(Topic ID: 320746)

I’m thinking about buying a pool cleaning route

By zr11990

1 year ago


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  • 32 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Chisox
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    #1 1 year ago

    As some of you who read my other thread about selling my business I have a significant amount of cash from selling my property and some mor coming in monthly from the payments. As I said if I’m very frugal I can make it sitting on my ass as I have 3 rent houses and a oil lease check. The thing is I’m bored. I like to spend money and I constantly worry about being broke. And I’m bored. I even started taking my fat ass back to the gym this week. So, I’m looking at buying a pool cleaning route. It’s 60k for 40 pools. They will train me and guarantee the 40 pools for two months. It will be work and I will have e to get my lazy ass out there and do it but at least I won’t be taking someone else’s shot for no money. I was told that it is 140 per pool a month plus filter cleaning and a extra things. It is through an agent that the company is going through. I would appreciate any advice or feedback you could offer

    #2 1 year ago

    If you don't want your truck bed to rust in 6 months buy a small utility trailer to haul your equipment and chemicals. Also be responsive to your customers and you will do fine. My biggest issues with the pool companies I have used in the past is loosing their staff having bad staff replacements and no follow through on their work. Half the time they don't vacuum the pool I have to call and have them go back out. Do what you say you will do and it will go a long way. Good luck on your new business. In Florida there is a lack of decent pool companies the previous one I had was just the owner who did the work himself. He was bought out by a big pool company. 6 months and 3 techs later I found another small pool company with family employees. They have performed much better than the bigger company that swallowed up my original company. Another suggestion is to take pictures of the pool after cleaning and send to client. That way they know when you were there and you can send any issues you find to them via text. Also gives them an opportunity to let you know how you are doing and builds a relationship with your client.

    #3 1 year ago

    Hmmm just spitballing here but it sounds to me like an easier solution is to clean the pools as an employee rather than an owner. Less risk and you take care of your original problem….being bored

    (Note, I don’t know ANYTHING about the pool business)

    #4 1 year ago

    Rather than buy. Go out and hustle a route on your own. Google Earth, see who has pools. Knock on their door. Give them your business card.

    LTG : )

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    As some of you who read my other thread about selling my business I have a significant amount of cash from selling my property and some mor coming in monthly from the payments. As I said if I’m very frugal I can make it sitting on my ass as I have 3 rent houses and a oil lease check. The thing is I’m bored. I like to spend money and I constantly worry about being broke. And I’m bored. I even started taking my fat ass back to the gym this week. So, I’m looking at buying a pool cleaning route. It’s 60k for 40 pools. They will train me and guarantee the 40 pools for two months. It will be work and I will have e to get my lazy ass out there and do it but at least I won’t be taking someone else’s shot for no money. I was told that it is 140 per pool a month plus filter cleaning and a extra things. It is through an agent that the company is going through. I would appreciate any advice or feedback you could offer

    Look, I get it. I’ve been home sick all week from COVID and I’ve got cabin fever. My Father In Law retired, has done nothing but watch TV in the year since, and there is definite strong mental decline, and he’s in his early 60s (and currently in the ICU for a related issue). You probably don’t want to retire early and just be completely idle.

    At the same time, I would hope you got to enjoy some time off. And a pool cleaning business? Let me give thoughts on this one specifically. $60,000 for 40 pools. I am assuming this is monthly cleaning? How many hours to clean each pool? Is this on a scheduled time? Are people expecting you to only come on the weekend? $140 per pool… How many of those are lost on a monthly basis? How many new pools could you get? How would you be expecting to get new pools to clean? How are you having people pay? How much of a cut are they taking? You are talking 40* 140 per month for servicing. That’s $5,600 per month… and you could expect to lose a customer or two every month and have to actively go out there and recruit. At the same time, you are paying for gas, wear and tear on your vehicle… you are probably going to want to be your own corporation to do this as well so taxes get complicated pretty fast. Assuming you got to keep all of the money brought in and you had no expenses you’d be making $30 an hour when all was said and done. And have no vacation time, no flexibility, no health insurance, no benefits. By the time you factor all of that in I would estimate you were really making between $20 and $25 an hour.

