Before launching a weekly pool care business, conducting thorough research and analysis is critical. Here are some key areas to focus on.
- Market Demand: Assess the demand for pool care services in your target area. Analyze the number of pools, both residential and commercial, and determine if there is a growth trend. Consider factors such as climate, population density, and local demographics that may influence the demand for pool care services. The local chamber of commerce could help provide information on housing, demographics and population. Requesting construction permits filed with your local city or county will give you a number for new pool construction within a particular date range. Google Maps can be a valuable resource by viewing pools in neighborhoods surrounding your home base.
- Competitor Analysis: Identify and analyze your competitors in your local market. Determine the number of existing pool businesses their service offerings, pricing and reputation. Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses to identify opportunities for differentiation and competitive advantages. Review all of your local competitors google business pages and websites. Read all of the reviews to gain a better understanding of customers’ expectations. Reviews tell a lot about what might be missing in the market giving you an opportunity to fill a void where others are coming up short.
- Target Market: Define your target market based on demographics, such as income levels, age groups, and property types. Determine specific needs and preferences of your potential customers. Are they looking for basic cleaning services, regular maintenance, or specialized treatments like green to cleans or acid washes. Understanding your target market will help you tailor your services to meet their specific requirements.
- Pricing Strategies: Research the pricing structures of other pool care businesses in your area. You should also consider looking at companies within a 100-mile radius of your target market. When creating your pricing, you will want to consider certain factors such as the size of the pool, frequency of service, and additional requirements such as pool/spa combos, automation or treating aggressive water chemistry. Determine a pricing strategy that is competitive yet sustainable for your business. Analyze your costs, including equipment, supplies, and labor, to ensure profitability. A word of advice… Do not be the cheapest in town. This strategy is not sustainable and will lead to the downfall of your business.
- Industry Trends and Innovations: Back when I started, we vacuumed pools through the skimmer and wrote down our service visit notes on a piece of paper. I carried an aluminum clip board with a calculator instead of an iPhone. I used a custom 3-part pool service form from NEBS instead of using the Skimmer App I use today. I built my own two-wheel dolly with a milk crate to carry all my pool service tools and vacuum hose and now I use a hitch mounted pool vac. Boy, how things have changed. In this business it is important to stay up to date on the latest industry trends, techniques, and innovations in pool care. This includes advancements in technology, eco-friendly equipment, and new service offerings. Being aware of industry developments will help you offer cutting edge solutions and stand out from competitors.
- Regulations and Licensing: I learned two things after moving to Texas from Indiana. Texas charges sales tax on pool service and labor and you are required to carry a Residential Appliance Installers license from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation if you want to perform pool related Electrical Installation and Maintenance, I/e Pump or Pump Motor Replacements. You must research the legal and regulatory requirements for operating a pool care business in your area. This includes obtaining necessary licenses, permits and certifications. Familiarize yourself with health and safety regulations, water treatment standards, chemical safety standards both with transportation and adding chemicals to customers swimming pools and any local ordinances specific to pool care services. Its best to contact your local health department for this information. If you plan on working on any commercial or just to get a little more knowledge under your cap, I suggest taking the Certified Pool Operators Course.
- Supplier and Equipment Research: Open an account with the closest wholesale suppliers for pool cleaning equipment, chemicals, and maintenance supplies. I purchase all of my chemicals, supplies and pool tools from my local SCP Pool Supply. I also have an account with Texas Pool Products. It is important to get to know your sales rep or Business Development Rep (BDR). They can help you with researching different brands, comparing prices, and assess the quality of their products. Building relationships with reliable suppliers will ensure a steady supply of necessary materials for your business. My BDR with SCP is amazing. She communicates well and responds quickly when I message her. Thats the relationship you need to be looking for.
By conducting thorough research and analysis in these areas, you will gain valuable insights into the market, competitors, target audience, pricing strategies, industry trends, and regulatory requirements. This knowledge will enable you to make informed decisions and develop a string foundation for your weekly pool care business.
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