How to Consistently Deliver Excellent Customer Service

The only way to create a successful pool service business is by finding customers and keeping them loyal. The pool service industry is filled with competition, which means you will have to find a way to create an edge. The best way to do this is by devoting your time to developing ways to provide better customer service. Studies show that 70 percent of the buying decisions made by consumers directly relate the level of customer service they receive.

Providing your customers with top-notch service will not only keep them loyal, it will also lead to them telling friends and family about your business. Read below for some tips on how to consistently provide great customer service.

Be Willing To Go The Extra Mile

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as the owner of a new business is having the attitude that you are going to do the bare minimum for your customers. Modern consumers want to work with businesses who are willing to go the extra mile for them. This is why you need to master the art of under-promising and over-delivering. By doing this, you can avoid setting yourself up for failure by making promises you simply can’t keep.

For instance, selling a new customer a plan that requires you to come check their pool once a month is a great foundation. Showing up more than you are supposed to just to check in can make a big impression on your customers. Properly organizing your pool route will allow you to figure out how to make the trip to a new customer’s home worth your while. If you have a high-paying job to go to in a new customer’s neck of the woods, dropping by makes sense if you have time.

Respond to a Customer’s Needs Quickly

Being the owner of a pool service business can be challenging at times. The key to having success as a business owner is maximizing every bit of time you have during the workday. Creating a detailed schedule is a must when trying to keep your customers happy. However, you need to leave enough flexibility in your schedule to address an emergency situation.

If a customer calls you with a pool problem, you need to respond to their request quickly. By addressing the problems your customers have in a timely manner, you can keep them happy and content. If a customer has to wait days on end to get the issues they are experiencing fixed, they may seek out the help of a competitor.

Offer Loyal Customers a Discount

Most consumers love getting exclusive deals. Setting up a loyalty rewards program for your customers is a great way to keep them engaged. If customers receive a discount on their monthly pool service, they will be more likely to stick with your business for the long haul.

Trying to Buy a Pool Route?

If you are interested in buying a pool route, the professionals at Sealey Business Brokers can help you out. Contact us to find out more about the pool routes we have for sale.

Digital Marketing Strategies That Can Help Your Pool Service Business

For most homeowners, finding ways to make their residence more attractive and functional is a top concern. Adding a swimming pool is a great way to accomplish both of these goals. Over 10 million homes in the United States have a swimming pool.

If you are looking for an idea for a business, then servicing the pools in your area is a good idea. In most cases, there will be a number of different pool services in your area. This is why finding a way to create a competitive edge is crucial. The following are some of the digital marketing strategies you can use to grow your pool service business.

Having a Responsive Website is Crucial

When trying to establish an online presence or your pool service business, you need to invest in a website. While you need to make sure this website is appealing and information, you also need to focus on catering to mobile users. When you consider that nearly 87 percent of smartphone users search online for businesses to use, you can quickly see why a responsive website is important.

If your website is not responsive, mobile users will be unable to see the content on your website without resizing the pages. Usually, the frustration of having to resize these pages will lead to mobile users leaving the website. With the help of an experienced web designer, you can get a responsive site in place quickly.

Modern Consumers Want Social Proof

The key to having success with digital marketing is thinking like a consumer. One of the main things consumers look for when trying to vet a business is customer reviews. Making it easy for consumers to find positive reviews about your pool service is a great way to attract more leads.

Taking your reviews and putting them on the homepage of your website is a great idea. You can also showcase positive reviews by requesting feedback on popular social media channels like Facebook or even LinkedIn. Most business owners are apprehensive to ask customers for positive reviews. However, most customers will be receptive to this idea and will have no problem providing these reviews.

Great Blog Content

Are you trying to position yourself as a leader in the pool service industry? If so, publishing informative and engaging blogs on your website is a must. Most people want to be informed regarding what it takes to keep their pool clean and functional. By developing and publishing blogs on a regular basis, you can provide consumers with the relevant information they need.

If you don’t have the time or the writing skills to do this work on your own, hiring professionals is your best bet. A content marketing service will have no problem writing and publishing your blogs for a reasonable fee.

Are You Looking For a Pool Route to Purchase?

One of the best ways to get started in the pool service business is by investing in an existing route. With the help of the team at Sealey Business Brokers, getting a great deal on a pool route will be a breeze.

Benefits of Selling a Pool Route with a Broker

You’ve spent years building your pool route, putting in the legwork, having the conversations, and marketing yourself day after day so that your business can be a success. When you’re ready to move on, it’s only fair that you should be able to sell that route for a profit, instead of simply dropping out of the picture and leaving with nothing.  At Sealey Business Brokers, we’ll help you evaluate what you have and assist you as you put it up for sale.

