How to Start a Pool Cleaning Business

How to Start a Pool Cleaning Business

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There’s a big market for your services if you’re looking to start a pool cleaning business. According to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, there are over 10 million residential pools in the United States.

How to Start a Pool Cleaning Business

Here’s how to start your own business cleaning them.

Decide How to Begin

There are two big choices for starting a pool cleaning business. You can either start your own company from scratch or buy an existing route. If you’re starting from scratch, the cost can be under $2000 for everything like pool skimmers and the other equipment you’ll need.

Choose to Start From Scratch

If you are starting with nothing, printing up a few business cards and leaving them with local pool supply stores works. Leaving these cards with local pool builders is another excellent idea. Make sure to tell them to refer you to their customers. You can work out an arrangement for these referrals.

Or Consider Buying a Route

Buying an existing route is a ready-made solution, but the upfront costs are quite a bit higher. There’s already an industry of people who will sell you a route, but you need to pay for these established businesses.

In fact, Pool and Spa News reports you can expect to pay up to 12 times the monthly service rates you’ll charge. Some routes will set you back $60,000 at first.

Either way, you should consider joining an association that provides you with insurance and other coverages.

Write a Business Plan

Crafting a detailed business plan is essential for your pool cleaning business. This plan should outline your business goals, target market, competitive landscape, marketing strategies, financial projections, and operational plan.

It’s important to assess the market demand in your area, identify your niche, and determine how you’ll differentiate your services from competitors. A well-structured business plan is a roadmap for your business and is crucial for securing financing or investors.

Pool Cleaning Business

Get the Right Equipment

Getting the right tool for any job can always be the difference between success and failure. In the case of your own pool cleaning business, you’ll need a series of different ones.

Establish Strong Supplier Relationships

Establishing relationships with suppliers for pool cleaning chemicals, equipment, and replacement parts is crucial. Look for suppliers who offer competitive prices, reliable delivery, and quality products. Building a good rapport with suppliers can lead to beneficial terms and possibly discounts in the long run.

Also, staying informed about the latest products and technologies in pool maintenance can give you an edge in the market.

Talk to Industry People

Talking to people who work in the industry and suppliers can help point you in the right direction.  There’s several broad categories like skimmers, brushes, vacuums and hoses and accessories and you’ll need something from each to get started.

Telescopic pool cleaning poles and brushes to scrub the floors and walls of your client’s pools are some of the staples. For the telescopic pole, you need to consider a few factors like strength. Remember you’ll be using this and pushing it underwater to clean the bottoms and sides so it needs to be able to stand up to the pressure.

For this standard piece of equipment, two-piece construction is a good idea. Don’t forget the other must haves like a water testing kit.

Pool Cleaning Business

Check Out the State and Municipal Requirements

It’s important to make sure that everything about your pool cleaning business is aboveboard with your local and state governments.  Different states can have different routes to take and even your municipality might have a few boxes you’ll need to check.

Depending on where you live, you might need a few years of experience before you apply. You’ll more than likely need to pay a licensing fee which will expire after a few years. On top of those extra payments, there’s usually a one-time application fee that you need to open your wallet for.

Acquire Necessary Training and Certifications

Beyond the basic licensing requirements, consider acquiring additional training and certifications related to pool maintenance and repair. This might include courses on chemical handling, pool systems, and water quality management.

Certifications from recognized bodies can enhance your credibility, provide you with advanced knowledge, and make your business more appealing to potential clients.

Providing Outstanding Service: Building a Reputation for Success in the Pool Cleaning Industry

Pool Cleaning Business

Starting a pool cleaning business is just the first step towards success. To thrive in this competitive market and build a reputable brand, focus on providing outstanding service and delivering exceptional customer experiences.

