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Upgrading From Pool Owner to Pool Scouts Franchise Owner

Russell Burton noticed it was hard to find reliable maintenance services for his pool, which inspired him to become a business owner and address the gap in the market.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
10:10AM 11/28/23

Russell Burton may not have a professional background in pool maintenance services, but he does have a keen eye for opportunity. Now, he looks forward to building a legacy with Pool Scouts in Greenville, South Carolina and hopes he can pass the business down to his three children someday.

1851 Franchise spoke with Burton about his journey into franchising 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?

Burton: I worked for a $65 billion company for nearly 20 years, doing everything from sales to product management, team business operations and services. But, recently, I saw there was a big need in the market in Greenville and the surrounding areas in the pool maintenance industry, and it seemed like a good opportunity. I decided to look around at a couple of different franchise options and Pool Scouts was the best option. It seemed like the best fit for me.

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?

Burton: My initial assumption was that you would feel like you were actually working for somebody else instead of owning your own business. However, the more I've gotten into it and learned about it, I'm able to do a lot more than I thought was possible for a franchisee. There’s a lot more freedom in it than I realized. 

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

Burton: I liked that the brand provided a lower initial investment than some of the competitors. The marketing that they provide is great, as well. They seem to have a tried and true marketing plan. 

I’ve got my own pool and there have been times where I've reached out to folks and it's taken two to three weeks to get someone in to provide pool maintenance services — if they even ever get back to me. I saw that there was definitely a need for a more reliable service in my area. My friends solidified that thought process, as well. They were saying that it was really hard to get in touch with pool maintenance providers. 

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

Burton: I hope to grow my business. To start off, it’ll just be my wife and I running the business through the winter. In the spring, I'm hoping that we're going to be able to expand. I'd love to at some point move north to Asheville as a secondary area.

One of the main reasons that I wanted to do something like this was to potentially build a legacy for my kids so they can jump in and help, and take over at some point. They are currently 9, 11 and 15 so we’ll have a pretty robust workforce soon!

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

Burton: Franchising is something you can do without having a lot of background experience in the industry. I think that owning a pool has definitely helped me in this industry, but with the training and the support from the franchisors, they give you the knowledge and the materials that you need to go out and be successful whether you are experienced or not.

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

Burton: For me, the most important thing is getting past being scared and just actually doing it. You know, it's something that I've wanted to do for a long time. We've thought about it and taking the leap is the hardest part of it; we have three kids and we wanted to ensure financial stability. I was scared to take that leap, but you need to have faith in yourself.

ABOUT POOL SCOUTS: 

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 http://poolscoutsfranchise.com

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

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