lessons from bob, the pool guy

how to cut clients, raise prices, earn more and work smarter.

by jean marie caragher
capstone marketing

it’s a hot topic these days. accounting firms have more clients than they can handle and not enough people to get the work done. there are solutions, e.g., firing “d” clients and not accepting any new “d” clients. however, many cpas still resist this process.

how many clients do you need to fire, and how will that impact your employee retention? if you’re ready to test the waters, attend our upcoming workshop:
“how to upgrade your client base to optimize profits”
tuesday, may 24, 2022
1:00-2:40 p.m. eastern
early bird price: $99. after may 20: $149
2 cpe credits
register now

this got me thinking about bob (his real name), our pool guy. he has been our pool guy for over three years. every wednesday, like clockwork, he arrives to clean our pool, adjust the chemicals, and whatever else needs to be done. bob is friendly and genuinely cares about our pool. my husband and i are very satisfied customers.

bob recently turned 60 and is thinking about how he wants to run his business and spend his time. he’s making a few changes. here are four lessons we can learn from bob.

1 – fire customers

bob evaluated his customers and decided he didn’t want to work on open pools, those without a birdcage or screening around it. open pools get dirtier and harder to clean. he didn’t want to deal with it anymore. and, he didn’t want his team to deal with it anymore, either.

he also let go of the slow payers and other problem customers. overall, bob reduced his customer base by 30 percent.

2 – accept only ideal new customers

bob isn’t accepting customers with open pools. he looks at the condition of the pool to determine how much time the homeowner is putting in between cleanings, and considers where the home is located to avoid too much travel time.

3 – increase your price

the cost of chemicals and supplies has gone up so bob raised his price – by 40 percent! only two customers – from more than 100 – decided to change pool companies. the result of bob’s work ethic and care is worth the increased price.

4 – increase team member compensation

it turns out there is a staffing problem in the pool business, too. one of bob’s employees decided he didn’t want to work anymore and left. now, there were just two of them and he needed to hire a third person quickly.

increasing his price enabled bob to offer his new employee a generous rate, and he and other employees also received large increases.

bob’s changes resulted in earning more money by working with fewer, better customers and happier, well-compensated team members taking care of superior pools.



leave a reply