and determine whether you want to pay an hourly rate or offer flat-rate pricing. Brainstorm marketing strategy ideas for your pool service business, then commit a certain percentage of revenue (10 percent to 20 percent is a good start) for marketing those pool service advertising ideas.

Finally, include financial projections for future revenue and expenses, over the short-term and long-term. Break it down by month, so you can easily see projected revenue, overhead expenses, total income, taxes, etc., and then work toward increasing your overall net profits. 

Once you’ve completed your pool service business plan, add an executive summary to summarize all of the above, along with your company’s mission statement or core company values. 

Pool company owners can also use ServiceTitan’s Service Business Valuation Calculator to estimate the current value of their business, or the Service Business Checkup tool to evaluate the health of a pool service business in just 60 seconds.

Hire, train, and retain pool service workers.

  • Start with a strong company foundation.

  • Create clear job descriptions.

  • Provide extensive training.

  • Incentivize workers with performance pay.

  • Value your employees—your company’s No. 1 asset.

Pool service business owners, like others in the skilled trades, may struggle to find qualified employees in a highly competitive climate because of the trade worker shortage. They also worry about investing time and money in training, only to see those pool service techs leave to go off on their own or work for another company.

With 10.4 million residential swimming pools in the U.S., according to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, pool services are clearly in demand, and so are the workers needed to supply those services. 

Experts in the trades suggest building a strong company foundation with a fully developed organizational chart and operating manuals. Create clear job descriptions and expectations for every position, provide extensive training to set up every employee for success, and use performance pay as an incentive to help employees grow with your business. 

Some companies also offer hiring bonuses to new employees or give current employees a bonus for referring a new hire.

Invest as much time in recruiting and training your pool service workers as you do on pool service sales. Know which field service metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) matter the most to improve the health of your business, and train your techs to know and meet your company’s expectations.

Trades consultant Ben Stark advises keeping techs and other employees involved in the business planning process, and making sure they know what role they play in growing your pool service company. Let them own a piece of it, and you’ll likely get complete buy-in. 

“Employees are your No. 1 asset,” Stark says.

Develop laser-focused pool service marketing strategies.

  • Identify your target audience with specific demographics.

  • Send pool service flyers to reach your specific audience.

  • Don’t put all of your eggs in one marketing basket.

  • Automate marketing campaigns for better efficiency.

  • Save cost per lead with targeted email marketing.

Before deploying any type of marketing strategy, a pool service business needs to know how to target the right audience. The seasonality also plays an important role in pool service marketing, so timing is critical to reach the right audience at the right time.

Know specifics, such as your customers’ age, gender, average household income, and credit score. Talk to local pool supply stores and ask the owners if you can leave your pool service business cards at the checkout counter, and return the favor by recommending the pool supply store to your customers.

Think outside the box when marketing your pool services, such as offering new customers promotional swimming noodles with your company’s name on them, or throwing in a free cleaning if they purchase other pool accessories. Check local building permits for customers building new pools, then send them a pool service flyer with an incentive to try your services.

Other marketing ideas:

  • Expand your customer base by marketing your services to property managers at nearby apartment complexes, condominium communities, hotels, hospitals, schools, and more. 

  • Sell pool service maintenance agreements to residential and commercial customers to maintain steady revenue throughout the year.

  • Optimize your pool service website with locally relevant keywords people frequently use when searching online for companies to hire, such as “Tampa pool service” or “pool cleaning near me.” 

  • Claim your “Google My Business” page with a locator map so your website ranks higher when customers search for “local pool cleaning” or “pool maintenance near me.”

  • Use branding on your tech uniforms and the company trucks they drive as mobile billboards for your pool service business. 

  • Build your local pool service brand with eye-catching uniforms, and a clearly visible company logo, phone number, and website. 

  • Make sure techs always look professional and know how to show customers’ homes the respect you expect.

Targeted email marketing also works as a cost-effective strategy for keeping your brand front and center in the minds of customers, says Megan Bedford, who runs Mugyver Consulting to help small companies in the trades.

Not only is the cost cheaper for targeted email marketing—$12 or less per lead—it’s the type of communication customers prefer, as opposed to direct mail or a promotional text. The key, Bedford says, is to find the right technology to automate the process, then target the right audience with the right message at the right time.

Market pool services online and for changing seasons.

Trade experts suggest spending half of your marketing dollars on digital platforms, since today’s consumers find 70 percent of all services online through Google searches.

Some customers will find you online because they need your services today, whereas others may find you through those pool business cards you left at the supply store or because they saw a company truck (brand awareness).

For the best digital pool service marketing, focus on doing the following:

  • Post regular, helpful pool maintenance content to boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

  • Invest in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising to increase brand awareness and target online leads.

  • Incentivize techs and customers to get more online reviews.

  • Expand your service area in conjunction with Google Local Services. 

Don’t make the common mistake of focusing only on digital platforms for your pool service advertising ideas. Personal relationship-building tactics—such as knocking on doors, introducing yourself to new homeowners, and leaving pool service postcards for future pool needs—still work and are often appreciated in today’s digital world.

Before each spring and summer, market your pool cleaning services to residents and property managers as a reliable weekly or monthly service from a trusted pool company. Educate them on how pool maintenance can help prolong the life of their system and show them the benefits of signing up for your company’s pool maintenance plan

During fall and winter in the colder climates, market your company’s expertise in pump and pool liner replacements, deep cleaning, tile work, and other jobs needed in the off-season. Also, don’t forget about your hot tub and spa customers who need services year-round.

Ride the waves to rave reviews.

Online reviews are extremely important to managing your pool service company’s reputation. In fact, one survey found that nearly 90 percent of customers factor reviews into their buying decisions.

To get good reviews and keep them pouring in, your techs must deliver great customer service by exceeding the customer’s expectations every time. Good reviews must be earned, but they’re a proven way to grow any home services business.

Does your company make it easy for customers to leave a review? Do your techs ask for feedback once they complete a job, or does your office staff make follow-up customer service calls or send emails with a specific link to leave a review?

Are you making customers wait for appointments, or can they schedule one through Facebook, Instagram, Google messaging, text, web chats or email? Are your techs or dispatchers using tracking technology to text the client when the tech is on the way?

Pool service customers value their money and their time, so don’t make them waste either. Soon, they’ll be raving about your pool company, and you’ll be riding the waves to a higher level of pool cleaning business profit.

Maximize your profits with pool service software.

Owning a pool service business doesn’t need to be all work and no play. Whether you want to make a pool cleaning business profit or make more money as a full-service pool company, the industry offers great opportunity. In fact, the pool cleaning industry reached $6 billion in 2019.

Some costs associated with running a pool service business include buying pool chemicals in bulk and equipping your techs with the proper tools for each job, such as water test kits, skimmers, brushes, and leaf rakes. To grow your business, plan to deploy company-branded trucks and cover the costs of gas, insurance, and vehicle maintenance.

Don’t tread water when you could float. Work smarter, not harder with pool service software to improve your company’s operating efficiencies, increase your average tickets, and grow revenue. Communicate clearly with customers using automated scheduling, GPS-based dispatching and tracking, and online booking, and use customized data reporting to monitor and boost your techs’ productivity, so you can soon swim in profit.

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive pool & spa service software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.

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