Before I even start, I need to clarify something. You have to think of a pool route purchase. In this context…you are buying a business. Does that bring a little more weight to the situation? But this is precisely what you’re thinking of doing. This subject is talked about very casually within the industry. And a lot of the time, there are more who are against it than for it. They claim, “I can take that same money and advertise to build my business for way cheaper.” And these people aren’t wrong. I have done this personally! But is it that much cheaper?
Let’s tell a hypothetical story and timeline of 2 pool pros. Their names will be Rudy and Joe. Rudy has decided to purchase a route of 40 customers while Joe has decided to build from the ground up by advertising only, but his goal is also 40 customers. In this story, I’ll use others’ real-life details in the pool industry while some made-up but realistic information. Like Rudy and Joe – excellent fake names 😊
Rudy goes online and searches for a pool route for sale. He gets “routed” to a pool broker. He finds the 40 pool route in the general area he wants to operate, and the price is $50,000. The broker provides the details, paperwork, notary, escrow, warranty (90-day pro-rated money-back guarantee if the customer is lost at no fault of Rudy), etc., and the broker makes a 10% fee for this service. (this usually comes out of the seller’s side) Rudy doesn’t need any training, and he’s fully knowledgeable in the pool industry. He starts working right away and has a monthly income of $4,000 for service. Repairs and additional services are extra per our industry standard. So let’s leave Rudy for the moment and meet Joe.
Pool Route Purchase
Joe is going to advertise and build from the ground up. He thinks he can do this for 1/10th the cost and get just as many customers. Joe set’s aside $5,000 and begins to create his ad campaign. He spends two days getting everything in order, logo, wording on the ads, FB marketplace account, Google account, etc. He even creates a profile on a couple of other social media platforms to advertise for free! The ads launch, and the posts are made. One week passes, Joe has zero accounts. The second week goes by, and the traffic has started to come in.
The phone is ringing, and Joe is going out on bids and estimates. End of week 2, Joe has two clients on the books. Week 3 comes, and the traffic has dipped just a little bit, but Joe ended up getting two more customers for a total of 4. Week 4 is here. Joe continues to have the ads run every week. He is making posts almost every day on the free sites. The best week yet, Joe gets 3 for a new total of 7 at the end of one month. The monthly income on the books is $700 going into month 2.
Buying a Pool Route lll
At the end of the month, Rudy lost two customers. One was his fault, he left the gate open, and the dog got out. The other wasn’t his fault; the owner sold the house, and Rudy couldn’t keep the account. Rudy decides he will give a couple of customers an incentive; if they advertise word of mouth for him, he’ll compensate with a month of free service if he gets new accounts. So his monthly income is down to $3800, but he did get a credit back for the one customer. Joe did the same thing as Rudy, and he gave them an incentive to all his customers to help him grow and compensate with a month of free service.
Let’s move to month two now. Rudy ends up getting one new customer and ends the month with 39 total. Nothing else to report on Rudy; let’s visit Joe. That’s far more exciting!
Joe is hitting his stride! He tripled his business and now has 21 accounts. He decided to double down the amount on the ad spend each week, and he also doubled the amount of time he spends on social media. But, he has not increased his original amount of the $5,000 ad spend, just increased the weekly spend to speed things up. And a few customers referred him to new clients to have some free service coming once the new customers have stayed on for at least a couple of months. Joe is no fool. In a previous venture, he would promise free service before verifying an excellent new client. Not this time. End of month 2, Joe has $2100 incoming on the books. Half his ad spend is gone at this point.
Month 3 – Rudy is unchanged. He has 39 accounts and $3900 on the books. Back to Joe
Joe decided to keep the higher ad spend in place. He is confident he will get to 40 accounts this month but doesn’t hit the goal. He got a few new customers, but he also lost one because he left the gate open. These darn gates are hard to remember to close when you’re so busy. And that customer had also referred Joe to one of the new clients, so Joe lost that one too because they want to use the same pool service. Lame. But Joe stays positive, and he ends the month with 28 accounts and $2800 now on the books.
Our mission is to have every pool company work together to maximize profit, minimize travel time between stops and be kind to the planet. We do this by enabling the swapping of accounts to build efficient routesJoe Wilmot, President/CEO of Pool Trader