Are you starting a business? Dallin Huso says the first question to ask yourself is, “Why?” But don’t stop there. Also ask yourself, “OK, but why do you want that?” and keep asking and answering until you figure out exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. For example, Dallin knew why it made sense for him to start a pool care company.
He knew the business from 10 years of working for his dad’s company. But Dallin says he doesn’t necessarily have a passion for pools. What he does have are goals: “financial freedom and control over my schedule so I have time to create strong relationships. And the road to those goals is building my business.”
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| Rise Grind Repeat 088 |
For me, I just I always before I do something, I just try to put myself in the customer shoes. And just think you know what, what I want from a pool company. I don’t want someone constantly like calling or emailing me like, Oh, you should buy this, buy this. But I would appreciate, you know, letting me know what my options are like, Hey, if you’re interested, like these are some things you can do to improve your pool. Aesthetically, these are some things you can do to improve your pool and save you money is going to make you give you a better swimming experience.
On today’s episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat, we talked to Dallin from Flamingo Pools, talking about how he started his business, learning the ropes running his dad’s pool company. Let’s dive right in. Full up, down. Thank you so much for joining us on another episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat. I’m excited for this. There’s a couple different similarities from you know, entrepreneurship, but you guys have your own podcast and kind of before we get too deep into each of those would love to kind of know your story. What is your background? How did you get started in entrepreneurship? Yeah, well, yeah. First off,
thanks for having me. Super excited to be here. Sure, to share the story. So I guess my story, we can start off. Growing up my dad was a teacher didn’t make a lot of money doing that, obviously. So he had a little side business, he was actually a consultant to help people build their own pools. Since he was a pretty cheap guy, he built his own pool. And then he realized you can save a lot of money. And people started asking him and so yeah, so that kind of naturally happened. And so all growing up, me and my brother, we worked for my dad. And so that’s kind of how we made money growing up all through high school. So through school, is it able to save $10,000 just working for my dad, I hated it, at the time hated working in hated pools, obviously, now looking back, I’m super grateful that he forced me to work and he taught me how to work hard. I’m going back 2017 now I’d been graduated for two years, didn’t really know what I was going to do. And so I was just kind of jumping all over the place. I did a semester of school semester of online school, I almost moved, I had like five or six different jobs just trying to figure out what I wanted to do. And the only thing that I figured out during that period of time is that I didn’t want to work for someone else.
That’s a great thing to learn.
Early on, right? So I was like, Ah, this just isn’t for me. Like, I’m not enjoying what I’m doing. My dad, I also don’t like reading, I hate reading. I can’t sit down I have ADHD. I can’t just sit down and read a book. My dad have been pushing me for years to read a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And one day I finally read it and it kind of just, like, changed my entire mindset on on life and what you can do with your life.
What was it because I it’s weird. I’ve been literally seeing that so much more like in the last like, I want to say six to eight weeks just seeing that that name. I’ve heard of the book. I mean, a while back, but like, What? What is it about? What? What was that that
mind changing thing? I’ve wondered that too, because so many people say that and like, Well, everyone had the same experience. Like I’m not the only one here. Um, it just like shows you that cuz I think school is just so much like, there’s just this one path you can take like you pick going on do you go to college, you get this job after you graduate and you save up for retirement. And then you know, six years later you retire and that’s and your life. And Rich Dad Poor Dad just like kind of just opens your mind to there’s so many options, and you have total control over what you want to do with your life. And it just, you know comes down to what what you want to put into it and what you can get out of it. And it kind of just goes into a couple different different ideas in terms of running your own business and real estate of ways to accomplish that. And so yeah, I really had no idea like before that what entrepreneurship was and not like, there was just a possibility that I could do my own thing and start a business because no one ever taught me that in school. I had no idea. It’s amazing how much time we spend in school and how little we use the things that we write in real life. And they kept telling me Oh, you’ll use it for your job, but I never did. So
yeah. So read the book change, change your whole mindset and kind of the next steps after that. So after that,
I read the book, I’m like, Alright, I want to I want to start my business. What do I do? I had the background and pools because my dad had forced me to do that all through growing up. And he I was talking to him about it that I wanted to do something and he was encouraging me, why don’t you start a cool company like clean pools, I was like, I hate pool. I’m not gonna do that. Like, I don’t want to do something I hate. And he’s like, you don’t have to love it. But you obviously have this like desire and passion to start a business. Why don’t you just you know, give it a try. Because there’s obviously the demand, especially here in Arizona. I didn’t want to do it. And finally, I was like, you know, I’ll just give it a try. I actually started two businesses right away. I don’t know if I recommend that for everyone. So I started that I also started a little clothing company. So that was I felt like that’s kind of something I had more of like a passion for. But I definitely thought with pools there’s a lot of demand there. And I already had a bit of knowledge kind of a foot in the industry, if you will. And so yeah, that’s kind of where I got started in 2000. So it was kind of a year from 2017 To the end of 2018. We’re trying to figure all this out. And so the end of 2018 is when I officially got started with both businesses, and that’s kind of where it all starts. Are you still doing both?
