Startups are scary, especially when you don't know where to begin.
You can burn through books and look up tutorials, but there is never a guide that checks all the boxes!
Well, our ultimate guide to starting a pool cleaning company has everything you need and then some.
Scroll down to know what goes in the process, the challenges, and the way around them.
Training, Experience, and Education – Get the Ball Rolling
Learning how to clean might sound absurd, but there is a lot that goes into pool cleaning than just scrubbing and washing away grime. You need to be familiar with the tools, the composition of the chemicals, and the risk involved to provide hands-on solutions to your customers.
When you have relevant field experience, you are ready to take on any challenges head-on and more aware of the market demands and limitations. Additionally, you know how to unlock opportunities and handle your clientele.
Work with a professional or intern at a local pool cleaning company to know the nitty-gritty of the trade. You'll be learning from the best in the field without putting anything of your own on the line.
Use your learning phase as a venue to interact, connect and talk with the market professionals. You can attend seminars, workshops, and training exercises related to your field to polish your skills.
The learning phase will be long and tedious and might put you off altogether, but it adds to the character of your pool cleaning company.
Business Plan and Market Research – Know Where You Headed
After learning the tricks of the trade, you need to get down to the planning bit. Although you don't necessarily need to hold a degree in business or finance, some basic business acumen can help you go a long way.
Start with extensive market research and figure out what your competitors are up to, what they are charging for their services, and their average income per hour. You'll have to keep an eye on your investments and how much leeway you can afford to hit your competition where it hurts.
As a new business, you'll have to dress up your services with new technology, cool equipment, or additional benefits. You can cut them some slack in price estimates, but that is only if you can afford it and until when.
Some new businesses offer startup deals and price estimates to attract customers and gradually move to their standard pricing after proving their mettle. Though if you are contributing money out of your own pocket to make those deals happen, there is no point in having a competitive advantage.
You will blow up your investments before your startup even moves to the next phase. So, keep it real, keep it grounded.
Also, plan your hours of operation and list of services while you are at it. Your customers want to know when you are available and how you can help them.
Lastly, you should decide on a name for your company. Preferably something that has a nice ring to it and resonates with you personally.
Registration and Licensing – Take Care of the Legalities
Fair warning: this is the hardest part of the process and might delay the launch of your pool cleaning company.
The ups and downs of the process might give you the impression that the government is out to get you when, in fact, they only want you to play by the book. No matter how tempted you are to skip to operation, you must deal with the devil to make your business legal.
Like most small businesses, your pool cleaning business will either be registered as a limited liability company or a sole proprietorship. You can further discuss the logistics with SBA (US Small Business Administration).
If you see yourself taking up bigger projects worth over the $500-$600 mark, it's better to be licensed as a contractor. The laws for licensing are not the in all states, so be wary of your federal jurisdiction and consult a legal advisor if you find yourself in a pickle.
Insurance and Taxes – Secure Your Business
It goes without saying that your life insurance will not protect your business assets. You must insure your pool cleaning business under its domain and file for taxes accordingly.
You should also set up a separate business account for your pool cleaning company to account for finances.
You can always hire an accounting service if you don't have the expertise.
Marketing and Sales – Establish an Online Presence
Once the legalities are out of the way, you need to take your business to your target audience or bring them to you. The easiest way to do this is to set up a website for your pool cleaning business.
You can sign up with a website building service offering to host your website on their cloud-based infrastructure or shake hands with a freelancer or an IT company. Conversely, a website building service that comes with SaaS solutions is the cheapest and most convenient option for small businesses.
You can reach your customers by optimizing your website's content on SEO and analytics principles. The keyword placements in your content help you rank on SERPs, which is imperative to gather leads and close sales.
The idea is to make your pool cleaning business accessible to your target audience by giving them all the information they need to avail your services. Customers see your website as a credible source of information, and by listing your business on Google My Business and similar listings, you boost their confidence in you.
If you are scrambling for a lifeline and don't know where to begin, click here to know who can help!
Launching a pool cleaning company is different than picking up a summer job. You might think you know how the system works, but the complexities involved can spin you out of your orbit. It is better to have experience, training, and business know-how in your arsenal before rising to the challenge!