So you have chosen the Swimming Pool Industry for your livelihood. Or maybe, like a lot of us, you kinda just fell into it. I know I did. Maybe you are just starting out or maybe you are a seasoned vet. Either way, we are glad to call you a colleague. I know being new can be a bit overwhelming. Heck, I am still brand-spanking new with 4 years in. My biggest success has been looking to old-timers as mentors. This is a rare industry where we are eager to help our peers. Asking questions, being humble, and actually seeking and taking advice are the number one ways to get ahead. I asked all my pool pro friends what their greatest advice was for newbies. I am excited to share tips for new pool pros with you.
Before You Get Going
- “The very first item every day should check the truck before you leave the property; Even if it’s a pick-up: Oil Fluids, Fuel, Mirrors, Lights”- Tony Dix of Custom Pools Long Island INC.
- “Keep chemical bucket lids, or anything loose in your truck bed secure.”- Ryan Johnson, Check it Out Pools
- “Never assume that boxes won’t blow out [of the truck] or cardboard from pumps, filters, etc.”- Kevin Stege
- “Bring extra socks/shoes/boots and a change of clothes. Invest in rain gear, avoid 100% cotton clothes. You won’t make it through the day if you’re not comfortable and dry.”- Jeremy Loizos
- “Read the directions!”- Jody O’Grady
- “Recognize upfront if you can handle working in the heat. If not, don’t waste your time”. -Mark Thompson
- “Hold your breath when opening a container [containing] chemicals.”- Kevin Stempien
- “Don’t grab the Hammer Head when you fall in”- Chad Deal
- “Don’t breathe in the acid cloud”- Megan Abbott
- “Always [be extra] cautious. Example: a gate was open when you arrived, close it, and lock it on your way out. It will be your word against the owners if Fido gets out or worse if a child enters the yard.”- Ryan Johnson
- “Look into insurance- IPPSA, UPA, etc. Hopefully, you will never need it, but if you truly want to be a professional, you will provide for your client’s protection.”- David Penton
- Water first, then add chemicals when mixing.
- Measure everything.
- “Make sure you always turn off the water hose before you leave the property!!! “-C&J Pool, Norman, Oklahoma.
- “Safety first….always close the pool gate behind you every time.”- Keon Garcia
Have Integrity…Even Towards Yourself
- “ The long way of doing a task is always the short way.
- Be courteous to customers , but don’t linger in conversations or it will become a weekly ritual
- If you don’t know the answer to the customer question, don’t fake it. Tell them the boss or the office will follow up and get them a straight answer”- Ryan Johnson of Check it Out Pools
- “After you are done would you like to get into that pool? If not then why would your customer?”- Billy Bull
- “Tell your boss ‘I am going to show up early, stay late, I am prepared to eat a shit sandwich every now and again, and I’ll be sitting in your chair in 2 years”. -Ronny Airin Barrett of Top-Notch Pool Management
- “Know your worth. Don’t undervalue your time and services. Don’t let the customer treat you like ‘help’. Value your time and services and the customer will too.”- Rory Stringer with East Texas Pools
- “Find stuff most people won’t do and then get really good at it.” Justin Dodson of All Clear Pools
- “Always be honest with the customer. Your integrity is everything!”- The Pool Doc RN
Learn From the Big Dogs
- “Take advantage of industry training opportunities, as many as you can. Most are at a nominal fee, some are even free. Check with local distribution to see what manufacturer training sessions are available; Trade associations are another good source; Wayne Ivusich (Taylor Technologies) has webinars on the reg; invest in an online certification course or two.” – Rudy Stankowitz of CPOclass.com
- “There are a number of fantastic podcasts to listen to and educate yourself. Pool Pro Podcast, The Aquanaut Podcast, Pool Chasers, Chlorine King….Spend your days listening to these to grow yourself, and pick up tips and tricks from those who have gone before you.”- David Penton of Pool Pro Podcast
- Subscribe to industry blog sites (like this one. Hint, hint ?) and trade magazines
- “Don’t give a friend or family discount. It always comes back to bite.”- Joe Dal Monte of Liquid Motion Pool Service
- “Get as many pool stores as you can to give you a business account.”- Justin Dodson of All Clear Pools
- “Learn the importance of conditioner.
- Only backwash once every 6 months”- Ben Delaney of Mission Pool & Spa Supplies
- Test from the decanter, don’t put the drops in the pool.
Join a Group on Facebook at Talking Pools
I couldn’t fit all the greatness into one article. Check back soon for even more great tips. Got a great tip? Leave in the comment section below. Thanks for being loyal readers and I will see you poolside.