How to start a successful pool service business

If you are planning to start a pool cleaning business, then opportunities can be everywhere from backyard pools in residential houses to hotels, schools, gyms, and other commercial buildings.

Essentially, you can offer your services anywhere there’s a swimming pool, although it might vary depending on your location. For example, if you live in a tropical country, then your clients might need your services year-round, while those living in countries with winter and autumn might only get businesses in the hotter months and between the seasons.

Nevertheless, a pool service business can be a lucrative opportunity, and here we will discuss all you need to know about starting a pool service business. However, just so that we are on the same page, let us begin by first discussing the concept of the pool cleaning business.

What Does Pool Cleaning Business do?

Pool cleaning actually involves more details than simply draining the pool dry and then scrubbing the floors and walls.

In short, it’s about keeping these pools in perfect condition, both hygiene and safety-wise.

This will include details like checking the chemical levels of the water, then adjusting the chemical to maintain the right balance. The chemical balance of a swimming pool can be a delicate thing, and when not maintained correctly, it can be dangerous. You will need a bit of expertise in knowing the right chemical balance for the pool.

Also, you will need to check the pool’s pumps and filters, so you’ll need a bit of machinery knowledge. These pumps and filters can be expensive when they are broken, so you wouldn’t want to accidentally break them during your cleaning service.

Of course, you will also need to handle the business aspect of the business: marketing your business to attract clients, build relationships, keeping your employees happy, managing accounts, and so on.

Legal Requirements of Starting a Pool Cleaning Business

While the legal requirements of starting a pool cleaning service or business aren’t as strict as other service and repair businesses (i.e. HVAC service), some states in the US and some countries do require you to be licensed/certified and properly trained before you can take jobs on any pools, especially public pools.

Meaning, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to do the proper training or take the required apprenticeship program to get licensed, or alternatively, you can hire or partner with a licensed pool technician.  In most places, you will need to be certified by the National Spa Pool Foundation as a Certified Pool Operator if you want to stay in business.

However, even if you are not legally required to be certified in your location, these certifications can provide a competitive advantage for your business: many clients prefer to work with a certified business, and some might be willing to pay more if you are certified.

Also, getting certified will give you the right training you need to properly clean a pool.

Another important consideration here is insurance, and again, you might be legally required to have multiple types of insurance policies, including:

  • General liability insurance: protects the business when clients are injured in the process of your service. Will cover medical bills, legal fees, and other related costs.
  • Commercial property insurance: when the business’s property is damaged
  • Commercial auto liability insurance: covers any vehicle that is used for business purposes
  • Workers comp insurance: covers lost wages or medical bills when employees are injured on the job.

Service Excellence From Day One

What separates the best pool service businesses from losing ones? The answer is customer service excellence.

While it might sound intimidating at first, customer service excellence doesn’t need to be too complex: it’s mainly about asking your clients about their expectations and deliver on what you said you are going to do. In fact, you are going to beat 80% of your competitors if you show up on time.

You should:

  • Show up on time

 Time management can be a significant issue in any field service business, especially after you are employing a lot of technicians in your team. It’s best to invest as early as possible in field service management software like fieldd so you can always deliver on your promises and make sure your team is using their time on their tasks rather than on administrative duties.

  • Communicate

Even a bit of effort in communicating with your clients can be extremely helpful in maintaining good relationships and growing your business. Spend some time to talk to your clients about their unique pool needs and why you are using your specific approach. You are more likely to stand out when you put just a little bit of effort to communicate what you do and also listen to their concerns.


A pool cleaning business is, above anything else, a service business, and it’s important to focus on delivering the best possible service to turn happy customers into advocates that will recommend your business to their peers, family members, and friends. By simply showing up on time and finishing the job on time, you can beat most of your competitors and attract more clients.