Texas pool service company receives Jobber grant, sees sustained growth
When Amy Morgan saw that Boost by Jobber was offering grants for home service entrepreneurs, she checked to see if the company she co-owners with her husband, Cody, would qualify. Indeed it did, and Amy submitted Pit Stop Pool Service in Cypress, Texas, as a contender.
“I said ‘Well, why not – let’s apply. Somebody has to win,’ ” Amy recalls. Within a week, the Morgans received notification that their company made it through to the second round. The next round of questions were more in-depth, asking about leadership style, health of the business and what the Morgans felt was most important for continued success.
A third round Zoom meeting was scheduled, but upon joining the video conference, the Morgans were informed that they were being awarded one of the $1,500 grants from Boost by Jobber.
Amy used to be the director of operations at a local corporation, but was laid off due to COVID. Cody had his own business providing oil and gas research for the local government, but all of his partnerships were paused when the shutdown occurred. Unsure what to do to make ends meet, Cody suggested they go back to his roots: He had a pool business in college.
The couple decided to use their MBAs for themselves instead of someone else, Amy says. They started working on getting their CPO and RAIL certifications. Memorial Day weekend last year, the Morgans purchased 28 pool service routes, wrapped a van with their logo, and took to the water. Three months later, they had two employees and two vans. They rented a 2,500 square foot industrial space because they could no longer function from their garage.
Now, 18 months later, Pit Stop Pool Service has 13 employees, six vehicles on the road and 270 pool accounts. They are also in the process of expanding their headquarters.
As the business grew, the Morgans needed a way to manage it more efficiently. After looking at several service programs, they settled on Jobber. “It provides a huge first impression for people,” Cody says. “Customers don’t realize that we’re a smaller business because our communication is just like dealing with a big business. And it’s scalable, so whenever we have 1,000 pools at this location, we’ll still be using software with the same customer interaction.”
The Morgans pride themselves on running the company through servant leadership. “As we started hiring employees, our biggest thing with them was never expecting an employee to do something that you would not first do yourself,” Amy says. “Nothing speaks servant leadership like throwing on a raincoat and vacuuming a pool in the rain. Or, when we had that arctic blast in February, we were all jacketed up and ready to go with our employees [to help with repairs]. We wanted them to see us being willing to participate in anything they’re doing.”
Additionally, Cody says providing a premium service is essential. “We have a fully wrapped van and two guys come out in uniform with one specializing in chemicals and treatment, the other in cleaning and equipment,” he says. “There’s always two people — usually the same two — at a location. They’re fully vetted with background checks, have their certifications — hopefully they’re a little overqualified.”
These were the standards that impressed Jobber staff and ultimately lead to Pit Stop Pool Service being a recipient of the grant.
“Amy and Cody are an inspiring example of entrepreneurial spirit and grit,” says Moly Milosovic, head of community at Jobber. “To go from corporate careers to starting new careers as business owners, to creating career paths for 13 team members and counting — all in a little over a year — is an incredible demonstration of the hard work and determination it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. We’re excited to support their continued growth.”
The Morgans have already used a portion of the grant funds to purchase a fifth LaMotte Waterlink Spin Touch testing kit, outfitting all five of their service teams with the ability to “bring the pool store to the customer” for water testing, Amy says. Additionally, they registered their newest six employees for certified pool operator training with the remaining funds.
In the beginning, Cody’s goal for the company was to corner 1% of the market. “When we initially looked at the market three years ago, there were over 180,000 pools in Harris County,” he says. “I figured, if we can gain 1% of the market share, that would be 1,800 pools.”
They’re also talking to franchise attorneys and considering that as part of the company’s expansion. Amy says several individuals who have watched Pit Stop Pool Service grow over the last several months have inquired about opening locations in Austin, Fort Worth and others surrounding areas.
“Franchising might be in the future,” Amy says. “We love the brand [we’ve created], love the people, love the service they’re getting. I don’t know how much control we want to let go of, but that’s a possibility.”
The more immediate goal, for now, is to hit 500 pools by next summer and 1,000 pools by summer 2023. Then the Morgans plan to start opening satellite offices around the Houston area that would start with 1,000 pools each: “Then we’d be 3% of the market,” Cody says.