Yeah. So. So I’ve got three things I’m doing now. Because you mentioned the podcast, I’m doing that I’m doing the pool business. And so the, the apparel line has kind of taken a backseat just because these other two things have kept me so busy. So kind of with that, kind of figuring out what the next step is for that. All three are still still running.
Yeah, that’s cool. How to check out the apparel company didn’t know you had that. When it comes to the pool company. I mean, it’s obviously had some experience, but no experience starting a business. And what was it like getting it up and going?
Yeah, so I, one of the jobs I had, I actually went and worked for a pool company, just because throughout this year, I was like, I know kind of what I’m doing. I thought I knew what I was doing. I didn’t and and actually, while I was working for that company, I was like, there’s no way I’m going to start a pool company. Like, I cannot stand this. And so I finished that job, still not not planning on starting a pool company. And a couple months later, I decided to start it. So I’m glad I did that. So I had a bit of that knowledge. My dad had, obviously all these contacts that he he’d built pools for. And so I asked if you could send out an email to them, just letting them know like I’m trying to pull company. And here I’m expecting like, Alright, maybe I’ll get like 50-75 five clients respond. I had to two people respond. So I started out cleaning my my parents pool, my inlaws pool, my grandma’s pool, and then these two other people. So for the first couple of months, honestly, it was just these five pools that I was doing. And
yeah, I knew nothing about business. So I was reading a lot of audiobooks, listening a lot audiobooks, and say, I still can’t sit down and read a book, doing that. Listen, a lot of podcasts. And then any free time I had, I was just online Google YouTube just searching on how to grow a business how to how to get things rolling.
No, I love it. I mean, if the education is huge, I mean, you got to continue the education or education and then be learning whether I mean, whether that’s reading or watching videos, whatever it may be. So I mean, kind of fast forward to now I mean, you started with basically family and and a couple other referral people. I mean, what what are the some of the things that you’ve done to help grow the business? I mean, I’ve gone to your website, and I’m seeing I’m being retargeted So you guys are dabbling in some ads. Now I definitely see that. What has it been like growing the business?
