The fast growth that residential and commercial pool cleaning service franchise Pool Scouts is experiencing was on full display at its recent annual conference, now in its third year. The four-day event held in Cancún, Mexico was attended by close to 50 people, the brand’s biggest turnout yet in its young history. Current franchisees, new franchisees, vendors and Pool Scouts leadership gathered to recognize the achievements of the past year and discuss the brand’s strategic plan for 2019.
“We finished the year with 18 franchisees in our system and 43 territories sold,” Wagner said. “In 2018 alone, we signed nine new franchisees and opened 21 territories. 2018 helped our brand build a lot of steam thanks to a system full of great people doing big things.”
The conference kicked off with a cocktail party on Wednesday, January 16, sponsored by PoolCorp, one of Pool Scouts’ biggest vendors. Thursday was a day of information sessions and strategic planning for the year ahead that concluded with an awards dinner that evening. Friday was anchored by a keynote speaker and nighttime beach party, and Saturday morning featured a Q&A session with brand leadership to conclude the conference.
Pool Scouts has big plans to build on the growth the brand has experienced to this point in 2019. The brand boasts a 75 percent Net Promoter Score, an index designed to gauge the strength of customer relationships, as well as a 65 percent recurring customer rate system-wide, numbers Pool Scouts plans to increase even further by continuing to prioritize high-quality standards.
“Our objective in 2019 is material growth,” Wagner said. “We plan to almost double in size and are aiming to get to 80 territories sold in total. Our focus will be on making sure our franchisees get off to a great start from a launch perspective and making that momentum last all year. We are also pursuing a goal of servicing 6,000 customers across our system this year, drastically expanding on the 2,700 we serviced in 2018.”
Another highlight of the Pool Scouts conference was the announcement of a new corporate partnership with the USA Swimming Foundation, an organization dedicated to preventing drowning and making swim lessons accessible to all. The partnership is part of a bigger effort to drive water safety awareness during National Water Safety Month in May. For one week during the month, Pool Scouts plans to dedicate a percentage of sales across its system to contribute to making swim lessons more accessible to those in need. The charitable initiative was announced via video conference by Olympic silver medalist Elizabeth Beisel.
“Our franchisees are really excited about our partnership with the USA Swimming Foundation,” Wagner said. “Being able to drive more awareness about swim education and safety, something our brand and franchisees are passionate about, through our first charitable venture is a meaningful step for us; and the enthusiasm in the room was palpable.”
Due to an influx of new franchisees last year, Pool Scouts decided to break up its annual award program into a rookie class and veteran class that were announced at the Awards Dinner on Thursday evening. Among those recognized were:
- Tiffiny Consoli, franchisee in Raleigh, Cary and Chapel Hill, North Carolina – High Dive Award (highest revenue) and the Pool Net Award (most new customers recruited)
- Mike and Michelle Blake, franchisees in Dallas – Best Buzz Award (highest Net Promoter Score) and the High Point Award (highest overall score from the mystery shopper program)
- Kinsey and Jake McCutchen, franchisees in Memphis, Tennessee – Rookie class High Dive Award
- Ray Marinaccio, franchisee in Hilton Head, South Carolina – Rookie class Pool Net Award
To punctuate the conference with fun, Pool Scouts held a beach party Friday where attendees gathered for that even included fire dancers. Franchisees were invited to close the conference by attending an open forum with Pool Scouts leadership on Saturday. The brand’s executive team made themselves available to answer any lingering questions the conference may have inspired, helping to promote systemwide synergy as the brand pursues continued growth this year and beyond.