  • Prioritize Customer Satisfaction: Always put your customers first and strive to exceed their expectations. Respond promptly to inquiries and address any concerns or issues promptly and professionally. Regularly communicate with your clients to keep them informed about the condition of their pools and upcoming service schedules.
  • Offer Customized Service Packages: Tailor your service packages to meet the unique needs of each client. Provide options for one-time cleanings, regular maintenance plans, and specialized services based on pool size and specific requirements.
  • Train and Invest in Your Team: Hire skilled and reliable pool cleaning technicians and invest in their training. Ensure that your team is knowledgeable about the latest cleaning techniques, equipment, and industry best practices.
  • Utilize Quality Cleaning Products: Use high-quality and eco-friendly cleaning products to ensure effective pool maintenance while being environmentally conscious. Partner with reputable suppliers to access top-notch pool cleaning solutions.
  • Emphasize Safety and Compliance: Follow all safety protocols and guidelines to prevent accidents and ensure a safe working environment for your team and clients. Comply with all state and municipal requirements, including licensing and insurance, to operate your business legally and professionally.
  • Promote Your Brand: Build a strong online presence through a professional website and active social media profiles. Showcase before-and-after pictures of your pool cleaning projects to demonstrate your expertise. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and testimonials to attract new clients.
  • Offer Referral Incentives: Implement a referral program to encourage satisfied customers to refer your services to their friends and family. Provide discounts or other incentives for successful referrals, helping to expand your client base through word-of-mouth.
  • Stay Updated with Industry Trends: Stay informed about the latest trends, technology, and innovations in the pool cleaning industry. Attend trade shows, conferences, and workshops to network with industry professionals and learn from experts.

By focusing on exceptional service, personalized offerings, and customer satisfaction, your pool cleaning business can gain a competitive edge and establish a strong reputation in the market. Your commitment to quality, safety, and professionalism will lead to long-lasting relationships with clients and sustainable growth for your business.

Key Strategies for Success in Pool Cleaning Industry
Prioritize Customer Satisfaction
Offer Customized Service Packages
Train and Invest in Your Team
Utilize Quality Cleaning Products
Emphasize Safety and Compliance
Promote Your Brand
Offer Referral Incentives
Stay Updated with Industry Trends

Implement Effective Operational Processes

Implementing efficient operational processes is key to managing your pool cleaning business effectively. This includes scheduling, route planning, inventory management, and customer service protocols.

Utilize software tools to streamline these processes for better organization and time management. Efficient operations not only enhance productivity but also improve client satisfaction, leading to repeat business and referrals.

Continuously Monitor and Adjust Your Business Strategy

The pool cleaning industry is subject to seasonal changes and evolving customer needs. Regularly review your business performance, customer feedback, and market trends.

Be prepared to adjust your business strategy, marketing efforts, and service offerings in response to changing market conditions and customer preferences. Staying agile and responsive to the market will help you maintain a competitive edge and ensure long-term success.


Starting a pool cleaning business presents a lucrative opportunity in a market with over 10 million residential pools in the United States. Whether you decide to start from scratch or buy an existing route, it’s essential to focus on outstanding service to build a reputation for success in the pool cleaning industry.

Prioritize customer satisfaction by going above and beyond to meet their needs and expectations. Offer customized service packages that cater to individual pool requirements, providing both one-time cleanings and regular maintenance plans. Invest in your team’s training to ensure they are equipped with the latest cleaning techniques and industry knowledge.

Select high-quality and eco-friendly cleaning products to deliver effective pool maintenance while being environmentally conscious. Emphasize safety and compliance by adhering to all regulations and guidelines set by state and municipal authorities.

Promote your brand through a professional online presence and encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and testimonials. Implement a referral program to expand your client base through word-of-mouth recommendations.

Stay updated with industry trends to stay ahead of the competition and embrace new technologies and innovations. By following these strategies and maintaining a customer-oriented approach, your pool cleaning business can thrive and establish itself as a trusted name in the industry.

Through dedication, hard work, and a commitment to excellence, you can build a pool cleaning business that stands out, attracts loyal customers, and ensures long-term success in this rewarding market.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. He is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. His print credentials include employment with various Toronto area newspapers and three works of fiction: The Apple Lady (2004), Creekwater (2006) and Sophistry By Degrees (2008) published by Stonegarden Press In California.