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How This Veteran Franchisee Thrives with Pool Scouts

Rontario Hicks' story is a shining example of how the pool cleaning franchise can provide a solid foundation for entrepreneurial success.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 08/04/23

After serving in the Army for 24 years, Rontario S. Hicks embarked on a new mission: small business ownership. Last year, his journey led him to Pool Scouts, a franchise that offered a proven business model and a supportive community. Today, Hicks is a successful Pool Scouts franchisee in Huntsville, Alabama, and his story is a testament to the power of determination, community service and the right franchise partnership.

“When I left the Army, I worked for the CALIBRE,” said Hicks. “I ran the program management and logistics of a program. From there, my wife and I started a photography company called CMore NU photography. I looked at what I wanted to do in the future and decided I wanted to run a small business with a proven model for success.  I spoke to a business coach and quickly figured out small business was the way for me to showcase my talents in a different manner.”  

First-and-foremost, Hicks wanted a business that would be sustainable and reliable and allow him to provide a valuable service to his community. A perfect segway to franchising, eliminating starting a business from scratch.  Hicks visualized a proven model – like how he thrived in the military. 

"With franchising, the groundwork of how to run a business is well-defined and most importantly there is overwhelming support available," Hicks said. "Essentially, you don't have to do everything by yourself. Someone is with you every step of the way."

In March 2022, Hicks officially opened his Pool Scouts location. The initial months were slow, but as word-of-mouth spread, the business gained traction. "We even had to turn customers away because we did not have enough staff," Hicks said. 

Despite the challenges, the business exceeded its primary goal of $150,000 in the first year. “We just focused on providing the highest quality service possible and sticking to the basics, and in our second year, our staff has doubled,” Hicks said.

Hicks attributes much of his success to the support from the Pool Scouts corporate team. "They’ve already learned best practices from experiences with other franchisees, so they are able to guide me," he said. Regular conversations with other Pool Scouts franchise owners also prove invaluable, fostering a spirit of mutual success.

As Pool Scouts’ first African American franchise owner, Hicks is also passionate about spreading his story in the community. He has partnered with local high schools and a soccer club to increase brand awareness among parents, for example. 

“It is so important to connect with other small businesses within the community and the Tennessee Valley along with Alabama as a whole,” said Hicks. “That has been a true key to success. The local Huntsville, Decatur, and Athens chambers of commerce have been great supporters to connect those partnerships and we thank them for their support as we have continued to grow. We have partners throughout the community, and people trust us and call on us for mutual support.”

Overall, Hicks says his goal is to become a trusted agent of water safety and promoting  childhood drowning prevention and a household name in the Tennessee Valley. “It has been great to provide this service to our community,” said Hicks. “Homeowners believe in the service, and they appreciate our drive and our passion for water safety. They have invited us into the community, and we want to be a trusted source for our customers.” 

Looking ahead, Hicks aims to reach 300 regular customers by the end of the next season. He also plans to retain his quality employees, believing that happy employees deliver quality service to customers.

“Rontario has been a great ambassador for Pool Scouts with a strong involvement in the communities his business serves,” said Brand President, Michael Wagner. “He worked hard in 2022 to establish a footprint in Alabama for Pool Scouts. He had a tremendous first year filling the need for professional pool cleaning services in his market. He has paved the way for future success in Alabama as we look to grow the brand in Alabama and throughout the Southeast.”

The total investment range for a Pool Scouts franchise is from $74,305 to $152,630. To find out more information on costs to buy Pool Scouts, please visit 

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