Starting a pool construction business can be a worthwhile business decision for an experienced general contractor. The challenge might be in making the business as successful as the one you already operate. It’s vital to understand state regulations and rules governing the industry before setting your course of action and then investing wisely – both steps you no doubt took with your contracting business.
In some areas of the country, this can be a lucrative, but seasonal new niche. On the other hand, you may be busy year-round if you live in warmer regions. But before drawing up that new business plan, getting licensed and bonded – take the time to research and learn what you can about the pool construction industry, what the regional market is like, who your competition will be, the complete range of services they offer and the price for all of them.
Do Some Prep Work
The one thing you don’t want to do is to start a new business without the necessary skills you’ll need. Do some homework on the types, sizes, and materials typically used on pools, decks and enclosure construction in the area you plan to service.
Being a great contractor doesn’t guarantee you’ll be a great pool builder. No pool – from in-ground to above-ground, from the vinyl liner to concrete to fiberglass shell, is easy to install. Every job is different, yet all require time and practice to build skills. If you have some experience in this field, look for the one thing that will set you apart from the rest of the pool installers, then do it better than anyone else.
Sure-Fire Ways to Go Out of Business
Whether on a construction site or in a backyard, clients must know that you’re in it for the long haul and this job is important to you too. For many homeowners, installing a swimming pool is a huge investment. Don’t make mistakes that could hurt you before you really get rolling.
Undercutting Yourself: This may sound crazy, but it’s the truth. As with any other business, swimming pool contractors must turn a profit. When it comes to bidding a job, use common sense and trust your instincts and your skills. There’s a reason that high-end pool builders make the money they make. If you know you’re worth it, let the client know too.
Limiting Your Reach: Not very long ago, pool companies could work within their comfort zone and still make a comfortable living. With the economy picking up, more homeowners may be able to finally put in the pool the family’s been dreaming about. Successful pool construction companies do what it takes and go where the work is. Reputations and great businesses are built on it.
Poor Communication with Clients: A little more than a decade ago, many homeowners (and pool company owners) weren’t yet plugged into the Internet to the degree we are today. The amount of information available to consumers on swimming pools alone can be extremely confusing to someone not familiar with the industry. Make sure you’re ready to answer questions, give informed opinions and steer your customers in the right direction. Clients will be quick to respond to a contractor who knows what he’s talking about.
Investing in some pool design software can break the ice and help clients visualize what their new pool area can look like when you’re finished. This is also helpful if changes are necessary.
Finally, let the public know you’re available, what you offer and how to find you for a consultation. If you don’t already belong to your city’s chamber of commerce, join it. Network online and locally with other pool contractors.
If you already own a business website, let your construction clients know about your new specialty. If you’re an established contractor, you’ve already got an active referral system to plug into. Take advantage of it.