Yeah, so it’s been super fun, especially just like the marketing side of things and trying to grow I feel like that’s what I really love about growing the business. And people always ask, like, oh, what have you done to grow because we really I feel like we’ve been really blessed and lucky to kind of snowball and grow with with our company, our clients. And there honestly hasn’t been like, like a special potion, if you will, that we’ve done that’s helped us grow because people ask, like, what do you do to grow stuff and like, honestly, it’s just like a little bit of everything. So I starting out, I didn’t have any money to like, invest in anything. So I just did whatever was free. So I made obviously a Facebook account and Instagram account, I set up a Google and Yelp account, just to get like some basic SEO out there. After I got a couple of bucks saved up, I I invested in the website, so did that. There’s some like lead generating companies called thumbtack. So I tried out that a bit. And I even went door to door first I printed out some flyers and I just started going door to door when I was in cleaning pools and just told them I started up a full company and asked if I could clean their pool for them. And yeah, that’s kind of how I started growing. And then I as much as I can, I would save the money and reinvest it back into the company. And so the biggest thing for me was to be working on the business and not in the business. So as soon as possible, I was trying to remove myself from cleaning pools, not just because I didn’t like it, which I didn’t love cleaning pools. I knew what I was doing. So I was a decent pool cleaner. I’d like to think I was trying to remove remove myself from that. So I could focus on growing it because we kind of got to this weird point where where I was so busy cleaning it, but I didn’t have time to do anything else. So it’s kind of this weird, weird and really, honestly hard, hard time in life. I mean, not hard hard, but for running a business it was I was so busy just cleaning pools all day, and I didn’t have time to do anything else. And so I eventually found someone to hire super lucky find and he still works for us today and is an awesome employee. And from there I was really able to focus on marketing, I was able to invest a couple dollars into Google ads and Facebook ads and that’s been huge for us as well. Obviously customer referrals now that we’ve grown a bit bigger and just like offering incentives here and there. Another big thing for us has been networking so I go to to some networking groups get to know their business owners there and then just one day I just thought you know who who knows my clients who knows my customers who’s in the backyard so I thought of realtors landscapers people that are going to be talking to these customers as well. And so I just tried to get in touch with as many of them as possible to say hey, you know, I have this poor company I’m willing to offer you a little you know, referral fee a little kickback if you if you recommend them to us and they sign up so that’s been big for us as well.
No, that’s you. I mean, it’s you did find the magic formula and it’s literally blood sweat and tears. Yeah. to put in the work, what it really comes down to. And I mean, interesting stuff. I mean, how you’ve kind of invested into different facets of the business. Like Personally, I love hearing that the Google ads and Facebook ads are working. That’s that’s my that’s my passion is the paid media type of stuff. But I mean, going from literally nothing to blood, sweat and tears to now you’re able to have some revenue coming in that you can reinvest back into the business. Has there been one particular thing that you’ve kind of reinvested into the where it’s just like, Man, I wish I would have done that sooner, where you saw things just kind of really take off from there.
We found a really big pool company, they build pools and clean pools, and I reached out to them along with a bunch of others and just said, Hey, like, if you build this pool, and you don’t want to clean it, like, I’ll pay you this fee to take it. And they gave us a bunch of work. And so that that was probably one of the biggest things that helped us kind of go from like, only a couple pools to like a pretty big chunk of pools, I felt like so having that connection was huge. He hated pools and landscape. So they were just in a
really in the backyard. Yeah.
And they didn’t, they didn’t want any new accounts at the time. So they gave us a bunch of work that and if you can figure out Facebook ads, I feel like it’s
it’s what’s what’s been the biggest thing that you found, I mean, that that you’re seeing that’s working, is that a particular ad type, whether it’s lead ads, or the videos, or
Yeah, so I mean, I think a big thing is, is just the branding of the company. It’s because like so many cool companies have such I think similar names or like colors, it’s all blue. It’s all like clear water pools or clean pools. And I think the pink just kind of stands out to people. And so all our ads, that’s what we try to do, whether it’s a video, we’ve done some video ads, we’ve just done a couple photoshoots for content. We’ve got a couple pink trucks driving around to so. So yeah, I think the branding of it has really helped which I feel really lucky because I didn’t think about that when I first started. I was like Flamingo that sounds cool. I’ll do that. So that wasn’t really the intention when I got started. But I feel like that has helped us kind of stick out through you know, when people are scrolling just kind of looks different than what they’re used to seeing. So even if your your branding isn’t necessarily different, just figure out a way to make your ads kind of stick out to people, because anyone that’s scrolling, seeing so many ads every day, so you just have to think what am I going to do to stick out to them not only amongst my competition, so not only amongst pool companies, but amongst every ad they’re seeing, like, why should they spend their time clicking on my ad?
