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.