Hi! I'm Ben Powell, and this is my site, and here's my 'hype'.
Back in March of 1997 -- I know, the Internet Dark Ages -- I put up PoolSolutions as an experiment. I wasn't sure what the result would be. But, from our opening in March 1997 until the first of 1998, more than 8,000 people (60,000 'hits') visited PoolSolutions. That was a lot, back then. I know that I was amazed!
Unlike most swimming pool sites, PoolSolutions has never been primarily about 'selling' you stuff. We've had a subscriber (paid) newsletter, and we've sold test kits. But, I'm better at figuring out how to fix stuff that's broken, than I am as making money from my solutions. And, we have had some rough times with all that. In fact, PoolSolutions, and its sister site, the Pool Forum nearly went 'dark' because there was lots more money going out, than coming in.
Google ads are helping at the Pool Forum, and we're adding them here, too.
But, the focus has always been on helping pool owners spend more time enjoying their pool, and less time hanging out in the pool store.
I had planned this site as a means of helping existing and potential customers, who were all large (120,000+ gallons) commercial pools. But most of the visitors, by a 200:1 margin, were residential pool owners. Obviously, I wasn't reaching many of MY customers! Still too many pool owners WERE coming to just abandon the site.
A change of direction was required . . .
Years ago, I started a business servicing large commercial pools. I had noticed that this was (and still is) a market where there is far more need than supply. I started off selling service and chemicals.
But, my first season, I made a discovery that totally changed my approach to pools: the better the job I did for my customers, the less I sold! Obviously, I had a problem. I could either do poorer work, and make more money, OR I could do better work, and become poorer.
But, I chose a THIRD option: instead of selling chemicals, I began selling results. Since that time, all of my service contracts were flat fee contracts. I supply everything it takes -- chemicals, test kits, feed systems, staff training, whatever -- to make my customer's pool water right.
They're happy, because they get what they want; clear, blue, odor free water; and they are paying less than they used to spend on chemicals alone. I'm happy, because the more I learn, the less it takes to do the job.
How much less?
In the case of two particular customer pools, both over 200,000 gallons, I currently use less than 1/5 of the chemicals (in pounds) they used before. That's an 80% reduction in chemical consumption! On average, I use less than 35% of the chemicals my customers used when they treated their pools themselves.
How do I accomplish this?
Instead, I just put the right things in at the right time. That's all!
That's the key to easy pool care. Just do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.
Knowledge and method instead of gadgets, gizmos, and voodoo chemicals.
What's more, doing it right is much EASIER than doing it wrong!
When I first started servicing commercial pools, I averaged 4 - 8 hours per pool per week. Now, I do a better job in 1 to 2 hours per week. That doesn't include cleaning, which has never been part of my contracts. And the pool staff tests the water several times daily, and make minor adjustments, which I train them to do. But, I supply and manage all the water chemistry for the pool.
I use less and less chemical, spend fewer and fewer hours serving the pools, and get better and better results.
You can, too!
Over the years, when poolowners discovered I didn't work with home pools, and thus wouldn't try to sell them anything, they again and again expressed their frustration and even hatred of their pools. This was intensely frustrating to me: usually, their problems were easy to solve, if only they had the right information, and used the right methods.
But I had no practical way to help. PoolSolutions gave me that opportunity. And, over the years, PoolSolutions has made a difference for poolowners.
Doug D. wrote:
This is great stuff. I wish in 1976 when I put our first pool in we had this type of info, I would have saved lots of $$$$$$'s".
Charles B. (a paying subscriber) sent me a long note, which included the following summary:
You provided me with a practical and effective solution to the algae problem and you worked out a functional and effective plan for controlling my pool's chemistry throughout the summer.
This past summer was a breeze. I reduced my pool chemistry costs by about $700, I saved $150 on closing (with your encouragement I put the Loop-Loc cover on single-handedly and cleaned up the filter, with no problems) and my family enjoyed and algae-free pool. We had no down time from chlorine shocking, no chlorine smell, low maintenance and a safe pool.
And, I don't expect you to believe how many similar emails I have, because I wouldn't believe it, if I were you. But, I hope you'll read enough on the website, and try enough of what you read, so that you'll be able to write something similar yourself.
Of course, you have to read it. And do it.
Even though it's easier to do it right, than to do it wrong, you still have to do it.
And that's up to you.
Quite a few people who received the PoolLetter, or some of the folks at the Pool Forum have spent more time than it was worth trying to figure out who I am.
I mean, more than my name, Ben Powell.
And some people have been curious about my 'credentials'.
If you're one of the curious ones, I've got a boring & outdated page about me, which might answer some questions some have asked.
Not the swimming pool information you're looking for? . . . Search Google for more answers!
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