Yeah, no, I mean, it’s it sounds like you just reverse engineer and really think through it. I mean, from Who are the people that are in backyards? Typically, I need to network with them, what are the what’s competition doing? I think you just have a natural skill set of just kind of identifying where there’s areas of opportunity, whether you purposely looked at that or just kind of naturally, which is it’s really cool to hear. Appreciate it. And so, I mean, it sounds like you’ve grown quite a bit and then in a short time, I mean with that, I mean what are what’s the biggest thing that that you’ve kind of struggled with and that you’ve learned from?
biggest thing I’ve struggled with, I was nervous right at first, obviously to to hire because when you’re cleaning the pools, I can confidently tell tell my customers that I know their pools gonna be taken care of that I’m gonna be the one cleaning it and then once you hire you know, you want to be able to say that but you don’t know until until they’re out there that you can interview and talk to them as much as you as you want. But you don’t know for sure how great they’re going to be until they’re out there doing that. So that was a little scary at first and just kind of going through employees and figuring out who Yeah, who really wants to be there and not so that was tricky. But we’re super lucky with with the people we have on board right now. And then just you know as I’ve grown just trying to remove myself from from other aspects of the business just thinking you know, what’s taking up too much of my time What should I be focused on? And just making sure that I’m focused on what’s most important to help the business grow and hiring people in other places where they should be?
Yeah, no, it’s tough. I mean, you built the baby and it’s it’s tough Hey, let someone else come in. And I mean, you speak so highly of it, are they gonna respect it that much and And not only that, it’s you know, you’re doing it yourself you’re grinding a ton you’re cleaning the pool is trying to sales and it’s like well do I hire someone? And then if I do then it’s like look at how much literally cuts the revenue in half or whatever it may be. Can I still live and eat and how did you kind of navigate that where you you gave up kind of that control of the baby allowing someone else to come in and and work for you but also make that leap of faith knowing go You know what, I might take a hit on revenue for the next couple months, but doesn’t allow me to do more sales and revenue driving activities, which have been more than paid for, you know, the drop in profitability? Yeah. Yeah, three months.
So now it’s it’s definitely more analytical, I’ll look at everything. I’ll look at our finance and be like, Alright, can I afford to do this person but honestly, back then, and like you said, it was a leap of faith. It was. I didn’t know like that. These were things you’re supposed to do. I’ve read books now. Like looking back, like, oh, gosh, like this would have totally helped me with when to do this and how to do this. But I just like, I just felt like alright, I shouldn’t be cleaning. I just knew that I shouldn’t be cleaning pools and at the time. I I still don’t know like a ton about entrepreneurship, and growing and scaling a business, I just knew that this wasn’t the best use of my time, like, I need to be doing other things in the business. And so yeah, back then it was just, I am going to work on other stuff, I’m gonna hire this person, like, I know that will, will get by I’m not gonna go bankrupt by hire this if I hire this person, so I’m just gonna do it and see, see what happens and just work my tail off and other aspects of the business and make sure that I’m growing and make it work, basically.
Yeah, no, I love it. Isn’t it funny? When you look back and go, holy crap, why did I even make that decision? Like, that was not your hunch just gonna and and once you kind of made the decision, it’s like, Alright, well, I’m getting thrown in the fire and got to figure out how to make it happen. And sometimes you kind of have to get uncomfortable, and it makes makes things happen. And And with that, I mean, I think something that a lot of small business owners really struggle with is trying to kind of find those employees that are they want to, they want the employee to be as dedicated as them. I mean, that’s, that’s tough to say, it’s like, well, you own the business, you’re getting paid a lot more. But it is hard to find, I mean, good, good quality work, where someone’s been passionate and executed, the level that you’re really selling to clients. And what does that process been? Like? You know, going through the hiring, identifying All right, that might not be a good fit, having that conversation saying, it’s not gonna work out? I mean, how have you kind of navigated those waters?