    If you really want to get back into the workforce and don’t know what you want to do, look into working at a temp agency. However, with the amount of work it looks like you want to do you might as well just get a regular job. I know you sold your business. You could make more as a basic business analyst than you could cleaning pools. What exactly was your business and what is your skillset? Most employers are desperate for employers I’m half the country away and in a different line of work (I promise) but referral bonuses here are in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. That is how much my employer will pay me if I bring someone in that takes a job with us (that is qualified) and has that person stay there three months.

    Based off of my understanding of you random internet stranger, you should be able to make 60k+ easily (with benefits) coming out of a long term career outside of Houston Texas.
    Good luck!

    #6 1 year ago

    I have no idea how to clean pools or what chemicals to add. I thought about that.

    #7 1 year ago

    At a glance. Sounds terrible. Find something else.

    #8 1 year ago

    My family just got a pool this summer. Cleaning it isn't too bad but honestly is not much fun either. I definitely would not want to do it every day for hours at a time. I think it is a bizarre choice since you have no experience in it and you'd be paying someone for a route (versus starting off smaller and building your own route). If you buy this business you are AUTOMATICALLY assuming you can handle that workload efficiently and competently. Seems like a risk for someone with no experience.

    Keep in mind you are setting up a business and need to consider insurance (protect yourself and your assets). Know that when a new person shows up I suspect at least a few of your customers will ask for proof you are insured.

    Your post didn't mention a few business considerations - such as whether you add chemicals to the pools or not and if so who pays for the chemicals. That impacts your bottom line a bit.

    I feel like if you are bored you'd be way better off working for someone doing just about ANYTHING else. At least you don't have a $60k investment you'll be trying to dig a return out of.

    #9 1 year ago

    Keep in mind that you’ll only be cleaning pools seven months of the year, so after expenses (cleaning tablets, gas, truck maintenance, taxes etc.), it’ll take a long time to make back the $60,000.

    Instead get a job cleaning pools for someone else and get paid while you learn. Then scout for pools of your own to clean and open your own pool cleaning company, saving $60,000 while you’re at it.

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    I have no idea how to clean pools or what chemicals to add. I thought about that.

    Google, Youtube, work for a pool cleaning company.

    Lots of ways to learn.

    LTG : )

    #11 1 year ago

    I run a large service type business. I also do mergers and acquisitions quite often. They are asking for 12 months revenue on a service that is month to month. You will have to run this without loss for one year to net your money back not factoring any costs, including your wages. Horrible investment. Run... dont walk.

    If you are bored, do what Lloyd said: "Go out and hustle a route on your own." You will save $60k, get into shape walking from door to door and get a lot more gratifaction from building something from nothing.

    Just my 2 cents...

    #12 1 year ago

    Per LTGs method I already found you a half months worth of work if they all say yes.

    I asked a few about their pools extended warranty and they hung up for whatever reason.

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    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    I have no idea how to clean pools or what chemicals to add. I thought about that.

    To put things into pinball terms:

    You better know how to rebuild a flipper before you own a pinball route.

    #14 1 year ago

    Yeah…they will expect the cleaning company to know hot fix pumps and handle ALL pool/pump repairs…

    Learn the ropes before you dive into this business. Bad idea….talk to a business broker and they will have a better list of business to get into..

    #15 1 year ago

    That $140 a month is that for one trip in the month or weekly for the $140 ? Does it include chemicals or are they extra?

    And yes you will need to know how to do equipment repairs.

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from thepinballworks:

    That $140 a month is that for one trip in the month or weekly for the $140 ? Does it include chemicals or are they extra?
    And yes you will need to know how to do equipment repairs.

    Once a week but that is only cleaning the shit out of the pool and cleaning out the basket filters.

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from SantaEatsCheese:

    $60,000 for 40 pools.

    No!

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from thepinballworks:

    And yes you will need to know how to do equipment repairs.

    Yeah…that means you will want to be LICENSED/CERTIFIED on a number of things. Repairs can include digging and plumbing to a degree….not saying you can’t learn it but if you don’t have a background in it and expect to hire “POOL BOYS” to look good for the customers wife to do your work at $15-20 an hour I would not venture into this…

    #19 1 year ago

    Well hell. I’m going back to the gym, I can do the old lady…. I mean I can look good cleaning the pool

    #20 1 year ago

    Do what makes you happy

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    Well hell. I’m going back to the gym, I can do the old lady…. I mean I can look good cleaning the pool

    Hmmm ... decisions. Decisions.

