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How to Buy a Pool Cleaning Business

One of the most common misconceptions about becoming a small business owner is that it is not only desirable, but almost necessary to begin your business from scratch. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, buying an existing pool business is a much more efficient option that allows you to bypass a large amount of the pesky tasks involved in setting up a business out of thin air. If precautions are taken, you will have a lucrative business in a short amount of time literally impossible to achieve without purchasing an existing one.

While you most likely want to dive in head first, itís important to do a little market research and decide if the market has a place for you. Ask your pool-owning friends who their pool cleaner is, and how the feel about the service they are being provided. Figure out the size of the local businesses, as a market full of small businesses is completely different than one dominated by a couple of giants. If the market is primarily controlled by one or two businesses, chances are they wonít be looking to sell. While you may get lucky, you will most likely have to start up on your own in this situation. On the flip side, a wealth of small competitors will more than likely have an owner looking to retire or otherwise leave the industry, and this is where you can make your move. Find out where you need to go to register a new business and get permits for pool cleaning, and you can most likely ask them for a list of all registered pool cleaning businesses in your area. On top of this, a quick Google search will have profound results.

Now that youíve located some local pool cleaning businesses, you need to get a feel for the industry in your area. Going to each businesses website and looking at their prices and services is a good place to start. Next, you will need to get inside the industry a little bit deeper. The only way to accomplish this is via direct contact with the owners. Before you call the owners, prepare a list of questions to ask. Possible questions include number of customers, types of services, and pricing. Find the phone numbers online, and take some time to have a detailed discussion with each manager. This process will give you an unbeatable insight into the things you will want to look for in buying a business, as well as the things you will need to change once you take over.

Finally, youíre ready to begin your search. A good starting point when looking for a small pool cleaning business to buy is talking to the managers mentioned earlier in the article about selling their businesses. While there is a chance none will be interested, it is definitely in your best interest to at least ask. The internet can also be a powerful tool for finding people selling their businesses, however it is important to realize that nothing beats people those who sell businesses for a living. At this point, you need to seek a professional. Find a firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions, and contact them. If you live in a small town, travel to the nearest big city as nearly every major city has at least one.

Once youíve located a firm that does mergers and acquisitions, tell them exactly what youíre interested in, and theyíll tell you what they have in store. The beauty of firms like this is that they literally mail out letters to businesses asking if they have a desire to sell, and then set them up with interested buyers such as you. Even if this firm has no pool cleaning service in stock, ask them for other hot businesses they are looking to sell.

While the firm will help you in assessing the prospective businessís condition, there are some very important things you need to take into consideration when evaluating if it is worth your while in purchasing. The following list explains in detail the most important of these points as well as giving you advice on how to establish your new business:

1. Make sure the prospective business adheres to every regulation required, is in good standing with taxes and loans, and has all of the proper permits required to operate.

2. Customer Satisfaction. Ask the seller to provide a list of customers. Call many of the customers individually to ask what they think of the businessís current operations. If they are positive, thatís a fantastic indication that you wonít need to change much when you take over. If they are negative however, it is important to note that you can tell the consumer base the business is undergoing new management and will operate differently.

3. Employees. Employees are an often overlooked fundamental part of a business. Before you take over, find out all employee information. This includes pay, employee identification numbers and tax information to make sure the previous business owner was up to date. Also, a quick survey could be helpful in showing you how to improve working conditions and consequently create a new positive attitude in your workers. After you take over, let the employees know how everything will change.

4. Equipment and processes. The equipment used by the previous owner of a business is a strong indication of how good the services they performed were. If the owner neglected to send every worker with a scrubber for algae on the pool walls, for example, you will then know that they tried to take shortcuts to avoid extra costs. On top of this, getting the list of equipment will show you what things you need to buy to create a business that will be associated with quality.

1. Permits and regulations.

Although the primary tool used in buying a business is money, it is important to realize that not only the rich can do it. After you contact the mergers and acquisitions firm, check for good deals on financing your business including a wide variety of loans. If you consult with an analyst who can determine you will be able to bring in enough income to offset your interest payments and heed the warning laid out in this article, you will quickly be on your way to owning a quality business.


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