DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NORTH & SOUTH
In the North pool service technicians with their abbreviated swim season, average the same income as Sunbelt service technicians; they just do it in a shorter period of time. This is because pools are shut down and closed for the winter months. However, they make it up by charging the accounts an opening and closing fee usually around $200.00 to open in the spring and another $200.00 to close the pool down in the fall.
The average pool service technician, if running his route correctly, should be netting between $75,000.00 and $80,000.00 per year. If you have a monthly gross service billing income of $4,000.00 per month, that equates to $48,000.00 per year generated from weekly “service only”. Your expenses should be approximately 2 months of your service income or in this example $8,000.00. This will cover your three major expenses, gas, insurance and chemical replacement. Therefore, your service income totaling $48,000.00 for the year, less estimated expense of $8,000.00, should produce a net profit of $40,000.00. Assuming you are operating in a diligent manor.
In addition to this profit, you will have an second income on the same accounts for maintenance (filter cleanings, algae, conditioner treatments and other preventive maintenance) charges that you will bill your account extra, plus repairs (motors, pumps, heaters, etc.) This second income should be fifty per cent of your service net. If your net income from service is $40,000.00 then your net from maintenance and repairs should be $20,000.00. This is assuming that you are providing full service to your accounts.
KEEP YOUR OVERHEAD LOW
Operating a swimming pool business service route correctly is not difficult. Your overhead should be kept to minimum. Operate your business from your home. Use a small truck, comparing your wholesale prices with different suppliers; charge the proper service rate for your area. Let your accounts know of the different services that you provide and alert them to the preventive maintenance services and upgrade their equipment as necessary.
The manufacturers of pool equipment are there to help. They offer training seminars for you to learn more about their equipment and become acquainted with equipment upgrades and renovations. After all, they want you to install their equipment and therefore are looking for your business. However, they provide many avenues of assistance.
CONSIDER JOINING AN ASSOCIATION
In addition to the expert help you can receive from the manufactures, you may consider joining one of the pool service associations that are available in your area. There are three pool associations operating in the western United States and one throughout the entire country. In the west, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, the most successful pool association is IPSSA, Independent Pool and Spa Service Association. Second would be UPA, United Pool Association.
United Pool Association operates only in California, while IPSSA operates as far east as Texas. Both associations offer the same protection. Both will offer a million dollar liability insurance policy, and both will offer route coverage for your swimming pool business should you become sick or injured. The terms of the route coverage will vary from chapter to chapter, but most chapters will do your pools for you up to a year for free.
The monthly dues for IPSSA and UPA run approximately $55.00 including the $1,000,000.00 liability insurance policy and the route coverage. There are also other great benefits to joining one of the associations since they provide pool service technician seminars. In addition this will give you an opportunity to make friends and contacts with other pool service technicians in your route area. The final association is NSPI, National Spa and Pool Institute. This is the association of associations. To belong to NSPI, you must take a pool-related course and pass a test. NSPI also offers insurance but does not offer route coverage.
THE ROUTE & DAILY RADIUS
Also important to consider is the radius of the route and the quality of the neighborhoods. The overall radius of a swimming pool business route is not as important as the Daily Radius. Almost everyone has to drive to work or the office. Some people drive 30 minutes, some an hour, some much more. If your pool route is within an overall radius of twenty miles but is under a five-mile daily radius, this would be considered a good route in the industry.
Try to keep your pools clustered tight by service day. The neighborhood of your accounts is not as important as the way they pay their bills. Sometimes there are collection problems in high priced neighborhoods. Most people in just average neighborhoods have a far better collection record than some so-called upper class neighborhoods.
How many pools can you service in a day? The average pool service technician will service approximately 16 full service pools a day – while techs can service 25 to 30 in a day. It depends on the individual and what type of pools he or she is servicing. The average pool service technician will service two pools an hour including driving time. If the accounts are chemical only, he can do many more. If the accounts are commercial, he or she will do less.
In a full service Residential account, the pool service technician takes complete care of the cleaning and chemical treatment of the pool. A Residential chemical account is one who has only their water balanced by the pool service technician. This owner will clean his own pool. A chemical account can take as little as five minutes.
WHAT ABOUT COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS?
A Commercial account is a public pool: Hotel/motel, park pool, apartment pool, homeowner association, etc. A commercial account can be very demanding, but they will pay double or even triple monthly service billing compared to residential, requiring double or triple the service.
READY TO EXPAND YOUR SWIMMING POOL BUSINESS?
After you purchase your pool route what then? Can you expand? The answer is yes. There are more accounts out there than you will ever want or need (depending on where you live). Thousands of pools are built each year, but there are already millions in the ground.
You just have to know the right way to get at them.
There are lists of Swimming Pool owners in your area. These are your best prospects. You can order a list of swimming pool owners within a given radius around your location. Consider 10 miles. There are ways to reach out to these swimming pool owners by mail, phone, email or through social media.