In 2006, Michael J. Baker was a jack-of-all-trades: He was a bartender, selling gym memberships and cleaning pools. His ambition was to be a business owner, so while he worked his other jobs, he started building a pool service company. By 2009, Baker had 50 service accounts and quit his other jobs. In 2011, he had 100 routes, and hired his first employee and subcontractors to help with pool repairs.
But it didn’t stop there. “After working tirelessly every night doing paperwork, I committed to staff in the office,” Baker says. “This was the biggest step yet.” Ambiance now has seven office employees and a dozen techs.
His success hasn’t gone unnoticed: Baker was a runner up in Pleatco’s Perfect Pool Guy contest last year. “I still work long hours, but life is good,” Baker says. “I really enjoy what I do and how I am able to provide for my family. I wouldn’t go back or change a thing.”
When looking toward the future of the industry, Baker says he hopes to see pool service and repair turn into a more notable profession. “I think the stigma of the pool guy will soon be short lived,” he says. “We need to all look at how to better each other and the industry. We are all starting to work toward a common goal. Yes, we are competitors, but with a little respect and camaraderie, we will all be better together.”