Yeah. So I wouldn’t say that I’m perfect at it. I’m really just just sitting down and having a heart to heart conversation with them. I remember with jobs that I had, I was afraid to tell them that I didn’t want to be there long term. And so I wanted my guys to feel like they can be honest with me on like, what their intentions are and what their plans are. Because like, for me, I don’t care as much if you want to be here for you know, two years versus the rest of your career, rather than I know what you’re doing that way I can plan for it. And so I felt like I had boss the past for like, I felt pressured to tell them that I was going to going to be there forever. So I get hired. So I just tried to be really open and honest with you guys. Like hey, like, what, what do you want out of this? And let’s see if that’s a match for what we’re looking for. And as long as like you let me know that hey, you know, I think it’d be here for two, three years. And then I’ve got other things I want to do. I’d like to move up in the company. Just let me know that and keep me updated. And, and you know, we can work around that. And I try to let them know, like, just because I’m your your boss doesn’t make me better than you in any way. Like most time I’m younger than the guys that are that are coming in. So I think they’re kind of taken aback it is. It’s not anymore. I’m used to it now. But I got guys, you know, 20-30 years older than me coming in. And we’re talking I think at first is kind of weird, but I just try to make sure and immediately let them know that hey, I don’t I don’t feel like I’m better than you in any way. Yeah, it’s just where we are in different spots. And we both have different things we’re going for in life right now.
I mean, it all comes down to communication. And if you set up those parameters and communicate well, there’s just it helps you make better decisions. And I mean, it’s just all around, it’s a better work environment, because they’re, they’re not afraid of all these No matter if I try and leave. And it’s amazing how much honesty goes a very long way. And just having that open communication with with employees, which I think is something that’s changing quite a bit in the workforce. I mean, it used to be like, hey, you didn’t say that stuff to your boss, you don’t talk about financial, all that type of stuff. But I think openness and transparency and communication are becoming more more of a thing and these businesses that are that are really succeeding and growing.
Yeah, for sure. And I say that and it’s not as easy as it sounds like I’ve had I’ve gotten screwed over by people in the past and you just gotta go through it. Sometimes I think it’s it’s part of being a business owner. And if you want to grow a business, you’re you’re gonna have some people that are kind of gonna kind of screw up your business a bit here and there. And it’s, it’s you live and you learn, right, exactly.
As long as you learn from it. That’s that’s all that matters. And one thing I can appreciate I again, you know, for this was mentioning huge data and analytics nerd. I mean, I heard you mentioned a couple times, you know, looking at data using data, how much is data part of your day to day decision making? And is there been any point in the past where you’ve kind of look back and go, I use data to make that decision. And looking back on Wow, that was a really good decision that I made and, and it was nice having the data to be able to make that better business decision.
Yeah, it’s big. And luckily, I’ve got I’ve got people now that that helped me with that as well, as well as just people in my life that I can call and be like, hey, like, these are the numbers like what do you think of this? A big thing for us is we we acquired a smaller pool company. And so there’s a lot of data went into that in terms of you know, what, what they were charging for, for their service, what they were profiting and bringing all that over to us, if we’re gonna be able to afford it. The amount of money we’re gonna have to purchase it. For us. That was probably one of the biggest things that comes to mind in terms of data analytics. I’m glad we went through that because there was a couple that we’d looked at in the past. And I wanted to say yes, because I look good, but but when it came down to the the numbers, the analytics, I knew, like deep down that it wasn’t going to work. And so it was really hard to say no to it. But the one we did go with is the one that might not have looked best on the surface level. But when it came down to the data, it it worked out the best for
us. That’s awesome. So you guys have actually done some m&a and and whatnot. I mean what what is that? Like? I think that’s that’s something that a lot of people would would love to do. But I mean, kind of explain that that process. What was that to kind of like acquiring going through and how did that whole thing just start? What was the process? Like? I mean, it is something you would also recommend other people do did it help you guys from
I would recommend if if you’re trying to grow your business and scale it and and the numbers work, I think it’s got to be the right person the right time. There’s so many things that have to come together and you have to make sure that you’re not saying yes to everything that comes along because I I put myself out there in groups and just online I’m always searching for, for potential companies that you know, people that are wanting to retire or if a bigger company is just trying to get rid of like a portion of their their pools in a certain area. So I’m always making myself known that I’m looking for that. And so I get a lot of things come across me. So yeah, if you’re looking for that, just, you know, go on Facebook, find a Facebook group, there’s so many Facebook groups for like specific industries. So if you get into those groups, you can start networking with people that do what you do, and just start asking people around like, Hey, are you? Are you retiring anytime soon? Are you happy with the amount of work that you have? Do you want less? And yeah, so through doing that, we just we see different deals that come up. And we just Yeah, like I said, look at the numbers, see if we can handle the work because it’s also tricky in terms of a lot of times, we’re so booked with our current employees that getting on this new work means we need to hire new people. And so that’s how we kind of figured that out. Because I was nervous. Like, if I hire this new person, I have to trust that they’re gonna do good on these two pools, like how am I supposed to guarantee that so I’ll usually have my more seasoned guys take over those new accounts, and then bringing my new guys to our pools that in our customers that we’ve had for a while. So that’s kind of the process and it’s fun, as well. It’s it just it shakes things up a bit. But yeah, I definitely think if you’re if you’re trying to grow and scale your business, it’s obviously one of the fastest ways to do it. If if the numbers make sense. Yeah, it’s a quick way to also Yeah, not not, that’d be pretty financially if the numbers aren’t aligned.
