Running a pool service in South Africa can be difficult as there is a lot of competition. However, fierce competition is an opportunity as much as it is a threat - it is a sign that there is a lot of demand for the services you offer.
So, if you are an owner of a pool service business, or you’re thinking of buying one, this article will go through some ways you can stand out from your competition and run your pool service to full potential.
You will need to differentiate yourself from your competitors to gain enough business for your company to survive and continue to grow.
Many of your competitors may try to compete by providing cheaper prices, but this can impact the quality of service.
According to research, poor service and defective products are the top reasons for consumer complaints in South Africa. As a result of this, you need to ensure that your service is of high standard. One way to do this is to register with the National Spa and Pool Institute of South Africa. This will demonstrate to potential customers that you are an accredited organisation, whilst being supported by the NSPI.
Including a pool service software in your daily operations is an important way to improve your services. It will enable you to keep accurate records of your client's information, the condition of their pool, what work has been done and other projects that need to be completed. You can also use the software to dispatch and manage your employees, send invoices and stay in touch with your customers.
Be environmentally conscious
South Africans have become more environmentally conscious. Understanding changes in consumer spending and behaviour is extremely important. Start offering a service that uses eco-friendly pool chemicals. It will not only help the environment but also ensure a healthier swimming experience for your customers.
While this suggestion will require more financial resources, it is worth mentioning. Eco-friendly pools are becoming increasingly popular. They mimic natural dams and rivers and use plants and animals and certain safe bacteria to keep the water clean. There are currently very few companies providing this service.
Certifications and training
If you intend on signing contracts with large companies or the government you will need the following:
All cleaning businesses within South Africa have a set of requirements they need to fulfil, and a pool cleaning business is no exception.
- To get government contracts, you will have to register with the Government's Central Supplier Database.
- If you have employees you need to register for a compensation fund.
- As an employer, you need to register with Sars for employer tax.
- If you intend on building and installing pools, you will also need to register with the NHBRC.
Analysing Competition and Market Research
By conducting an in-depth market analysis, you’ll understand your competition, and consumer and industry trends. Start off by searching for pool cleaning and maintenance companies within your area. While doing your research you should look out for the following information:
- Where are they located?
- What services do they offer?
- How do their prices compare to yours?
- Who is their main target market?
- How are they reaching their target market?
What is the Growth Potential?
South Africa has great weather, and many households or complexes have a pool. This makes owning a pool service a lucrative opportunity if you can secure a decent portion of the market within your area of operation. However, it’s important to note that South Africa often has water shortages, so this can severely impact your business.
According to SalaryExpert, a swimming pool service can earn a base salary of approximately R80,192 a year. This average salary is expected to grow to R111,426 by 2027.
Industry Facts you Might Find Interesting
A swimming pool vacuum, known as a ‘Kreepy Krauly’, was invented in South Africa in 1974 by Ferdinand Chauvier
There are approximately 800,000 residential swimming pools in South Africa
Some of the oldest swimming pools in South Africa are the tidal pools found along the Cape Coast, which were built in 1795.
Marketing Your Business
A great marketing strategy does not only get your brand out to an audience, but it also engages your audience in a way that will encourage them to use your service.
To stick out from your competitors in the social media space, you need to be different and engage your audience. Simply advertising your products and services will not be enough. Below are some ways in which you can do this:
- Have at least three social media platforms that are active.
- Create short videos on pool maintenance for homeowners. Give homeowners small tips on how to take better care of their pools, especially during water shortages.
- Create fun memes related to pool cleaning with your company details.
- Utilise TikTok to generate short, easily consumable video snippets and try adapt the trends to your company
People like buying products or services that other people have had a good experience with. Reviews can be a great tool for you to use. Set up Google My Business to enable Google reviews. Additionally, you can set up reviews on your Facebook page as well. Once you have finished with a job you can send your clients a mail to request a review. This will assist you to improve your service and allow potential customers to make more informed decisions.
Financing Your Business For Growth
Your first option for financing your business is to go to a bank. You can apply for a business loan if you have property to put up as security.
Business Fuel enables South African business owners to easily apply for a loan online for up to R3 million.
Cash Flow Capital
Cash Flow Capital assists business owners to apply for business loans online through an easy process which even allows daily and weekly pay backs.
Considerations When Selling Your Business
There are several reasons why you may want to sell your business. A time may come when you want to retire or you want to start a different business. The first thing you need to consider is if you want to sell your entire business or maintain an advisory role for a while.
It is important to start a business with the end in mind, and to base your business strategy on this exit plan. This will not only assist you in your planning, but will also be a strong motivator for you to achieve the goals set out in your plan.
When you are ready, you will need to get a business evaluation done. You can use ValueRight to get a free, accurate valuation of your business, which you can use as a justification for your asking price.