Selling your pool route with a broker has the following benefits:

Obtain Access to Marketing Tools

When you opt to work with Sealey Business Brokers to sell a pool route, you’ll gain access to the products and tools that we use to market your route aggressively to a list of interested buyers. This means that you’ll have a far better chance of selling, and selling more quickly than you would if you attempted to do so privately. We’re happy to put our networking and tools together to market your route, meaning that it can quickly wind up in the hands of the perfect buyer so that your customers continue to be well taken care of. If you’re ready to move on, but don’t want to leave your clients in the lurch, selling your route with us is a great way to encourage a smooth transition.

Enjoy Business Continuity

Individuals who do business along a route know the importance that route has to their customers. Clients get used to seeing the same sales professional at the same time, month after month, year after year. It’s important that a new individual who will take over the route will maintain it with the same diligence that you have, and we understand this. We’ll work to ensure that your route transitions from one owner to the next so that none of your current customers are left in the lurch and the process is as smooth as possible. Our goal is to keep your customers satisfied, as we know that’s the best way to keep our clients satisfied.

Utilize a Smooth Sales Process

At Sealey Business Brokers, we pride ourselves on a smooth, easy sales process. You let us know what you’re wanting to sell and when, and we work with you to post the list and market it in a confidential manner. We help make sure that other competitors in your area don’t know you’re leaving until you’re ready to make the news public, and we do our best to keep everyone happy throughout the sale. We make it far easier than trying to sell a route on your own, helping to market your route while keeping your information confidential throughout.

When you’re ready to put your pool route on the market, reach out to Sealey Business Brokers. We’ll help you evaluate what you have available, then market it to interested individuals. We’ll broker the entire sale so that you can get a fair price for your route. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.

Pool Route Buyers FAQ

Whether you find yourself unexpectedly out of a career after 30 years of service, or you simply have a strong desire to be your own boss; there are several income sources in owning and operating a pool service route.

The two main sources of income are monthly service billing and maintenance and repair income. There are several entrepreneurs inquiring about owning and operating a pool route business for many reasons, the main one being it’s really not that difficult. If ran correctly, a pool route business is very rewarding and profitable. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you run a smooth business:

  • Keep overhead to a minimum
  • Operate daily business from the comfort of your own home
  • Purchase small trucks for a great price
  • Compare wholesale prices with different suppliers
  • Charge proper rates for your area

Also, let clients or customers know the different services you provide and alert them to the preventive maintenance services and upgrade their equipment as necessary. Before you start your own pool service business, there are bound to be some questions you want answered. Here are the most frequently asked questions we hear at Sealey Business Brokers.

How many pools can be done per hour/day/week?

Normally 30 per day to 80 per week. You should be able to service two pools per hour, including driving time.

How long does it take to clean?

Generally, cleaning takes 20 to 30 minutes. This varies depending on the size of the pool, weather conditions, the area, type of service, and more. The busiest time of year is warmer months – March through August.

Is there a lot of training?

A new buyer will get anywhere from two to four weeks of training, but it can end sooner if the buyer catches on and learns the business quickly.

Do I need any certification or licenses?

This is a business; therefore, you should obtain a business license. Most cases you don’t need any additional certifications to service residential accounts. Commercial accounts require liability insurance. In some areas, health certification, workman’s compensation, and a contractor’s license are required.

Is there a max out on accounts for one person?

One person can typically handle 70 to 100 accounts by themselves.

How much does a route cost?

An established route costs anywhere from eight to fourteen times the monthly service, depending upon density, rates, area, longevity, and additional charges.

Is there room to negotiate?

If the seller is motivated, absolutely! The slow season, between October and February are the best times to purchase.

What is the average overhead of owning and operating a pool business?

Conservative overhead rangers from 15% to 20% which includes chemical costs, postage, gas, cell phone, and insurance. In slower months, chemical costs will be cut by 50% to 60% from what they are in summer months.

What is a fair wage and what can I charge?

A reliable pool technician makes $10 to $12 per residential stop. Some route owners will pay their techs a percentage of each pool that way they’re more responsible for what they are getting paid on. A reliable repairman will do the repair, teach you how to do the repair, and give you anywhere from 10% to 30% depending on the company. All of these factors vary.

What you charge also depends on many factors, but you want to stay within the competition range. Research what your competitors are charging and base your rates off that. Still have questions and need answers? Call our offices at 1-844-766-5783 or contact us online.

4 Things You Need to Start a Pool Cleaning Service

Becoming a business owner is a goal of many people, but they don’t know where to start. One of the challenges of starting a business is finding an industry in an area where you can find customers. With the help of pool route suppliers like Sealey Business Brokers, it’s easy for people to make a successful living by starting a pool cleaning service. If you like working outside, want to be your own boss, and you don’t want to make a considerable investment to get started, pool cleaning is an excellent industry to consider. Here are four things you need to start a pool cleaning service.

