Your Guide to Buying a Pool Route

Posted On: / By: Brian Knoderer
Buying A Business

Owning a pool route can be a rewarding and solid investment for the right type of buyer. Even someone with little to no pool cleaning experience can learn and pick up on the essentials quickly and succeed with the right business mindset. As you contemplate buying a pool route, use the following questions to help decide if entering into this industry is the right move for your career. 

4 Questions to Ask Before You Purchase a Pool Route Business

Over the last five years, the swimming pool service industry expanded tremendously throughout the United States. With a 4.6 percent average growth rate, the sector brought in substantial revenue gains as the unemployment rate stayed low and disposable incomes rose. Unfortunately, like many other businesses, it wasn’t immune to the economic effects COVID-19 brought. Despite the projected decline in revenue, IBISWorld notes that there is still demand for pool cleaning services among higher-earning consumers. If you’re considering buying a pool route, it’s important to understand the industry and know what to expect beforehand. Asking the following questions will help set your potential business venture up for success.

1. Is it better to buy a pool service route or launch a startup?

equipment needed to run a pool route service

There are several advantages of buying a pool route for sale versus starting a brand new route. For one, an existing business will already have a list of residential pool accounts and commercial accounts you can service, and you can rely on referrals to grow your clientele. You also won’t need to exert as much time or money into training new service technicians, purchasing new equipment, and developing your brand. All in all, there’s less risk involved, as you’re investing time and resources into an already established business.

2. Why is the current owner looking to sell their pool service company?

As a potential new owner, make it a top priority to determine why the seller is listing their business for sale. Pool route sales are common amongst owners who are retiring or moving out of the area. Nonetheless, it’s not unusual to sell a pool route due to financial hardship, especially amid a global pandemic. Under normal circumstances, it’s rarely recommended to invest in an underperforming business. However, don’t let below-average profit margins this past year draw you away for good. You could try leveraging your buying power and negotiate a better deal.

3. What are the current expenses? 

Next, you’ll need to go over the operating expenses with the current owner. Managing any swimming pool business, big or small, can be a handful. It’s critical to have a good understanding of your day-to-day expenses, so you can plan and budget accordingly. These daily expenses can include anything from fuel costs to cleaning supplies and more. Also, be sure to read over financial paperwork that contains essential information, such as service billing statements, bank account documents, and tax returns. 

4. What is the asking price?

Lastly, you’ll need to inquire about the asking price. Purchase prices for pool service businesses can vary significantly based on the existing customer base’s size, location, assets, and revenue. In warmer regions with more swimming pool owners, like Florida and Los Angeles, expect to see higher asking prices. You can also anticipate paying more for a pool route with residential accounts in wealthy, upscale neighborhoods than one serving primarily middle-class residents. 

Additionally, make sure to ask the business owner if they received a third-party valuation. The price is most likely accurate if based on a professional’s opinion. On the contrary, it could be inflated if they valued it themselves. If this is the case, you’ll have a better chance of negotiating a lower price. 

To learn more about purchasing a pool route or spa service business, turn to the experts at Sunbelt Business Brokers. For years, we’ve been helping entrepreneurs purchase their ideal business in the pool industry. As the world’s largest business brokerage firm, we have the right mix of resources and professional expertise to help guide you through every stage of the buyer journey. Contact your nearest Sunbelt office to get started today!

Brian Knoderer is the President of Sunbelt Business Brokers. He has over 20 years of experience as a business owner and managing business transactions. As a seasoned intermediary, Brian has successfully represented companies in a broad range of industries helping business owners achieve their desired exit strategy or growth initiative.

Brian is also co-owner of Sunbelt Indiana and Managing Director of MMI Capital Partners, a franchisor focused investment banking firm.

Previously Brian was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as well as having held corporate roles in Franchise Development for Prime Hospitality and Choice Hotels.

Brian is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Management Information Systems and earned his MBA from Butler University. He has received the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) designation, holds both the Series 7 – General Security License and the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Licenses, and is a licensed Real Estate Broker. He has been affiliated with several organizations including the Entrepreneur Organization, a Member of the International Business Brokers Association, Venture Club, and a Board Member of The Entrepreneur Institute.

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