Yeah, I will say at first, when I first started business, when I first started this business, I saw people selling routes and the amount that they were selling your business for it. I was like, why would you pay for that? And I didn’t understand like the, the ability to, to get a loan or put down investment, per se, and and basically make that up in the future. Like you’re having to work for free for like a year or two, if you’re buying this and that didn’t like click to me at first, but I was like, Well, I can do this up front. And then yeah, I’m working off for a year or two, then after that, that’s all profit that I’m making. And so if it doesn’t always necessarily make sense, but if the numbers do make sense, I think you’d be a valuable asset for a business that’s trying to grow fast. Yeah.
No, I mean, there’s huge opportunity in that for sure. And one thing that I love that you mentioned, I mean, knowing how to say no, it’s literally come up, probably the last couple episodes is things have changed personally and financially for the business once the owner operator whatever, learn how to say no, a bit more. I mean, was that was that a struggle? Because most entrepreneurs, they’re they’re givers. They want to give, they want to do good for whatever audience they’re serving, whatever it may be. And it’s tough to say I, I struggle with it quite a bit. So I mean, what is that something that just came naturally? Or?
No, that’s probably the biggest thing I struggle with is saying no to opportunities, because like, I’ll just get so hyped up about an opportunity that comes across me. And I’m always just trying to figure out like, how can I make it work. And if you really want, you can kind of talk yourself into saying we could make this work. So that’s how you have to hold back. But I’m lucky my wife always kind of calms me down is like, are you sure about that? Like, do you really want to do that? And I’ll get mad at her first for telling me that but then eventually, and then I’ll have to sleep on it. And then I’ll wake up. Alright, maybe that’s not the best thing to do. But yeah, I always want to say yes to opportunity. So I can’t I can’t say the quote, I’ll butcher it. But something along the lines of the greatest, greatest entrepreneurs. To be one of the greatest entrepreneurs, you have to say no to a lot of good opportunities. So you can say yes to the best opportunities.
Now that that totally makes sense. There’s something that I stumbled on I Kimber, what new not? I don’t have as a news article. Basically, it was about the pool, business and everything. And some of them stuck out was it asked about what is something that’s big on your radar over the next five years and automation. You mentioned, automation came up? I think a lot a lot. I mean, I I love the automation, there’s so much efficiencies that can be seen. But I mean, most people are worried about automation is taking jobs and all that. So I mean, I’d love to kind of hear why are you so excited about automation, is it more for the operation of the business, the marketing side, a little bit of everything.