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    #22 1 year ago

    I ran a small specialty construction company (waterproofing balcony decks on beachfront mansions) for the last twenty years and just retired so I have some insight into running a small business.
    I started it on my own, no way I would have survived at first owing 60,000 bones.
    Liability Insurance, workmans comp insurance or exemption, business use auto insurance, licensing, gas, miscellaneous materials, repairs to equipment etc will eat you alive every month at first. It took me a couple years to really get going, hustling to get new contractors while working another job at night. Also you will have to spend a lot of time after work doing paperwork and invoices.
    No way in hell would I consider laying out 60 Gs to take over a pool cleaning business. Too risky and what if you end up hating it. As another poster said just go work for a pool cleaner to see if you like it…those jobs pays 20-25 an hour around here and you would probably end up better off with a fraction of the headaches. Of course, this is just my opinion based on my experience.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from Sinistarrett:

    I ran a small specialty construction company (waterproofing balcony decks on beachfront mansions) for the last twenty years and just retired so I have some insight into running a small business.
    I started it on my own, no way I would have survived at first owing 60,000 bones.
    Liability Insurance, workmans comp insurance or exemption, business use auto insurance, licensing, gas, miscellaneous materials, repairs to equipment etc will eat you alive every month at first. It took me a couple years to really get going, hustling to get new contractors while working another job at night. Also you will have to spend a lot of time after work doing paperwork and invoices.
    No way in hell would I consider laying out 60 Gs to take over a pool cleaning business. Too risky and what if you end up hating it. As another poster said just go work for a pool cleaner to see if you like it…those jobs pays 20-25 an hour around here and you would probably end up better off with a fraction of the headaches. Of course, this is just my opinion based on my experience.

    I have been self employed ever since I graduated college and I have loved it 90% of the time. I agree 100% with post above - no way I would have made it if I had bought someone else out. You need to build from the ground up without putting out a huge chunk of money. Plus the liability risk on something like this would scare the heck out of me.

    If you are looking for a "side gig" to keep you busy there are plenty of better ways to make money and keep busy. Keep looking! Way too much work & risk for way too little reward cleaning pools let alone paying $60,000 to do it! RUN and never look back.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    Well hell. I’m going back to the gym, I can do the old lady…. I mean I can look good cleaning the pool

    I saw this documentary that I think was about bowling, something Lebowski, where it looked like being a cable repair man had good fringe benefits. You need to be a nihilist though.

    #25 1 year ago

    Hey Beavis, Cleaning pools is cool, sure glad he hired us.

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    #26 1 year ago

    A better business opportunity would be to cold call people off Google maps and sign them up for pool cleaning services, then sell the route for 60k once you hit 40 people. Not the other way around.

    #27 1 year ago

    With the math you've given it's going to take you a year to break even unless I'm misunderstanding it, and by break even I mean you won't make a cent your first 12 months. You're spending 60k for the rights to 40 pools that only bring in 5600k a month combined. This isn't including the cost of materials etc..

    #28 1 year ago

    No offense James, they saw you coming. You clean each pool every week for 35 ? Loading up equipment, traveling, unloading, cleaning, loading again. Just think about all the leaves in the fall.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from Sinistarrett:

    As another poster said just go work for a pool cleaner to see if you like it…those jobs pays 20-25 an hour around here and you would probably end up better off with a fraction of the headaches. Of course, this is just my opinion based on my experience.

    This is very good advice.

    #30 1 year ago

    The more clients you have, the more bosses you have and they’re all gonna expect to be number one on the list. The route is for sale for a reason, pain in the ass homeowners.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    Well hell. I’m going back to the gym, I can do the old lady…. I mean I can look good cleaning the pool

    You should just setup an Onlyfans account. You know what you are selling. They know what they are buying. Charge extra for the pool boy fantasy

    #32 1 year ago

    I would imagine that for $140 a month that would include water maintenance (chemicals) as robo vacs have made manual vacuuming a thing of the past. As a pool owner of 17 years I can tell you that there is a learning curve keeping the water dialed in and the chemical costs add up. I briefly thought about being a pool guy in Fla when I eventually retire and move down there but then imagined all the work mine involves x 50 pools + Florida summer heat = hard pass.

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