Starting a new business is never easy, and when it comes to pool cleaning, you may need to hit the ground running to succeed. Unless you live in a tropical climate or in an area with many indoor pools, you will have to prepare in the winter to make gains in the summer. Pool cleaning takes a lot of time, technique, and knowledge, which we’ll provide in the following sections.
How to Start: Name, Equipment, Registration/Licensing
A good business name should be memorable and should include the type of service you’re offering. To stand out from the competition, you need to keep SEO practices in mind to pull in organic rankings, so consider the following marketing tricks to stay on the front page.
- Include “pool cleaning/service” somewhere in the name.
- Business names should be 12-25 characters (to show completely on search engines).
- Make the URL name the same as your business name for easy look-up.
- Make the URL name the same as your social media name.
- Business names should be easy to spell, clever, and punchy.
A good name will do most of the marketing work for you, but don’t use any weird spelling that could turn away customers unintentionally. For example, Xtreme Pool Cleaning is unique, but your customers may use the typical spelling for “extreme” unless your marketing is top-notch.
You’ll need some basic equipment to grow your business, such as:
- Brushes and skimmers
- Pool cleaning chemicals
- Leaf rakes
- Water-testing kits
- Service truck
- Company branded uniforms
- Business cards
- Accounting Software, like pool service software for QuickBooks
Accounting software is necessary to handle your finances, consider expenses like software, equipment, and operational costs, and ensure you’re operating legally with the required paperwork.
Choosing a legal entity for your pool cleaning business is a significant decision. If you have the choice between a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company, choose a limited liability company every time because you’ll avoid double taxation and limit your personal liability.
A pool cleaning service also has to be licensed to operate in a jurisdiction, which includes:
- A local business license
- State registration
- Tax registration
However, if you’re only cleaning pools and not providing maintenance, installation, repair, or replacement part service, you don’t have to become licensed. Still, it’s recommended you do this to offer a wider variety of services, as that keeps you competitive.
How to Grow: Goals, Website, and Marketing
While you’re likely uninterested in growth at the moment, you should try to set some of your budget aside for scaling. First, set goals that involve either making more money, booking more clients, or servicing more pools and make them specific and attainable. For example, in 1 year, I want to generate $60,000 in revenue, which means you need to make $5,000 per month.
It’s common for businesses to use SMART goals, an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. In our example above, we offered a specific goal that’s attainable within a year, achievable based on what you charge, and relevant to your industry.
You need a website to give your customers relevant information and give your users a place to go after clicking your ads on social media or other websites. Ensure you have the following.
- Domain name
- Hosting and SSL certificate
- Branding assets (logo)
- Media assets (pictures of the team)
- Business email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Business phone number
- Business address
Ensure your business address is close to your customer base, so they find you on Google.
There are different stages in the marketing process, but when you’re starting, you’ll probably start with your existing network, aka your friends and family. As you scale, you can purchase Google Local Service Ads, pay-per-click-ads, and utilize social media to reach your growing customer base: Millennials and Gen Z. Connect with existing users on the Internet as soon as you can spare some money in your budget, as you’ll see an influx of customers.