Equipment

Every business startup requires an investment in the equipment needed to perform the work. Starting a pool cleaning service requires less startup capital than other operations since you don’t need retail space. Additionally, there isn’t a lot of heavy equipment because you need to take everything with you as you visit each client. You’ll need to obtain poles, hoses, skimmers, chemicals, and test kits. You also need to get reliable transportation to haul your pool cleaning supplies to each job site. If you’re just getting into the pool cleaning industry, Sealey Business Brokers can help you pick the best equipment for the job.

Training

The best equipment doesn’t matter if you don’t use it properly. Cleaning a pool properly takes knowledge and training. It’s not a job where you can learn as you go. All it takes are a few poorly done jobs when you get started to ruin the reputation of a new company. One of the benefits of working with Sealey Business Brokers is that we provide training to new pool cleaning service providers. People that come to us get the training they need to deliver high-class service as soon as they start taking on new jobs. This training program makes pool cleaning an excellent industry for business owners who are ready to start something new.

Legal Requirements

As with any industry, there are legal requirements to keep in mind when setting up a new business. The rules for pool cleaning service providers vary from state to state. Sealey Business Brokers can help clients handle these legal issues in the states where we operate. At a minimum, owners will need to get a business license as required by the city or county. Similarly, each state has certification requirements that are set by the local health department. Some states require certification. For example, Florida requires that candidates take an open-book test to become certified. It’s also a good idea to become bonded and insured, even if it’s not required by local law.

Buy a Pool Route

One of the benefits of starting a pool cleaning service is that you can instantly get a list of paying clients by buying a pool route. Sealey Business Brokers sells pool routes with multiple houses in an area that are signed up for regular service. All the new company needs to do is use the skills they get from our training program to provide excellent service, and they have the regular customers a new business needs to thrive. 

If you’re interested in getting started in the pool cleaning industry, Sealey Business Brokers has everything you need. Send us a message online to ask any questions you have about starting your own pool cleaning service.

Build a Pool Repair and Service Company By Buying Pool Routes Online

When starting a business, one of the greatest challenges entrepreneurs face is finding new customers. You can use marketing tactics like direct mail, online ads, and other techniques. However, there is an easier way if you’re in the pool repair industry. With Sealey Business Brokers, you can buy established routes with regular paying customers who need pool services. Here’s how you can build a pool repair and service company quickly by buying pool routes online.

Swimming pools are different from most amenities in a home because they require regular maintenance and care to keep them usable. It’s like the lawn of a house which needs continually upkeep. However, while most people can handle most lawn care tasks on their own, most pool owners leave the maintenance tasks to professionals. This dynamic creates a steady stream of income for pool repair and service providers who come at regular intervals to perform maintenance duties. Over time, effective pool service providers can generate a good list of regular customers who need their pool maintained.

The way the pool maintenance industry works creates additional opportunities for business owners. When they are ready to leave the industry, it’s possible to sell their route of pools to be cleaned to another vendor. So long as the new vendor provides the same high-quality service the original company provided, most pool owners will remain on the route. Pool repair and maintenance services that are trying to break into the industry or expand their company can use routes to increase the number of customers they serve instantly.

Sealey Business Brokers makes it simple for route buyers and sellers to make a deal that benefits everyone. The company was created by someone who used to own a pool business and sold his route when he was ready to try something a little different. That first-hand experience from a pool route seller is what makes Sealey Business Brokers a better place to buy and sell routes online.

You don’t need to have experience in the pool service industry to buy a route. Many pool route buyers are entrepreneurs who are new to the industry. Sealey Business Brokers even offers free training to every buyer. We coordinate with a training company that provides the Certified Pool Operator’s (CPO) course. We’re the only pool route broker in the industry that offers this course for free to every buyer.

At Sealey Business Brokers, one of our goals is to ensure everyone is happy with their pool route transaction. We work to get sellers the best possible for their routes. And for buyers, we make sure they know what’s happening at every step of the process, and that they are ready for any potential special issues related to the route.

You can look for pool routes the old fashioned way, but Sealey Business Brokers make the process easier for everyone. You don’t have to take our word for it. Our website has a testimonials section where you can read stories and thank yous from some of the buyers and sellers who used Sealey Business Brokers in the past.

If you’re interested in buying or selling your pool route online, Sealey Business Brokers is here to help. We have been helping to connect pool route sellers and buyers for nearly a decade and have developed a reputation for fair pricing and reliable routes. Send us a message online if you have any questions about buying or selling a pool route.

