Dick Abare CPC, owner Algae Busters Pool Service, inc. Tampa Bay, Florida
Residential Installation, Warranty and Repair Employees: 2
Something new and innovative helps pull us out of a rut and makes us step out of our comfort zone. Embrace technology you haven’t already. If you have, take some more updated classes. One of the many things I enjoy in this industry is selling and upgrading our customers to automation. We always try to make sure our customers call us first and make sure we’re the company in their backyard.
Don’t be afraid to turn off your cellphone. Realistically, how many real swimming pool/spa emergencies are there? There are exceptions, but how many have you ever seen? Over the years, we’ve found the homeowners were aware of the problem several days, weeks or even months and didn’t call.
Sometimes you have to realize you just can’t make everyone happy. I’m not saying we’re going to throw our hands in the air and quit, but when is it about the customer taking advantage of us?
What we find most helpful and sometimes difficult is taking needed and deserved down time. We try to take such good care of our customers, and we have to do the same for our special loved ones and ourselves.
Residential Pool Cleaning, Repair and Maintenance Renovations, Remodels and Inspections Employees: 9 Accounts: 150
I don’t know of any business owner who works in their business who never gets burnt out. Mine comes from the constant stress of owning a business, role ambiguity since I’m all over the place, overload, being always available and not setting boundaries. I take a two-week vacation at Thanksgiving and Christmas to recharge my drive again. Each year Chris, my husband and business partner, and I set goals for next year, and see what our biggest stresses were and how we can overcome them.
Sometimes you want to throw in the towel and go work for someone else. However, you have to remember the real reason you started your business. I like to think of mine when I’m feeling down as a reminder to push forward.
Setting boundaries is very hard for me. I’m the one everyone calls in our business, and at times I don’t even have time to deal with it, but I still do. Sometimes to recharge during the season, we’ll take a weekend trip and tell everyone not to call unless a pool exploded. We have to step back and focus on our family and ourselves, which is so hard during busy season. I can see it in my son when we’re slammed and not spending quality time with him. I have to remember to have that balance and not work until 3 or 4 a.m. like I do.
When our performance drops, the employees see that and feed off our energy. As business owners, we also have to remember to delegate and elevate, increase accountability and implement systems for everyone.
Employees experience burnout too. You don’t want to overload them throughout the busy season with 12-hour shifts every day, then expect them to work weekends as well. Don’t expect them to care about your business as you do. It’s important to have a flexible mindset. We cross train so employees are not stuck in one section and can have variety.
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