It’s both it’s for us and for the customer. So with automation, you can control your pool from your phone. So let’s say you have, you have a hot tub and you’re out to dinner, and you’ve decided you want to go so when you get home while you’re dinner, you can turn on the hot tub, because usually This can take like an hour to heat up. So by the time you get home, it’s ready for you to get in the pool. Or if it’s raining, it’s all muddy back that you want to go back to the equipment you can turn your lights on, turn your waterfall on, the kids want to go outside and swim, you don’t have to go back and mess with the equipment in the dark. So there’s a lot of benefits from the customer side from from the pool service perspective as well. If we can have as many of our clients on automation as well, we can control things from our phone. So it’s There’s an issue of the pool, the first thing we can do before going out there, we can check on our phone to see if their their equipment is up and running. If there’s a big storm that comes in, we can turn on their equipment and have it run overnight. So that way, if a monsoon comes in, we can either vacuum, start cleaning up all that dirt. So by the time we get there, the next morning, we can focus on more important tasks while we’re there, instead of spending an extra 30 minutes brushing up that dirt. So yeah, there’s a lot of benefits for us, as well as the customers. And it’s just really getting started, I think in the pool industry. So there’s a lot of work to be done. But they’re starting to do integrations like Alexa. So you can tell Alexa to turn your pool lights on. So that’s pretty cool. I think it’ll it’ll grow and get bigger over the next couple of years.
Yeah. I said, I think some people are all for it against it. I mean, is there any part of you that kind of worries that people might start saying, Well, if I can automate the cleaning and everything? Do I really need your guys’s service? Yeah, I
think, I think I’m not afraid of that necessarily. Because I think the human aspect of any business is so important. And I think there’ll be a couple people that will do that. Because Yeah, there are things that like, they’ll it’ll tell you that it can add chemicals, your pool automatically. But I think the human touch is so important, not only with cleaning the pool and being able to, you know, see this one little spot that didn’t get clean, that automation might not be able to do, but also really on the customer service side of things. So that’s something that we really try to focus on as well, because automation can’t answer the question you have of why your pool looks a little cloudy, or what what this piece of equipment is back there. So we really try to be great in terms of customer service, whether that’s our technicians who are cleaning the pools if they have a quick question for them, or whether they call the office and speak to our awesome receptionist that they’re going to get customer service that’s worth the price they’re paying.
Yeah, no, I totally agree. Because it’s automation is going to do a lot but it’s not going to entirely replace human, I think we have a ways to go for that happens. I think in a lot of people, you’re worried that it’s gonna replace stuff. But to me, it’s like, well, if I could service 10 pools alone, if I can bring in automation, a little bit of this, now I can service 20 pools, so now we can grow that much bigger, so that many more people, the cost of it probably comes down a little bit for the consumer. So I mean, it’s it, I think it’s a huge win win. I
think it’s a win win for everyone. So yeah, I don’t think there’s anything to be afraid of, I think we should embrace it and see how we can not only help us, but help our customers with it as well, I don’t think has to take us away in that sense.
Now. That’s awesome. I pin Love, love, love and everything in terms of you know, touched a little bit on kind of biggest learning opportunity or or hurdle that you face. But I mean, since since you’ve been kind of growing the business, what’s been the most enjoyable thing or what was the one like what’s been one big moment where it’s just like me just go to bed the happiest since starting the business.
One big No, I’ll say like, in general, I I mentioned, I love marketing. So that’s a big thing. For me, I just love seeing a business grow. Like it really, I don’t know what it is about it. But I think even if it wasn’t pools, because I’ll tell you, I don’t love pools, like anything, I’m sorry to get sick of pools just just because I’m dealing with it so much. But whatever the business is, I just love to be a part of something that’s growing. And I think it’s so cool to just have an impact on people’s lives, even if it’s something as silly as pools, but to just, like, help you out whether we’re saving them a bit of money or just providing with an awesome, you know, customer service experience. And then also just being able to provide jobs, to some of these great people that I’m working with now. It’s just been a really cool feeling to go to bed knowing that I’m providing that for for these people and for the customers
now, that’s awesome. And I mean, he started a business couple two years ago, and and I mean, a lot a lot of learning from there. But I mean, 2020 is is it was nuts. I mean, it’s a lot of businesses how to change their their business model, a lot of I mean, it’s there’s a lot of shake up this last last year. I mean, how did you guys fare with everything? Did you guys have to change your business model at all? Did you guys change your marketing? Or?
