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Former SERVPRO Franchisee to Introduce Pool Scouts’ Pool Services Franchise to Pennsylvania

With in-depth franchise ownership experience within the home services space, Mike McGrory recognized Pool Scouts as something special.

Soon after beginning his career in I.T., Mike McGrory found himself at a crossroads — the company he worked for had closed, the 9/11 attacks had shut the world down and he had just became a father with the birth of his first son. 

This downtime led him to explore new avenues, one of which was franchising. His venture began with three locations of the restoration franchise SERVPRO, which opened and operated with the help of a close friend. From there, he went on to expand his portfolio with eight 1-800-GOT-JUNK locations as well. Now, following the sale of his previous businesses, McGrory’s entrepreneurial spirit is spurring him back into action, leading to his latest venture: introducing Pennsylvania to the residential pool services franchise Pool Scouts.

“It's an honor to be the very first official Pool Scouts location in the state of Pennsylvania,” McGrory said. “I’ve paid my dues in franchising and it feels like this is my reward. I’ve found what I love to do.”

Drawn to the franchise model for its structured support system, McGrory found in Pool Scouts a compelling opportunity to integrate more deeply into his community. His future plans are robust, aiming to expand his franchise throughout Pennsylvania and potentially pass on a thriving business to his children, incorporating them into the family enterprise from a young age.

“Pool Scouts takes away the ‘after-work work’, which is typically the hardest part of being a business owner because it is time you could be spending with your family,” McGrory said. “I can tell this is the best franchise system I have bought into because I immediately saw a reduction in my stress and workload. You have people in your corner helping you get tasks done.”

1851 Franchise spoke with McGrory to learn more about his story, including his franchising journey with Pool Scouts and his plans for the future. 

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

McGroryI started my career in I.T. When the company I worked for went out of business, I helped shut them down and received a severance package. Then 9/11 happened and the world stood still. No one was hiring for a while. My son was also born around that time. 

My best friend was a general manager for a local SERVPRO location, so I hopped on the truck with him one day and had a blast. It wasn’t just work — there was great comradery. I bought my first SERVPRO franchise in 2002, and the following year, he bought a franchise as well. In 2006, we bought a third franchise and then merged it all together as business partners. We then bought eight 1-800-GOT-JUNK locations and eventually sold those to a local franchisee for a great return on investment.

Last October, we sold our three SERVPRO locations and did very well again. So, I took a lot of time off. Then, one day, I was doing some research online and came across Pool Scouts. 

In 2020, I had built a pool at my house and saw how challenging it was to maintain it. We had a flood that turned the water brown at one point and my neighbors were calling me about their pool problems. I thought, “You know what? This might be a great way to start over again.” 

That is how I got to Pool Scouts, and I have loved every minute of the process. We are all friends now, everyone I have met at the brand has been incredibly supportive. This has been the best onboarding experience I’ve experienced with a franchise by far. 

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?

McGroryIt's a business in a box. That is easy to say, but it is really about having those people who know a lot more about the business teaching you. When you start a business by yourself, you don’t have time to do social media marketing, for example. It's the support you get from the franchisor that gives you the time to do those things. Trying to redo something is extremely difficult.  

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

McGroryWith Pool Scouts, it is total integration. From the website to the route scheduling to the internal marketing, they provide you with a business-in-a-box. This is the best franchise system I have bought into because I immediately saw a reduction in my stress and workload. You have people in your corner helping you get tasks done. 

It's really the system. I met my wife after we opened our SERVPRO because she worked at the bar and we used to do our estimates there, taking notes on the back of napkins! That is crazy to think about now. The technology today makes running the business so much easier. Pool Scouts takes away the “after-work” work, which is the hardest part of being a business owner, to get that time back. 

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

McGroryWhen I bought my first SERVPRO franchise, I was a lot younger. Now I have a 13-year-old and an 11-year old who are helping me open my own pool this weekend. Now they understand what daddy does for a living — they’ve watched me start the franchise. My goal is to grab as much of Pennsylvania as I can, build multiple locations and hopefully have a great resale value when the time comes. Maybe if the kids are interested, they can work for me on weekends and summers, and we can one day pass the business down to future generations. 

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

McGroryI am the first franchisee in the state of Pennsylvania, so I could hand pick what territory I wanted. I’ve never really owned something in the area where I live, so I’m excited to engage with my community. I want that pride of giving back to the community I live in. I’ve spent my entire life in this county and I already have a lot of good will out there. 

It's also an honor to be the very first official Pool Scouts location in the state of Pennsylvania. I’ve paid my dues in franchising and it feels like this is my reward. I’ve found what I love to do. 

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

McGroryMake sure you actually have all the money you say you have. When you give your estimates, always work off of the high end. It's your sole source of income; you don’t want to dip into your own personal reserves. When they send you an invoice, you have to be sure you can account for that money. It can’t just be what you thought you’d have. That is the kiss of death for a business. That is one thing that a franchise system doesn’t want — a failed franchisee. Being properly funded is probably the most important factor in a successful franchise. 

Also, you should like what it is you are buying. Go visit the headquarters, go out on a truck, go visit a retail location. Make sure this is something you’ll enjoy everyday. If you don’t love what you are doing, what's the point of being an entrepreneur? 

To find out more information on costs to buy this franchise, please visit


Virginia Beach, VA-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+ 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. For more information or franchising opportunities, visit

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