Your executive summary is the first part of your business plan, but you usually write it last because it is a summary of all the important parts.
Your executive summary should get the reader’s attention quickly. Tell them what kind of business you are running and how things are going. For example, are you a new business, do you want to grow your pool cleaning business, or do you own a chain of pool cleaning businesses?
Next, describe each part of your plan that comes after this one.
- Tell us a little bit about the business of cleaning pools.
- Talk about what kind of business you have cleaning pools.
- Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of the people you’d like to buy from you.
- Give a quick summary of your plan for marketing. Find out who on your team is the most important.
- Tell what you want to do with your money.
In your business summary, you will explain what kind of pool cleaning business you run.
For example, you could specialize in one of the following types of pool cleaning businesses:
- Residential pool cleaning: This type of pool cleaning business specializes in cleaning pools for homeowners and residential community pools.
- Commercial pool cleaning: This type of pool cleaning business specializes in cleaning commercial pools like those in hotels, resorts, and recreation centers.
- Pool maintenance and cleaning: This type of pool business takes care of filters, plumbing, pumps, and other pool equipment, and also makes sure the water balance is right.
In the company overview, you should say what kind of pool cleaning business you will run and give some background on the business.
Include answers to things like:
- When did you start your business, and why?
- What important steps have you taken so far? Milestones could include the number of customers served, the number of pools serviced, making X amount of money, etc.
- Your legal stuff Are you set up as an S-Corporation? An LLC? A single-person business? Tell us about your legal structure.
In your industry or market analysis, you need to give an overview of the pool cleaning business.
This might seem useless, but there are more than one way to use it.
First, learning about how to clean pools gives you information. It helps you understand the market better.
Second, doing market research can help you make a better marketing plan, especially if you look for trends in the market.
The third reason is to prove that you know what you’re talking about. This is what you do by doing your research and putting it in your plan.
In the industry analysis part of your business plan for cleaning pools, you should answer these questions:
- How much does the pool cleaning business make?
- Is the market getting smaller or bigger?
- Who are your biggest competitors in the market?
- Who are the most important market providers?
- What new things are happening in the business world?
- How do you think the market will change in the next 5–10 years?
What is the right size for the market? That is, how big is the possible market for your business, which cleans pools? You can figure out such a number by finding out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the people in your area.
In the part of your business plan called “Customer Analysis,” you should explain who you serve or plan to serve.
People, schools, families, and corporations are some examples of different types of customers.
As you might expect, the type of pool cleaning business you run will depend a lot on which customer segment(s) you choose. People would respond to marketing campaigns in different ways than, say, corporations.
Try to figure out who your ideal customers are based on their age, gender, and how they think and feel. In terms of demographics, you should talk about the ages, genders, locations, and levels of income of the people you hope to help.
Psychographic profiles show you what your customers want and need. The more you can figure out about what these needs are and how to meet them, the easier it will be to find new customers and keep the ones you already have.
In your competitive analysis, you should find out who your direct competitors are and then focus on them.
There are other companies that clean pools that are direct competitors.
Indirect competitors are other things that customers can buy besides your product or service that aren’t in direct competition with it. This includes other kinds of pool cleaning services, stores that sell automatic pool cleaners, and how-to guides that show homeowners how to clean their own pools. You should also talk about competitions like this.
For each of these competitors, give an overview of their business and a list of their strengths and weaknesses. You won’t know everything about your competitors unless you have worked for one of them. But you should be able to learn important facts about them, such as
- Who are the clients they work with?
- How do they make a living cleaning pools?
- How much (high, cheap, etc.) do they cost?
- What are they good at?
- Where do they not measure up?
Try to answer the last two questions from the point of view of your customers. Don’t be afraid to ask customers of your competitors what they like and dislike about them.
The last part of your competitive analysis is to list the ways you are better than your competitors. For example:
- Will you make it easier for people to buy what you have to offer?
- Will you sell or do things that your rivals don’t?
- Will you give your customers better service?
- Your prices will be better, right?
Think of ways you can be better than your competitors and write them down in this part of your plan.
Usually, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, its price, where it will be sold, and how it will be promoted. In the marketing plan for your business plan for cleaning pools, you should:
Product: In the product section, you should say again what kind of pool cleaning business you have, just like you did in the summary of your business. Then, describe the goods or services you’ll be selling. For example, do you clean, maintain, or wash filters with acid?
Price: List your prices and how they compare to those of your competitors. In your plan, the product and price sections are basically where you list the products or services you offer and how much they cost.
Place is where the company that cleans your pool is located. Write down the location of your business and how it will affect how well it does. For example, does your pool-cleaning business operate in a busy shopping area, a business district, a separate office, or just online? Talk about why your website might be the best place for your customers.
Promotions: In the last part of your pool cleaning marketing plan, you’ll write down how you’ll get potential customers to your location (s). Here are some ideas for how to promote your business:
- Put ads in local newspapers, magazines, or radio stations.
- Reach out to websites.
- Distribute flyers
- Engage in email marketing
- Put up ads on social media websites
- Improve your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) for the keywords you want to rank for.
In the other parts of your business plan, you talked about your goals. In your operations plan, you talk about how you will reach those goals. Your plan for operations should have two separate parts.
Everyday short-term processes include everything you need to do to run your pool cleaning business, like answering calls, scheduling technicians, billing customers, collecting payments, etc.
Long-term goals are the goals you want to reach in the future. These dates could be when you expect to get your Xth customer or when you hope to make $X in sales. It could also be when you want to start cleaning pools in a different city.
To show that your pool cleaning business has a chance of doing well, you need a strong management team. Show the backgrounds of your key players, with a focus on the skills and experiences that prove they can help a company grow.
You or someone on your team should have run a business that cleans pools before. If so, talk about what you’ve learned and what you’ve done. But you should also talk about any business experience you have that you think will help your business do well.
If you don’t have a strong enough team, you might want to put together an advisory board. A board of advisors would have between two and eight members. These people could give you advice that would help your business. They would answer questions and give planning tips. If you need to, look for advisory board members who have run a business that cleaned pools before.
Your 5-year financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement. For the first year, it should be broken down monthly or quarterlyly, and after that, it should be done annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, your balance sheet, and your cash flow statement.
Most people call an income statement a P&L, which stands for Profit and Loss. It shows how much money you made and how much it cost you, so you can see if you made a profit.
When making your income statement, you have to make some assumptions. For instance, will you clean 5 pools a day and charge by the hour? How much will sales increase each year? 2% or 10%? As you might expect, the assumptions you make will have a big impact on your business’s financial projections. Do as much research as you can to try to find facts that support what you think.
Balance sheets show you what you own and what you owe. Balance sheets may have a lot of information on them, but try to focus on the most important parts. For example, if you spend $50,000 to start a business cleaning pools, you won’t make money right away. Instead, it’s an asset that you hope will bring in money for years to come. In the same way, you don’t have to pay back a $50,000 check right away if someone gives it to you. You’ll have to pay that back over time instead.
Report of Cash Flow
Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure that you never run out of money. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t know that you can make money and still go bankrupt if you run out of cash.
Make sure to include some of the most important costs of starting or growing a pool cleaning business on your Income Statement and Balance Sheet.
- Cost of the tools and materials needed to clean the pool
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- A business needs insurance.
You’ll also have to pay for things like legal fees, permits, software, and equipment when you start a new business.