Throughout the height of the pandemic, many families turned to swimming as a form of stay-at-home entertainment. This trend led to a massive growth of 20% in pool ownership and construction throughout the country just between 2019 and 2020. Recent data estimates an increase of over 500% in backyard pools in recent years. For companies like Pool Scouts, the 110-plus-territory pool maintenance and cleaning franchise, this trend has drastically impacted the pool services industry.
Pool Scouts delivers a quality, consistent pool cleaning, maintenance and minor repair service through the use of highly trained technicians who are experts in testing, monitoring, treating and servicing pools. Part of the appeal of the brand is that the pool service pros don’t even require face-to-face interaction with customers to get the job done – a significant benefit during the pandemic. Pool Scouts also has the backing of a strong parent company, Buzz Franchise Brands, that helps set up franchisees for success from the start.
“We were also really fortunate during COVID — while so many other companies were shutting down, we saw robust growth as an essential service. People have invested more in pools and pool construction in the past couple of years than they ever have,” said Michael Wagner, president of Pool Scouts.
While the entire industry saw growth, Pool Scouts specifically saw impressive system-wide expansion. The brand saw 45% customer growth in 2022 compared to the year before, due to the higher quantity of households that had invested in pool ownership during the pandemic that now needed maintenance services. Additionally, Pool Scouts had an impressive year in franchise development, signing 17 new franchisees that represented 25 territories. It entered several new states in 2022, including Michigan, Idaho and Illinois, which are set to open in 2023. With that, Pool Scouts now operates in 18 states across the country.
“The past couple of years have been incredibly robust from a pool construction standpoint across the country,” said Wagner. “Lots of new pools have been built, and they need us to take care of them. So, we expect customer acquisition to continue to be robust, and we’re very much looking forward to that. The brand really hit a tipping point over the past couple of years, especially with the number of customers we’re servicing around the country, and we expect great things in 2023.”
Pool owners across the country consistently turned to Pool Scouts for service in 2022, with 71% of Pool Scouts clientele being recurring customers across the franchise system. The brands’ value per customer increased 15% year-over-year, despite the fact that 58% of invoiced customers were brand new to the company. With this climbing demand for pool service year over year, the brand’s system-wide net promoter score reached a high of 80, with eleven franchise locations scoring above 90 for their respective units across nine separate states.
Because of charitable initiatives such as the brand’s partnership with Hope Floats, an organization whose mission is to protect every life from drowning through education and water safety awareness, Pool Scouts was able to stand apart from the other brands within the industry during that time while helping save lives across the country. Throughout Water Safety Month, Pool Scouts donated $1.00 from each service to the Hope Floats Foundation in order to provide scholarships to children for swim lessons. The brand’s efforts raised $16,018 for the foundation, funding 800 swim lessons for children who would not be able to afford them in local communities nationwide and help prevent drowning as a cause of death in children.
“Safety is our top priority, and this partnership with Hope Floats allows us to act on that and provide potentially life-saving value to children and families across the county,” said Brian Garrison, COO of Buzz Franchise Brands, parent company of Pool Scouts.
Pool Scouts was able to achieve and maintain its successful pattern with the leadership of new executive team members like Lynlea Rudell, who joined the brand in the middle of the pandemic as the Director of Marketing. Rudell joined Pool Scouts with 15 years of experience in marketing under her belt and was a natural fit for the brand due to her background as a swim coach.
Rudell’s interest in franchising began when she and a friend were interested in becoming British Swim School franchisees. She realized it wasn’t the right time for her to become an owner but loved the Pool Scouts story and concept. When the Director of Marketing Position opened up she “jumped” right in. Since joining the leadership team at Pool Scouts, Rudell’s focus has been on growing the brand and finding the right franchisees to expand with, as pool service demands continue across the country.
“As you are building trust with your franchisees you need to be a good coach and listener to provide the guidance required to help the franchisees as they build up their business,” said Rudell.
In 2022, Pool Scouts continued to add more members to its leadership team including Kanchan Woods as the brand’s marketing specialist, and Dave Nolan and Adrian Francisco as technical support coaches to perform field training and support around the pool side of the business. Pool Scouts also hired Russell Gesher to the leadership team as the new Director of Operations.
Looking into 2023, Pool Scouts is expecting to bring in over 18 new franchisees in several new states.
“Our expectations are to grow even more robustly on the customer side, across the country,” said Wagner. “We have so many new franchisees that we really expect to see substantial growth in their second year, or even a second six months depending on when they launched their business. We acquire a ton of customers in the early parts of the year, with the April-June timeframe being some of our biggest months. We are looking forward to another great year at Pool Scouts.”
Read the full article in Franchising Magazine USA, here.