Posts Tagged: startup
Cleaning swimming pools can be a fantastic opportunity for you if you’re looking to start up your own business and you want it to be something that will keep you outside of a stuffy office. If you live in a warmer climate, this could be a full-time job, lasting all year round, or if your area has cooler weather that limits the swimming season, it could be an addition to your existing activities and an extra source of income.
Whatever your choice may be, here are some requirements to consider when starting up your own pool cleaning business.
Basic start-up requirements
The first step to take is to register your business and get an official licence. Check with your local state and county government, as well as the health department, to learn what specific certificates you need to start your business. In some states, you’ll only need to register and get a business licence to start working. In some other states, such as California, you must be over 18, have at least four years of experience, take a business exam, get finger-printed and bonded and pay additional fees per year.
A good business plan is at the core of every successful organisation. Decide on what type of service you will offer, the equipment and supplies you’ll need and how you will handle your marketing. Starting up any business will entail a lot of initial costs, which might mean you’ll need a bank loan. A well-devised business plan should set up the basis of your business, outline your goals, startup costs, and development and marketing strategies.
You need to be as clear and precise as possible, so choose what you can specialise in (apartment complexes with pools, hotels, private mansions in affluent areas) as it will determine your approach and pricing.
Make sure to pick an original name and logo to set you apart from your competition and use it on your vehicle, working uniforms and on all your promotional material.
Promoting your business
If you provide a high-quality service that will already be half of your marketing strategy. Word-of-mouth is still a very effective way to get advertised and satisfied clients will recommend you to their friends and opportunities will come pouring in.
Do whatever it takes to spread the word of your business: print materials such as business cards, flyers and brochures, visit hotels, motels and health centres and conveniently leave promotional material there. Get your business listed in every directory and advertise in the local papers and on social media. Create your own website and offer deals and guarantees, and feature stories from satisfied customers. This will build trust and help keep customers loyal.
Basic equipment and supplies
Do thorough research of what tools and equipment you need to run your business. Try contacting a local supplies dealer as they can be a great source of information and provide help with any concerns you might have. You might be able to arrange purchasing all swimming pool supplies from them and get the best deal possible for a pool skimmer, water testing kit, cleaning chemicals, brushes, leaf rakes and a vehicle large enough to store and carry it all.
Pricing and contracts
It’s also important to create a price sheet as well as specific offers and discounts for referrals and service package purchases. You need to stay on top of things and keep orderly records on your computer. It’s also good to make a paper trail of your visits; so, always have invoices ready, that way you can leave them at your clients’ place to account for your visits. In addition, make up a basic contract for clients to sign at the beginning to ensure you agree on fees and schedule, as well as any liabilities that might come up.
Running your own pool cleaning business could be your path to realizing your dreams, but be prepared to work hard and invest a lot of time and effort in it, in order to make it more than just a job that keeps you afloat. It should be a business that is successful and profitable.
If you’re a big fan of cars and mechanics and you’re looking to be your own boss and have your own business, then starting up a car repair shop could be just right for you. However, be aware that it’s a lot more than just having fun fixing cars. Here are several things to consider before starting.
Starting up any business always entails a lot of initial costs. You’ll need funds to cover the rent (or mortgage if you decide to purchase the place), business rates, licences and insurance for the premises, all vehicles and public liability, utility bills, refuse disposal and special waste carrier licence to dispose of materials such as used oil, tires and batteries. It’s clear that you will most certainly need a bank loan, and for that, you must first have a well-devised business plan. This document sets the basis of your business as it outlines its goals, startup costs, equipment, development strategies and advertising costs.
Choosing the right place
One of the key aspects of a good garage business is its location and the choice of premises. For starters, you want your garage in a good location with high traffic such as near busy highways or the city center.
The space itself needs to be a suitable workspace with enough room for all the tools, diagnostics equipment and ramps. You also need to secure a parking space for customers, a reception and payment area, a waiting room area, back office, toilet and a small kitchen. You might also be in a position to take over a previously owned garage business so you will inherit most of the equipment in the package as well as contacts with suppliers and customers and a certain traffic, but to keep it going, you’ll need to establish your own credentials and reputation.
Can you handle it?
This is a legitimate question to ask. An average day at the repair shop can be quite hectic, especially if you’re the owner. It usually starts around 8am and goes well after closing time. There is always unfinished work to do after closing the gates, such as dealing with parts delivery, paperwork, stocks, technician’s schedules and possible daily problems. A garage is a business with heavy traffic so floor damage is a frequent issue due to oil spillage or cracks, so you’ll be best advised to find one of those premium concrete floor sealers so that the work can continue running smoothly.
Another daily chore for a garage owner is taking care of the accounting. You need to be on top of your paperwork, update your accounting software and preferably have one that is cloud-based, and file papers and documents at least weekly. Keeping track of suppliers and account customers, how much you owe and how much is owed to you is essential to secure cash flow. If you’re not sure you can do it on your own, hire professional accountants to give you direction and advice, help with final accounts and VAT returns.
Offering good quality service is your best recommendation. Make sure that you deliver in time and that you offer feedback to customers on what was done – they are very appreciative of personal approach and kind words.
Good service is already half of your marketing strategy. Satisfied customers will tell their friends about your quality work and word-of-mouth is still a very effective way of advertising. In addition to this, put up a clear signage and get your business listed in every directory, advertise on social media and ask your friends to like and share your posts. Create your website and offer good deals and guarantees – this builds trust and helps retain customers.
Owning a car repair business might be your way of making dreams come true, but be prepared to work hard, invest a lot of your time and effort and develop your skills and knowledge as you work.