Top Franchisee Interview – Scott Baumle

Top Franchisee Interview – Scott Baumle

Scott Baumle
Jim’s Pool Care Noosa

Congratulations on your 2018 Franchisee of the Year Award.

Everyone here at Jim’s Pool Care wants to thank you for the effort you have put into your business in last few years, especially the last 12 months.It is impressive to watch your journey and many can learn from it.

First of all, why you got into Jim’s Pool Care?

I literally stumbled into it! Moving from Canada I knew I wanted to start my own business but didn’t know what. I looked at a lawn mowing company but by luck came across the business sale listing for JPC Noosa. I called Steve, met him a couple times, rode around with him and that got me going. In Canada I served about 18 years as a police officer and I was attracted to some similarities between that job and the Jim’s Group, namely: being part of a bigger picture, wearing a uniform, and still being able to help people, albeit in a completely different way. I knew it made sense after one of my meets with Steve when he said “you can push a mower and sweat your ass off all day if you want to, but who wants to do that!” (Timely words considering when he said it, he didn’t even know I had an offer in on that mowing company!)

What benefits do you see it having for you?

There are so many benefits to being with Jim’s. When I look back starting as a green territory, zero customers, franchise fees to pay, and sitting on the side of the road advertising my truck, I couldn’t have made it otherwise. The start up kit, suppliers lined up, and all that helped me get going. I have several customers now that at the time when I asked why the called me, they said “because you’re Jim’s”. If my truck said “Great Canadian Pool Service” I never would have made it. The ongoing training, the brand awareness, preferred suppliers, all helps. And I can’t speak enough about the benefit of having a good Franchisor that answers your phone calls. I certainly don’t call him now like I used to starting out, but that support alone really is invaluable.

What is the hard part of starting a business?

The hardest part is understanding the true nature of business. It’s not hard to scoop leaves. But understanding that you will never get what you want or need from your business if you aren’t willing to learn and grow, then making the commitment to do so, that’s the hard part.

I recently read a great analogy of people and business: if you put $10 and a banana in front of a monkey, he will always take the banana, because he doesn’t know that the $10 can buy him a lot more bananas. With people, if you put a job or a business in front of people, most people take the job. Because most don’t understand that a job brings a salary but business brings profits which can bring you a fortune.

What motivates you each day to get out there and grow it?

The love of being an entrepreneur!! Under encouragement from my franchisor, I hired a business coach about a year ago. What an eye opening journey it’s been!! I love thinking as an entrepreneur and learning about business, planning and optics, goals and the future. I love it all, and it’s hard!! I’ve fallen down many times, screwed up a job, or didn’t get it right. But I’m finally coming around to accept and understand that it’s part of the learning journey, and as long as you grow from it, it’s ok to miss the net once and a while!

What things have you done to grow it, ideally mention everything, regardless if it worked short term?

On the front end I’ve done local advertising and letterbox drops. I currently use a $100 gift voucher (I tried the $25 and $50 but the phone doesn’t ring with them). I’m currently trying to change it to an A6 card but right now they’re the DL flyers and I staple my card to them. $100 may seem like a lot but I look at it as basically 1 free service. Giving a free service to gain a regular is a good trade. And people love seeing the $100 – it catches the eye for sure. I’ve done more letterbox drop runs than I can count and I always get at least one client from it (I’ve only been skunked once) but otherwise I get one regular per run on average. So if I have a half day for example, I’d target a neighbourhood and do them. It was a lot of work at first because I used google maps to find the pools, and compile an address list for my entire territory. Now that I have the list I just do them. I hired my neighbours kid to help me and we’d bang them out as much as we could. I’m looking this month to hire several kids who live in targeted areas who can continually do them for me.

I finally got into a local Ray White property management. Took forever to crack but one job became two, then 3 etc. I was so happy to get in with them that I gave the manager a $50 Visa card for every pool she gave me. It got to the point she called and asked me to stop because she thought it was too much!! I didn’t stop, and I’m hoping to see even more this season from them.

On the back end: I hired a business coach and am learning to master my business. One of the biggest learns this year was tracking my lead generation. I ask every single person who calls me where they got my number from. I track it in a spreadsheet that populates to a graph and I can look at any given moment where most people who are looking for pool service, look for me (mine is Google). From that I’ve now started a google ad words management plan and am dedicating a large part of my marketing funds to google. If you don’t know where your leads are coming from (sorry but “the call centre” doesn’t really count) then you’re leaving money on the table!!

What you really like about the business?

For me it’s two things: meeting nice people and running my own company. I really enjoy my customers. I get asked to sit for tea or offers for lunch all the time, and I take advantage of it whenever I can!

Where you see yourself/your business in coming years?

I’m planning to keep the train rolling! I want to continue growing and bring on staff and I’m excited to see just how far I can go. This last year has been a great growth curve, which honestly, I didn’t truly appreciate the whole picture until I had to send in all the info and supporting docs for the conference. What I really like about pools is there always is someone who needs our help. This literally means there isn’t a ceiling to business growth!

If your interested in joining the Jim’s Pool Care Team and becoming a business owner and franchisee, call today! 131 546

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