As I see it there are three options:
1. Fire the other guy/gal and hire you
2. Fire themselves and hire you
3. Create more pools and a certain percent will go on service Relative to 1: Firing the other service company and hiring you is not an “industry growth strategy.” Sure, one company will grow (the other will shrink). Next year, the other company may undercut your price and get the business back. For the industry, fighting over customers does not cause growth. In fact, it is a classic sign of a mature market with diminishing profitability. This is a bad strategy.
Relative to 2: There’s some merit here. Yet, as economics change, some homeowners may decide to fire the maid service or the pool service company. Thus, being better at marketing to homeowners who are not on service now is positive, but has limitations since we would be subject to overall economy changes.
Relative to 3: Creating more swimmers is the one true way to grow the pool service industry. Here’s why.
Some industry experts estimated that about 25% of the residential inground pools are on service. In some regions, the number is higher and in others, it’s lower.
About 37% of Americans admit they can’t swim; and 42% are afraid of the deep end of a pool. If that many people are afraid of the deep end or can’t swim, it is not surprising that 75% of households who earn more than $75k per year reject the idea of pool ownership. After all, if one spouse is afraid of a pool, what do you think the odds are the other will convince them to buy and install a pool?
More swimmers create more prospective pool owners. About 25% of pool owners will hire a service company. More swimmers create growth for service companies. Oh yeah, that growth benefits builders, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers too.
Here’s a question for you. Out of all the marketing and promotion your company has done, how much do you spend on 1) versus 2) versus 3)? I am curious to know.
If all the money you have spent has been on 1 and 2, prepare for lower margins and long-term declining business. Investing some in 3 is the answer.
And while you are doing that, why not invest in the future to create more swimmers. Give a little to pay for scholarships for a local swim school or donate some equipment to the local swim team or water aerobics class. www.StepIntoSwim.org