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Growing Groups

Panelists share their experience with industry Facebook groups


Joshua Mattey
CPO, CST, owner
JPS Pool Services
North Scituate, Rhode Island

Residential/Commercial
Pool Cleaning, Repair and Maintenance
Employees: 4
Accounts: 100

I first started using Facebook groups about five years ago on a recommendation from a friend in the industry. I was skeptical because in my eyes, most pool guys were rigid, grumpy old guys who wouldn’t help anyone. But as I watched the posts and followed the comments on that first CPO group, I realized the possibilities. Now I’m a member of more than 20 pool groups.

These groups have amazing people who are ready and really willing to help, from the smallest problem to the most technical question. I’ve gotten so much out of these groups. They make me feel like I’m part of something larger than my little company; it’s a group that truly wants to grow the industry and hold individuals to a higher standard, whether you’re a single-poler, multiple-pole operation or builder. It has made me increase my standards and become better personally and professionally.

Professionals can get so much out of these groups. So many topics have intrigued me in one way or another: blue glue versus clear glue; dropping a pen in the pool so you can go get it on those hot days; and some of the most complicated chemical questions. The group also led me to my favorite podcast, Pool Chasers. With so many members of these groups, I would guess there is probably well over 100,000 years of experience. Where else can you get that wealth of knowledge?

As great as these groups are, I don’t believe Facebook groups can eliminate other forms of technical training, but it is making it easier to find simple technical questions and preliminary training before hands-on training. It’s nice to get the ball rolling with a rep in another part of the country while technical support is closed for the day, potentially solving a problem Friday rather than waiting until Monday.

I’d love if the groups ended bullying of new professionals. If we knock people down for asking a question, we probably prevent them from asking more questions in the future, which could harm a client or a tech. We live in a world where, sitting behind a device, we can say anything without real implications to ourselves, but we need to be better.


Mike Tellegen
owner
The Pool & Spa Medic
Molalla, Oregon

Residential/Commercial
Maintenance, Repair, Service
Employees: 4
Accounts: 65-80

 

I completely appreciate the Facebook groups for professional service providers for our industry. I enjoy the camaraderie in this specialized and specific industry as these groups gain some ground. The membership numbers grow daily and range from beginners/novices to busted-knuckle veterans. 

The individuals who started these groups had a vision to assist with questions and conundrums in regard to the everyday pool cleaning to more complex technical issues. They are an outlet for individuals who strive to mentor others in problematic situations. So many of us have tons of street or book knowledge, expertise and experience that would make one a seasoned professional. When I can answer a question, I feel good passing on what somebody has taught me. When I need help, most likely somebody figured out a way to resolve it and passes it along.

I’ve also witnessed some in these groups be very selfish. It’s like they don’t remember that when they first started in this industry, they didn’t know squat. We need to assist those who are lagging behind and bring them up alongside us. With assistance and encouragement, together we can get across the finish line.

A Facebook group won’t replace continuing education, as those types of vehicles provide exceptional professional-style education and training. Plus, you can win prizes, eat meals and obtain certification. But we need more in this industry to help one another, and these Facebook platforms can help accomplish that.


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