By Carolyn Dibrell
The new year is upon us and it is time for service professionals to tie up those loose ends from last year and get busy thinking about exciting new business commitments and goals.
For the pool & spa service trade, the winter months provide the perfect opportunity for professionals to shift from pool cleaning to business cleaning.
For many this involves hiring new staff, obtaining insurance, learning new tax codes and tightening up the expense accounts. For an even larger group of people however, the tasks of 2018 most certainly include securing plans for expansion and retirement.
Considering that the average age of service technicians in the U.S. today is 57 and the average age of retirement is 64, it makes sense for business owners to start laying the groundwork for their exit strategy.
Fortunately, the service side of the pool and spa industry has always been dominated by family-owned businesses, and many service technicians have always planned to retire by passing their businesses on to their children.
In fact, most service techs are nearing the top of the training curve and have been busy for the past few years teaching their children how to run the family business. By now the kids are starting to get the hang of things under the owner’s watchful eye.
But for those owners who do not have this traditional built-in luxury, selling their business on the open market presents another option. According to the four largest pool route brokerage houses in the country today, there are more buyers than sellers in the pool and spa service route economy.
Applying a simple supply and demand model suggests that when the number of routes on the market is less than the number of buyers, there is a shortage and prices should rise as a result.
This is great news for service professionals who are considering selling their business — and even better news for the pool route brokers. See our interviews with brokers on page 6.
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