Automating your pool route backend operations

Automating your billing

As a route broker I get to see how different entrepreneurs run their businesses. I’m somewhat surprised that many entrepreneurs shy away from automating their backend functions. For instance, quite a few business owners still handwrite their invoices each month and drop off them off while servicing the pool. I always encourage business owners to automate as many functions as possible to increase efficiency. By using software like Quickbooks or Excel you are able to better track income and expenses which will result in less nightmares during tax time. Another benefit of ditching the invoice pad is the ability to analyze how you did last year, last month or last week so that you can make changes to your pricing to cover increased expenses. If you’re still charging $40 per hour for repairs then you might want to review your pricing policy. Automation will help you with that. There is no need to spend a lot of money to bring your billing system into the 21 century. If you have a teenager in the house they could show you how to use Excel or you could pay someone or barter for a couple hours of Quickbooks training. The money spent up front could ultimately make you thousands in the form of increased hourly rates or at least less of a headache at tax time.

Taking your pool route to the next level

Bringing technology to your business

As a business broker specializing in routes I encounter buyers that come from other industries who bring unique ideas to the pool industry. On one such occasion the buyer’s background was in the cell phone industry back when cell phones were just coming into vogue in Texas. Our conversation then moved to the importance of communicating with your customers in any industry. He then came up with a simple but brilliant idea. What if you used your customer’s cell phone number or email address to blast messages to them rather than calling each one individually. For those that experienced the freezing weather last December this would have came in handy. You could have sent an alert to all of your customers to turn on their pumps to limit the freeze damage. Or if it’s time for filter cleans you could send a message to all your customers with DE filters. If you wanted to run a special but didn’t want to wait until you mailed out your statements you could just send a message to them instantly. While you wouldn’t want to abuse this tool, it could be a very valuable way to keep in contact with your customers.

It’s always a good idea to talk to other business minded people to learn from them because you never know what you can implement in your own business. Well, I hope you’ve learned something new that will make your business better and more successful. Until next month!

Facebook and your pool route

By now even the most non-tech savy pool guy or gal has heard of Facebook. You know the site that people check constantly when they’re suppose to be doing something productive (I’m guilty). Well here’s a way for your business to capitalize on that 21st century habit. If you haven’t set up a Facebook page then do so asap. It’s free and reaches literally billions of people but I’m sure you’d be happy reaching both your current customers and potential customers in your local area. One of the things you could use Facebook for is notifying your current customers of upcoming pool related items. If there is a freeze coming in the next couple of days you could simply post a reminder to leave the pumps running to avoid bursting pipes or let them know it’s time to clean those DE filters. Once your customers join your page you can notify them of anything. It works both ways too, customers can contact you if they noticed a leak or need an additional cleaning that week due to their upcoming party. You could even post discounts for customers that refer your service to their friends on Facebook. The options are endless and best of all it’s free! See you on Facebook!

How to grow your pool route

As the owner of several businesses over the years, including a pool service route, I learned to focus on maximizing the 4 P’s – that is price, product, promotion, and place – in order to
maximize profits. In each case, the driver of any selection was the customer. So I modeled the successful “big boys” that tailor their offerings to the roughly 20% of customers who generate the majority of sales. However, in advising other route owners recently, I learned it sometimes can be hard to identify or reach your most valuable customers. One answer: online
technology; it can help your business cut through the clutter and reach the homeowners most likely to purchase your services. Here are 3 tips to successful tech marketing:

Acquire Third-Party References. Consumers want to entrust their needs to people they can trust. So they frequently check out a business on Yelp.com, AngiesList.com or Better
BusinessBureau.com (bbb.org) to see what others have said about the company. Invest the time and dollars to get ​on these lists and invite reviews on online customer review sites.

Connect online with Clients. People do business with people they know. So create a personal and business site online and become “Friends” on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites with customers. Acknowledge their posted accomplishments and share projects they are promoting. Then when you post your own successful projects, they will be inclined to do
likewise. Not only will you be touching your clients to stay top of mind with your existing customer base but your posts will be seen by the client’s entire online network.

Optimize your Web site for Searches. Small business owners often are so busy servicing clients and handling the day-to-day immediate tasks that they don’t stop to maintain their in-house technology. It’s not enough to have a website. The site should also have regular content updates that speak to homeowners’ needs and new trends in consumer products, usually in blog format. In addition, a potential customer should be able to find you when ready to buy. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. Incorporating SEO will boost your company higher in online customer searches. It involves tagging your web pages, along with the videos, attachments, and images on those pages, with the keywords that current
customers are using to search for your industry’s products or services. In addition, the URL names for each page should incorporate the words that customers use in search engines.

Connecting to customers can be tricky in this age of continuous online updates, 24-hour access to information, and customers who have found ways to bypass traditional media that run advertisements. However, by staying up-to-date with technology and how consumers access the Internet, I’ve learned, you can keep your business top of mind.

By Arif Sealey, a former pool service operator and owner of Sealey Business Brokers that helps owners and future entrepreneurs buy and sell businesses in Texas, Arizona and California. For more information, call toll-free 1-844-POOL-RTE.