Pool Scouts is a franchise that works to ensure all their customers spend more time enjoying their pool, not worrying about cleaning it. Since Pool Scouts began franchising in 2016, they have successfully expanded in 39 territories within nine states, and they plan on continuing this expansion in locations around the country.
Franchising USA sat down with Michael Wagner, President of Pool Scouts, to discuss what makes the company stand out from the competition.
What makes Pool Scouts an attractive franchise opportunity?
“Great question, the franchise is designed to be operated from home, so there are no massive site costs or rent to consider,” Michael Wagner explains. “It is an extremely manageable business model from the outset, initially only requiring two key roles to operate successfully. The first role is what we call the office manager, who is responsible for taking calls, scheduling jobs, ordering supplies, managing local marketing and other such administrative duties. The second role is that of the technician, they work out the in field at people’s homes.”
Pool Scouts consider their vehicles as their real estate, making them a great franchise choice if you’re looking for flexibility or a business that can work around your life and family.
“Pool Scouts is the second brand launched for Buzz Franchise Brands,” Michael Wagner says, “meaning Pool Scouts is part of an organisation with a strong leadership team with a tremendous amount of franchising experience.” This support and expertise is supported by Pool Scouts’ marketing approach, which works to build the Pool Scouts brand to assist local franchisees in presenting a known and trusted brand to their customers. “We work on behalf of our franchisees to build a targeted marketing approach to branding, develop all of the digital side of things, direct mail, websites and reputation management,” Michael Wagner explains, “so we do a lot of things that really help them on the marketing side to acquire customers but build their brand locally in order to set them up in their communities.”
What sort of training and support do you offer Pool Scouts franchisees?
“The training program is nine days of face-to-face training at the corporate office in Virginia Beach. This is a great opportunity to meet and get to know the Pool Scouts leadership team. Prior to coming to head office, we provide two to three days of online training. Then, based on the tenor of the franchisee, there are different certification levels that we offer. These levels depend on how long the franchisee has been with the company and state regulations associated with repair work.”
Pool Scouts train their franchisees to develop and maintain regular customers on a recurring basis, giving their franchisees a steady, reliable income and the ability to build relationships with customers in their community.
“We have a field support coach who spends a lot of time out with our franchisees and is also available by phone or Facetime.” This ongoing support is available to every Pool Scouts franchisee. “Additional to ongoing training benefits, this is also a great way for us to look at what is going on with our franchisees and customers and pass on suggestions so they can improve and develop accordingly.”
Pool Scouts offers business training and technical training, teaching their franchisees how to run the business operations as well as about pool maintenance and equipment. This means that as a Pool Scouts franchisee, you will have a thorough understanding of every aspect of the business and the skills to manage it successfully.
What sort of person is your perfect franchisee fit?
“At Pool Scouts, we have coined the term ‘PHD’s’ to describe what we are looking for in a potential franchisee – Passionate, Hungry and Driven.” Michael Wagner goes on to explain that of all the franchisees they currently have working in their system, only one has a background working in the pool industry. “Just like the franchisor, we are looking for people who are hard working, motivated and can work within an established system.” So far, all of Pool Scouts’ franchisees are owner-operators, with many working as the office manager and hiring in technicians to go and tend to the jobs. The benefit of a Pool Scouts franchise is this flexibility, and the ability to rely in a tired and tested system with support mechanisms in place. “We teach that at the core, our franchisees need to have that passion, hunger and drive in order to effectively work with the Pool Scouts leadership team to see their franchise succeed,” said Michael Wagner.
Where are your current territories, and where are you hoping to expand?
“We are in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, Florida and Texas, with our corporate office in Virginia Beach.” Michael Wagner goes on to explain that Pool Scouts successfully operates in both seasonal and non-seasonal markets.
“We find that the best locations for successful Pool Scouts franchises are areas which have a high concentration of residential pool owners in a tight area,” Michael Wagner explains, “so that would incorporate metropolitan cities, certainly in the North East. Right now, we have a particular focus on Charlotte and Atlanta. We know these are excellent territories for our business. The whole states of Texas, Florida, California, Arizona and New York are ideal. They are what we call the ‘Big Five,’ which are the five biggest pool states. The fact that we are not yet in California and Arizona make them very attractive states for us in terms of explosion opportunities.”
What success do you see for Pool Scouts in 2019 and the coming years?
“Pool Scouts is the primary brand of Buzz Franchise Brands, putting the company and our franchisees in a great position,” Michael Wagner explains. “We have a big focus on Pool Scouts and our expansion capabilities, and we are hoping to double the number of franchisees in the next year.” Pool Scouts has an impressive pipeline, and Michael and the leadership team are motivated and determined at see the franchise system go from coast to coast.
“We’re truly building a nationwide service brand. One of the great things about Pool Scouts is that we know what we want to do, we don’t want to try and do everything – we really want to focus on the service side of the pool industry and will continue to build relationships and long-standing customer commitment. I can see 500 very strong territories for our business, and I definably see us capturing good market share.”
Michael Wagner advises any aspiring franchisees to focus on their passion and drive. There are many great benefits to working within an established system such as Pool Scouts, and their ever-growing brand awareness will continue to help Pool Scouts franchisees build a bright future.