If you’re interested in diving into the pool cleaning business, now’s an amazing time—pools, public and private, are reopening across the country, and the demand for pool cleaners is rising in neighborhoods everywhere.
But how do you make a splash with your pool cleaning service?
The first step: devise a solid plan. This handy guide will walk you through everything you need to know about drafting a pool cleaning business plan.
Pool cleaning business plan: What elements do you need?
You might be wondering why you need a business plan. A business plan is one of the most critical components as you navigate how to start a pool cleaning business. It allows you to:
- Analyze the current market
- Outline your plans and strategies
- Set achievable goals
- Make financial projections
This is especially important in a niche market such as pool cleaning. Pool cleaning business plans will allow you to understand exactly how valuable your services are in your area and how to get information about your small business to your neighbors.
Business plans are comprised of seven parts, including:
- Executive summary
- Description or overview
- Products and Services
- Market analysis
- Marketing or Sales Strategy
- Organization and Management
1. Executive summary
The executive summary gears up your business plan for success by providing a brief overview of the most important facts about your business. The executive summary introduces your company and its purpose then gives a preview of the rest of the plan.
You’ll want to include some pool industry-specific information, such as:
- Overview of the pool cleaning industry
- The type of pools you plan to clean
- Information about your target customers
- A brief intro to your marketing strategy
- A short snippet of your financial plan
Here’s a tip: though it seems counterintuitive, try saving the executive summary for last. After all, the executive summary provides a glimpse into what the rest of the plan has to offer. By the time you’ve finished writing the majority of the plan, it’ll be much easier for you to summarize something you’ve already written and familiarized yourself with rather than something you’ve yet to write.
Plus, you’ll feel all that much more victorious adding that final touch of an executive summary to your completed business plan.
2. Company overview
Now that you’ve hinted at what your business plan has in store, it’s time to think about who your business is. What do you stand for? What kind of business are you hoping to establish, and what kind of customers are you hoping to serve?
The next part of your business plan is an in-depth description of your company.
First, you should identify the type of pool cleaning service you plan to perform:
- Commercial – Commercial pool cleaning businesses work with larger pools that have frequent use. This can include pools located at resorts, hotels, and community centers.
- Residential – A pool service specializing in residential pools focuses on pools located in private homes. These pools are typically used by family and friends, so they don’t have as heavy usage as commercial pools.
- General maintenance and cleaning – You might also choose to focus your business on larger maintenance and cleaning needs. Instead of cleaning small pools, you might work on maintaining and repairing pool equipment such as filters, pumps, and pipes.
You should also provide a little background on your pool service company after describing the type of pools you specialize in. What experience do you have? What interested you in pool maintenance? What is the legal structure of your business? Take a few hints from San Diego Pool Time’s services page—they discuss their emphasis on stellar customer service, eco-friendly approach to pool cleaning, and the various pool repairs they also offer.
3. Products and services
Now that you’ve touched on who you are, it’s time to show what kind of unique services you have to offer to your community.
The products and services section should give a more detailed description of specific services your business offers. For example, explain:
- What are your cleaning protocol and processes?
- How frequently will you visit a client’s pool for cleaning?
- What pool cleaner do you use?
- How do your services exceed your competitors’ services?
Keep in mind that this list will grow and evolve as your pool cleaning company changes. You might change the products you use or visit customers more often during the summer months. Flexibility should be unstated but understood part of your business plan.
4. Market analysis
The best businesses find inspiration from their competitors. Look at what others are doing in your area and beyond. Analyze some key components of similar businesses, such as:
- Services offered
- Area serviced
- Market size
You want to make sure that the market you target is large enough to support your pool service business as well as those that already exist. When customers are limited, you’ll need to ask yourself what you can do to stand out. List some of these strategies in your market analysis so that you have ideas in place to implement in the future.
The other side of market analysis is the available customer base. Nextdoor is an excellent resource for getting to know your neighborhood. You can use your neighborhood expertise to target your services. When you recognize the needs of your potential customers, you know which pool service to offer.
5. Sales and marketing strategy
The next component of your business plan is your sales and marketing strategy. This is where you list your plan for telling your neighborhood that you have a valuable service to offer. Some effective methods of reaching your targeted customers include:
- Social media - Social media marketing is a $181 billion industry. With more than 3.78 billion users across different social media channels, marketing has a pretty wide reach. Sometimes you can miss out on the hyperlocal focus your business needs, though, if your social media ads are too widespread.
- Traditional advertising – Mailers, handouts, and fliers are another method you can use to introduce future clients to your swimming pool business.
- Nextdoor Ads - Nextdoor offers several helpful ways to target your ideal customers. With Nextdoor Ads, you can focus your advertising dollars where they count. To see the impact, check out the case study of Canseco’s Gardening Services. This small family business saw a 40% growth after using Nextdoor Ads.
Whichever method you decide, it's important to choose your message carefully. You want to stress the reasons why a customer needs your business. Outlining a few of these in your business plan will help you when the time comes to create some ads.
6. Organization and management
You’re almost there—the second to last section of your business plan should include an organizational tree of your staff and their roles and responsibilities. If it’s just you to begin with, that’s okay. You can sketch out how your structure might change as your small business grows by discussing:
- Will you hire more employees?
- Who will report to whom as your company grows?
- What skills will be required for individuals to work in each layer of your organization?
Having a growth plan in place now will make it significantly easier to add employees and build your organization in the future.
Lastly, you need to discuss your financial details in your pool cleaning business plan. The three musts include:
- Current financial status
- Projected expenses such as equipment, salaries, advertising, insurance, and taxes
- Forecasted income
If your pool service business is brand new, you should list where you anticipate getting your start-up funds. Do you have money already available, or will you require a loan? If you’re going to need a loan, research and outline some potential sources.
What else do you need to begin a pool cleaning business?
You have your business plan, now what else do you need? In some states, you might need to obtain a contractor license to start a pool cleaning business, particularly if your jobs are going to exceed $500.00. You should check with your state’s licensing board to see if it’s required.
Then, you need pool equipment. Some of the necessary equipment for a pool cleaning business includes:
- Water testing kits
- A skimmer
- Scrubbing brushes
- Leaf rakes
- Cleaning chemicals
The specific water testing kits and cleaning chemicals that you’ll need will depend on the types of pools you specialize in cleaning. If your focus is on commercial pools, you might need to invest in some heavier equipment, such as a vacuum.
Finally, you must have a vehicle that can accommodate all of your equipment and carry it from place to place.
Get your pool cleaning business flowing with Nextdoor
You’ve drafted the perfect business plan outlining your goals and strategies. You know how much it’s going to cost to get started and the potential the market has for growth. Now you need to get the word out to your neighborhood.
One of the best ways to connect with your community is Nextdoor. On Nextdoor, you can engage with your neighbors, gather recommendations, and reach customers nearby.
As a business owner, you can claim your free Business Page and start connecting with your neighbors. These connections can help you grow your pool cleaning business and maybe even help you exceed your expectations.