For the aspiring freelancer who wants to be his or her own boss, a pool cleaning business is the perfect way to earn some extra income or a full-time livelihood. The barrier to entry in this field isn’t nearly as high as you’d think and a pool cleaning business can be started for roughly $2,000 or less. With a solid game plan in place, anyone can become a pool cleaner and make a decent living at it regardless of experience or location.
First off, you’ll need to decide what area of the pool cleaning market to focus on. You can either work on residential pools and spas, commercial and civic installations or both. Then, research your local market and see which niches are under-served. You’ll need a firm grasp of the technical aspects of pool cleaning, so taking a Certified Pool/Spa Operator class is a good idea. You’ll learn everything you need to know regarding pool water chemistry, water treatment, general pool maintenance and government regulations.
Since you’ll be dealing with a lot of potentially hazardous chemicals, it’s likely you’ll need to get a special license from your state to clean pools. These will vary from state to state. For instance, Florida offers Class A, Class B and Class C licenses based on what kind of pool cleaning work you’ll be doing. Check with the local authorities for licensing information. Also, getting business insurance to protect yourself and your clients from future liabilities is a prudent move.
Before you clean pool one, you’ll need to stock up on the tools of the trade. This includes pool skimmers, pH test kits, hoses, vacuums and the like. You’ll probably want at least a pickup truck to tote about your hardware, though a van makes more sense. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals will be a good resource when it comes to getting information on the best equipment for the job. Look at sourcing bulk quantities of supplies from online wholesalers for better deals.
First things first, you’ll of course need to sell your business to the local populace. Start off with flyers posted at pool supply businesses. Make sure to print up business cards and distribute them as frequently as possible. You may want to offer some preliminary services on a trial basis to consumers to get your foot in the door. Printing up service contracts is a smart move. Try Legalzoom or a similar legal boiler plate provider to keep everything on the up and up.
Making your pool-cleaning business truly successful will ultimately come down to marketing yourself and finding new niches to exploit. Try to think of something that differentiates you from the rest of the pack, like working at odd hours or a specialty pool-cleaning service. Also, use social media sites like Craigslist and Google+ to promote your business. Garden supply centers and the so-called “Big Box Stores” such as Home Depot are great places to find new customers. Finally, always be on the lookout for new customers in any place you can imagine.Long-Term Viability
As with any business, running a successful small-time pool-cleaning operation requires acute organizational skills and marketing acumen. Getting your name out there and acquiring clients will be the hardest nut to crack. Setting yourself apart from the competition is the surest route to success. A combination of quality work delivered consistently at fair prices will ensure that your new venture stands the test of time. Thanks to its profit potential and flexibility, pool cleaning is a great way to become your own boss.