According to IBISWorld, the U.S. swimming pool cleaning services industry is worth $7.8 billion and is expected to increase by 0.9% in 2022. Given the numbers, starting a pool cleaning business seems promising. Plus, if you like to work outside and have a flexible schedule, a pool cleaning business might be right for you.
But there’s a lot more to the job than working outdoors. For example, you need to register your business, get your tax ID, and obtain the necessary certifications and licensing required to start your business. If you are willing to put in the time to learn, continue reading this blog to find out how to start a pool cleaning business.
To start your pool cleaning business, you need to have hands-on professional pool cleaning experience. Therefore, you need to obtain a Certified Pool Operator (CPO) certification that provides training in water chemistry, mechanical operations, filtration, pool safety, and best practices. Even though some states may not require a certificate to operate a pool cleaning business, it will be highly beneficial to get the knowledge you need to offer a higher quality of service.
Next, build connections with industry experts to give you the edge you need to succeed in the industry. Consider joining business meetups and attending trade shows to make those connections.
Lastly, continuing education is essential for any business. Therefore, it is best to stay updated with the latest techniques and standards in the industry to beat your competitors. Keep an eye out for the latest products and read magazines that cover the newest swimming pool technology.
Now that you have the necessary experience under your belt, it’s time to research and plan your pool cleaning business. First, consider the startup costs. Depending on the pool care services you want to offer, your initial capital can range from $2,000 to $7,500 to get your business off the ground. A significant portion of your capital will go toward equipment, such as:
Now, think about how much you will charge for your services. If you are wondering how much pool cleaners make, pool service companies charge between $80 to $100 per hour. You could set your prices as high as $200 per hour if you also offer pool maintenance and repair.
Let’s say you would like to generate $20,000 in monthly revenue. At $100 per hour, you will need to work 120 hours every month. Therefore, you will have to book around 30-to-35-hour bookings per week to achieve your revenue goals.
Then, decide whether you want to start a pool cleaning business on your own, with a partner, or with a team. While it may be tempting to offer a plethora of services, consider your strengths and areas of expertise when deciding the type of services you want to provide. Meanwhile, consider whether you would be working full-time, part-time, or seasonal. Finally, think about your target customers. Would you offer your pool services to commercial clients, residential clients, or both?
After determining your service types and pricing, the next step is to identify your competitors. Therefore, research your competitors and educate yourself on the products and services they offer. Assess their strengths and weaknesses to help you develop a strategy to compete with them and create better service offerings and exclusive features to attract more clients. Moreover, researching your competitors will help you identify market gaps and present you with the opportunity to fill them.
A business plan is a document that defines your company’s objectives and serves as a roadmap to achieve them. A business plan is also an important tool to increase your chances of qualifying for a business loan from the bank. A business plan is composed of the following sections:
To operate your business legally, you must register it with your local and state government. However, the process of registering your business differs depending on the state you operate in, and it is best to check with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to figure out how to register your business.
You can register your pool cleaning company under different business structures. The structure you choose for your business impacts your taxes and registration requirements. The four main options for a pool cleaning business are the following:
After registering your pool cleaning service, the next step is to get your Employer Identification Number (EIN) to pay taxes. You can file for your EIN in multiple ways, such as online, by mail, or by fax. Consider visiting the IRS website to learn more.
Note that you can use your Social Security number as your EIN if you have chosen to operate as a sole proprietorship.
Your tax ID is also required to open a business bank account and apply for licenses and permits.
You are not required to get a contractor’s license to start your pool cleaning business. However, you are legally required to be licensed as a contractor in most states if you will be conducting repairs costing over $500 per pool. However, obtaining a license is quite expensive, costing over $2,000. So, if you choose to focus solely on pool cleaning services and avoid any repair work, you’ll be fine without a contractor’s license. Nonetheless, do consider getting one to have the edge over your competition.
Business insurance protects you from unexpected events that may have a devastating impact on your company. Even if you registered your business as a corporation or LLC, getting business insurance can give you extra protection. Here are some types of insurance to consider:
Consider opening a business bank account to separate your business and personal finances. By doing so, you can easily track your business transactions and keep your bookkeeping accurate and up to date. Tax preparation is also easier with a bank account dedicated to your pool cleaning business. It also helps keep track of business expenses and liability and proves the legitimacy of your company. Additionally, a business account can come in handy when you need a loan from the bank.
Opening a business bank account is quite simple. Bring in your EIN, articles of incorporation, and other legal documents to open your new account. For more information, inquire at your preferred bank to learn more about their rates and features.
You are finally ready to start providing pool cleaning services to your clients! But first, you must think of ways to keep them happy and ensure they will stick around. The most effective way to make sure your clients will stay loyal to you is by offering exceptional customer service. Additionally, in today’s digital world, one negative customer review may damage your business’s reputation and customer base.
Consider the following tips to offer excellent customer service:
Marketing is essential to spread the word about your pool cleaning business among potential customers. That’s why businesses use different marketing strategies to reach as many people as possible to increase business profits. Here are some practical ways to market your pool cleaning company:
After reading this blog, you have all the necessary information to start your pool cleaning business. First, you need to gain first-hand experience in the industry, make connections, and obtain the required certifications. Then, you should register your business, get your contractor’s license, and open a business bank account to separate your personal and business finances. Finally, offer exceptional customer service to ensure your customers will stick around and watch your pool cleaning business grow.