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Why a Career Prosecutor Decided to Open a Pool-Maintenance Franchise

Ray Marinaccio worked as a prosecutor in New York City for 18 years. Now, he owns a Pool Scouts franchise in South Carolina.

By Kayla Bodel1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 2:14PM 06/23/20

Ray Marinaccio worked as a New York City prosecutor for 18 years before deciding to take a break to raise his three children. When his went to highschool, he decided to go back to work at a law firm that deals with sexual misconduct investgations and sex crimes. A few years later, Marinaccio’s oldest son went to play baseball at Ithaca College, and later, his two younger children chose to go to Clemson in South Carolina. After living in New York for 55 years, Marinaccio and his wife decided it was the perfect opportunity to move into year-round sunshine. Then, he discovered Pool Scouts*.

1851 Franchise: How did you learn about Pool Scouts?

Ray Marinaccio: I wasn’t old enough to retire but wasn’t ready to go back into practicing law. I wanted to run a business but had no business experience so I thought franchising would be the way to go. I started working with a franchise broker and one day I was on the phone with him while cleaning leaves out of my pool and I jokingly told him that I loved to clean pools. A few weeks later he asked me if I was serious about the pool comment and offered the idea of Pool Scouts. 

What I like about Pool Scouts is when I talked to them I could tell I wasn’t just a number to them. I could tell that they cared about my success. They have been helpful every step of the way. 

1851: Were you nervous about opening a business you had little experience in? 

Marinaccio: I have no pool cleaning experience, no business owning experience, and I’m not the best with marketing. I found Pool Scouts helped me with everything. Corporate is also always offering me marketing materials and has helped in areas I struggle with, like creating a business plan. 

1851: What has made your location successful?

Marinaccio: I have a great team. One guy, Frank Duda, who is my director of operations really treats the company like it’s his own. I take him with me to the Mexico convention each year and other franchise owners are always surprised to learn he isn’t a co-owner, that’s how invested he is in Pool Scouts. I couldn’t have done this without him. 

Certain things I don’t do well so I know when to ask for help from corporate. One thing I do really well, and comes naturally to me, is convincing customers that we are honest and going to provide a great product. As a prosecutor my job was to do the right thing, it was all about justice. I never wanted to come across as slimy or forceful, I just want to do the right thing for the client. I don’t push them into a service, I help find the right service for them. When people call us they are calling because they are unhappy with their current service, or doing it themselves, I just have to explain to them what we do differently and why we are the best. 

I also would say going to the Mexico convention and talking to other Pool Scouts owners is really helpful. It's good to hear about their problems and that they are facing similar struggles as me. I can also get advice from other people on how I should handle problems when they arise. Sometimes as a business owner you can dwell on the negatives so I think hearing that everyone goes through similar things makes me feel better. 

1851: Where do you see the company growing in the future?

Marinaccio: This year, in the next couple of months, we are going to really take off and be profitable. We have two territories, Charleston and Hilton Head, three trucks and four employees with plans for our fourth truck soon. I really feel this is the year we go from a beginning franchise to a real profitable business. 

1851: If you could go back and tell yourself one piece of advice about starting a franchise, what would you say?

Marinaccio: I would tell myself to probably focus on the running of the business, the analytics and numbers. I started out really focused on learning to clean pools and customer satisfaction and didn’t focus on the numbers. Only last year with the help of franchise guides I really learned how important it is to pay attention to the numbers and stick to a business plan.

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