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Cousins Bring Pool Scouts to Hays County and New Braunfels, Texas

Hillary Burris and Phil Benedek are pursuing their dream of business ownership with the Buzz Franchise Brands-owned pool cleaning franchise.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
Updated 7:07AM 07/17/23

Business ownership was something that cousins Hillary Burris and Phil Benedek had been wanting to do together for a long time. After spending time in their respective careers, they recently decided to go forward with that dream through franchising. In their search for the perfect opportunity, the duo found Pool Scouts, the pool cleaning franchise under the Buzz Franchise Brands umbrella. 

As active members of the community, Buda Chamber of Commerce and Kyle Chamber of Commerce, Burris and Benedek have made the decision to bring the franchise to all of Hays County and New Braunfels at the end of June. They hope to create a welcoming environment for people to work and a business that serves the community well. 

1851 Franchise spoke to Burris and Benedek about their franchising journey with Pool Scouts. 

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Burris: I have a colorful career history. I was a special education teacher that moved into teacher training. Then I got a job with a tech company implementing their onboarding, learning and development. After that, I transitioned into a partnership manager role at that tech company, so now I'm managing all of our partners. Along with those roles, I started and ran a medical waste disposal business that was sold last year. 

Benedek: I was a project manager for a general contractor for seven years, and I wanted to do something different. Hillary and I had been wanting to go into business together as cousins for a while. We thought franchising would be a good way to go because I don't have business-ownership experience.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Benedek: I thought it was just buying a Taco Bell or Mcdonald’s — some kind of restaurant. But then I found out there's franchises for every industry. I didn't have any negative thoughts about it. I just knew there would be some fees associated with it. I would say I was more neutral on the idea. 

Burris: I second what Phil said. I wasn’t sure if we could afford it or if it would be a fit. I was concerned about royalty fees, but it's already been proving to pay for itself. 

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Burris: We wanted a home-based business to start, something with low overhead for startup costs and something that we could run initially ourselves. When we met the team on Discovery Day, we loved the culture. That sealed the deal for us, along with the business model. 

Benedek: We also wanted something that was recurring. 

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Benedek: I hope to build a successful business that employs some good people. I want to build a good team and a good culture. I want to make it as fun as it can be to clean pools. I would like to achieve personal and financial freedom as well.

BurrisWe are willing to put the work in to offer our community a worthwhile service. We want the business to be a community known name while making it an enjoyable and secure place for people to work.

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

Burris: If you want something, go and get it. It's hard and sometimes seems impossible. But if you make a plan, it can be attained. We didn't want to work for other people anymore.

Benedek: If you’re unhappy doing something, try something new. Leaving a salaried position [is risky]. But if you don't try, you'll never know. 

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Benedek: Go with a franchise consultant. That's what we did. And talk to as many existing franchisees as possible. They're the ones actually doing it. I feel like they were pretty honest with every question we had. Meet the team too. 

Burris: Talking to franchisees gave us a lot of insight and ended up swaying our decision. Like Phil said, they're the ones with boots on the ground living it everyday. 

About Pool Scouts

Virginia Beach, Virginia-based Pool Scouts is a premier pool service franchise focused on delivering a quality, consistent brand experience while providing pool cleaning, maintenance and minor repair services at residential properties. Technicians are trained in testing, monitoring, treating and servicing pools, and can provide ongoing service as well as help at the beginning and end of the summer season. With 110-plus territories across 18 states, Pool Scouts offers a great opportunity as a low-cost franchise in the pool services industry with available territories across the United States. The startup costs for a Pool Scouts franchise ranges from $87,490 to $109,625. To learn more about franchising with Pool Scouts, visit For more information or franchising opportunities, visit

About Buzz Franchise Brands

Founded in 2012 and based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Buzz Franchise Brands is a fast-growing, multi-brand franchising organization that builds companies that get people talking. The organization's first brand Mosquito Joe was sold to Neighborly in late 2018 after growing to almost 300 locations. Buzz Franchise Brands currently operates pool cleaning and maintenance company Pool Scouts, residential cleaning company Home Clean Heroes, swim lesson company British Swim School, and holiday lighting company Grand Illuminations. The company has been named among the Inc.’s “500 Fastest Growing Private Companies,” as well as Inc.'s “Best Workplaces” list for several years in a row. For more information about Buzz Franchise Brands, visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.