Pool Business Management for Pool Cleaners

by Mike on June 6, 2019

Pool Business Management for Pool Cleaners

Frequently businesses like pool cleaning start as a one-person operation, sometimes only as a ‘side hustle’. What this often means is that as the business expands, takes on new clients, takes on new staff and develops a range of add-on services, the management of the business soon takes up more time than the actual money-making bits.

If this sounds like where your business is at, it is time to take a personal stock-take. Few people get into any business so that they can work all the hours of the day, but often this is where small business owners end up. It is a balancing act trying to grow your business while still maintaining a life.

Getting Your Systems in Place

Everyone works in a slightly different manner, so no two businesses will ever run exactly the same. This is often the problem when someone walks in with grand ideas on streamlining your business processes. It always seems like a great idea when they’re in there doing it, but as soon as they’re gone if the systems they have put in place don’t actually work the way you do, then they will quickly get forgotten about – no matter how good your intentions.

Part of the reason why small businesses don’t have neat tidy systems is because of the organic way in which they tend to grow – and when you’re busy growing your business it is hard to take the time needed to work out how to make your business more efficient. However, taking that time now can save you a lot of time, and make you money.

Workflow

This is one of those terms that gets bandied about at small business seminars, however all it means is the way you work. What steps do you take? This will be broken into several different paths for examples like signing up new clients or repeat business. Try and put down all the steps you take from the point of a new client calling up right through to when you bank the payment.

By taking the time to understand in your own mind exactly how you work, you will start to be able to see how things can be easily improved. From there you can start to look at software for pool business that will help you manage your business, freeing you up to either focus on continuing to grow and develop your business, or to actually relax and remember what your family looks like.


Scheduling

Whether you work by yourself or have a team of cleaners working for you, trying to ensure that you have your clients on a regular schedule and that none of them are missed can be one of the biggest challenges for pool cleaners.

Part of this is because, as you know, not all of your clients want or need their pool or spa cleaned or serviced on the same schedule. Some are high users and need cleaning weekly, while others only use their pool in summer so only wish for minor maintenance cleaning over the winter period.

Although you can plot all of this out with a good diary, investing in decent software that is designed to help you manage your clients and their schedules is a better idea. Ideally you are looking for something that will allow you to keep track of which products you use, and in what quantities, for each client.

Invoicing

Getting paid is what allows you to stay in business! When you are doing servicing on irregular patterns or more than once a month it is very easy to lose track of who you have invoiced and who has paid. New business owners may find this hard to believe as they manage their weekly clients, but once your business reaches a certain level and you start to find yourself torn by the different aspects of the job, financial management quickly becomes more complicated.

If you have a bookkeeper or accountant, talk with them to see if they have systems they would recommend. Often accountants have software which they prefer to use, so may offer a discount to clients who are using this software in their business. Not only do you want to get paid, you want to make sure that you are paying the correct amount of tax (see here).

Of course, in an ideal world, the software that you choose to manage your client scheduling, will also be able to manage your invoicing, help you manage your materials purchases and payments.

Staffing

Whether you are looking to bring on someone part-time to give you a hand over the busy season, or if you have a team of full-time people working in various aspects of the business, you need to pay them. Employment laws vary from state to state and from country to country, so you will need to follow up with the Department of Labor regarding laws that will affect your business. https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/workhours/seasonalemployment

However, when you are looking at software that manages your invoicing and purchases, you might consider if it also has the ability to manage your payroll. Sometimes the standard payroll software included in some packages will be quite sufficient for your needs, but you can also look at software that allows you to streamline your human resources workflow. This may be overkill if you have only one of two casual staff members, but if you have full time staff and need to look at managing annual leave or entitlements including HR management in your payroll software can take hours off your end of year calculations. Even if this is something you don’t feel you will need at the moment, look to see how any software you invest in at this moment can be expanded to suit a potential future need.

Putting It All Together

So you can see that once you understand how you work, and how your business runs, it makes it easier to work out how to make improvements to our cleaning business in the future. Take a notebook and pencil everywhere with you for a few weeks, and anytime you have an idea about an aspect of your business you’ve forgotten about, or have a moment to work on developing your workflow, write it down. You’ll have it all planned out in no time.

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