|Crafts - Craft and Skill Businesses|
What will I be doing?
Anyone who has owned a pool or spa knows how much work cleaning it can be. It seems like a pool needs to be constantly checked and adjusted. If you have experience caring for pool systems, consider a home-based pool cleaning and maintenance service.
What will I need to start?
Equipment for cleaning pools and spas will vary from floating cleaners to skimmers and chemicals. You will probably need a pickup truck or small van to carry your equipment and supplies from job to job.
Most important, you’ll need training and experience with pool maintenance. While there are books and videos on the subject, nothing replaces hands-on experience. If this is a business you would enjoy but you don’t have enough training, consider working for a large pool maintenance service for awhile to develop knowledge and skills.
Who will my customers be?
Most of your customers will be homeowners and apartment complex owners with private swimming pools. In some cities, pool owners can be found by checking the county tax assessor’s records. You can also offer pool maintenance services to public pools or to gymnasiums. You can try to find your customers through public records or you can advertise your services in local newspapers and let your customers find you, or your can do both.
How much should I charge?
The hourly rate for pool cleaning and maintenance depends somewhat on equipment, services provided and the competition in your area. However, many set prices based on an hourly rate of $30 to $50, then charge by the month or season. A weekly maintenance check and monthly cleaning requiring a total of two hours a month can be priced at $60 to $100 a month, depending on your hourly rate.
How much will I make?
Pool cleaning and maintenance is typically done under a contract with the pool owner. So once your contracts are written, you can concentrate on your work rather than selling. Until then, plan to spend up to one-third of your time marketing your business. Your overhead expenses will range from 20 to 40 percent of income, depending on whether you supply chemicals or the customer does. In fact, some pool-cleaning services have two prices based on whether they furnish required chemicals. Even so, they may be the one to sell the chemicals to the pool owner, so additional profits are possible.
A full-time home-based pool cleaning service can bring in a net income of $40,000 to $60,000 a year or more before taxes.
How can I get started?
The National Pool and Spa Association offers training aids for pool-maintenance workers and businesses. Also, get on-the-job training as an employee of a pool service, or at least with your own or a neighbor’s pool. Let others know about your service by developing a flier that describes the benefits of what you do and why you are the best choice for pool service. Give prospects a reason to call you—a free pool checkup would be a good incentive.
The SIC code for pool cleaning and maintenance is 7389-09.
How can I use computers to increase profits?
Pools aren’t your customers. People are. To efficiently track and sell customers, use computer software to maintain customer records and to do your billing. Consider using your computer to send out monthly mailings to regular customers asking for referrals, offering special deals, reselling past customers, and other promotional efforts. Publish a newsletter.