Yes, it was interesting. So right at first, people started getting nervous. We had a couple people cancel right away. And like within a couple of days, we had quite a few cancellations. And I started to freak out like what’s going to happen here. But what we started to see is everyone was stuck at home all summer. And so they wanted to be in their pool. And so we actually had an incredible summer we actually boosted our Facebook ads, we just because like community pools were shut down too. And so the only place people could swim is in their own backyards or friend’s backyards. So we we did a lot of ads talking about that, like, hey, this pool that’s this is like what you can do this summer, that’s where you’re gonna have some fun and so we I took the risk and invested more money than we were usually doing into those ads. And we had a ton of work in terms of you know, green pools, turning those around just getting people’s equipment back up and running. So yeah, we had a pretty good summer. Then we had a little issue with with chlorine during the summer. And then there was a fire on the west coast, or sorry, the East Coast that burned down basically the plant where they produce all the chlorine. And so that has put another little twist on on our 2020 so chlorine has been super hard to come by, we’ve been really pushing salt cells and salt generators for our customers, because the price of our chlorine has skyrocketed. And so we’ve, we’ve still been able to not bump our customers prices, we want to keep them at where they’re at. So we’ve been eating that cost for now we are encouraging them to get salt cells, because that’s been another tricky thing to navigate. So yeah, that’s another thing we’ve done to pivot is just talk about alternatives in terms of flooring in terms of keeping the pool clean.
Yeah, I absolutely love that you pour more money into the to the marketing. I mean, it’s just seen some companies pull back some invest more. I mean, what how was that thought process was, like, we saw slow down, things are picking back up, I mean, really rolling the dice, where it’s like, well, it could have a little uptick in sales. But if I invest, it could just be a small uptick and investing and actually lose money. I mean, was that that tough to make that decision to invest?
For me, I’ve realized that I, I can take risks, and I’m not too nervous to do it. And I feel like you know, I might lose money. But to me, that’s like, I don’t see that as like a thing that’s going to stop me from from trying, what what sounds worse to me is not trying that, and wondering for the rest of the year, what would have happened if I if I would have done that. So I would rather put in the money, take the risk and lose all that money and know that that I tried it rather than not do it at all. So for me, I it’s not that hard to take those risks. And I’m like, if I lose money, I’ll just I’ll just figure out how to make it again, I’ll hustle and do something to get the money. And so
no, I love it. And I mean, when it comes to Flamingo pools, I mean, you’re doing a lot. What are what are some of the biggest goals that you guys have in the next three to six months for just the pool company specifically?
Yeah, so we’re really trying to obviously just to continue to grow. The two biggest things number one is to grow our customer base, just get more customers, into the couples family, as well as just take care of our current customer. So we have a lot of customers with older equipment, or with older pools and so we want to let them know the benefits and we try not to be you know, too pushy, or salesy, but let them know what options they have, like, hey, if you upgrade your pump to variable speed pump, you’re obviously paying, you know this amount of money up front, but you’re gonna save about $1,000 a year on your electricity bill. Or if you drain your pool and put fresh water in it, instead of this 10 year old water we’re swimming in, it’s gonna feel better, and we don’t have to dump as many chemicals in the pool, it’s gonna feel better when you’re swimming. So yeah, we’re just really trying to as much as we’re trying to focus on growing, make sure that we’re taking care of our current customers and just providing them with the best value that they can get from a cool company.
Well, it sounds like I mean, you’re obviously trying to get more sales. But in order to do that you’re not promoting discounts and all that you’re educating. And I think, is that something you guys have always done for a while?
I, for me, I just I always before I do something, I just try to put myself in the customer shoes. And just think, you know, what would I want from a pool company, I don’t want someone constantly like calling or emailing me like, Oh, you should buy this, buy this. But I would appreciate, you know, letting me know what my options are like, Hey, if you’re interested, like these are some things you can do to improve your aesthetically, these are some things you can do to improve your pool and save you money is going to make you give you a better swimming experience. And so I feel like I’d really appreciate that from you know, any sort of company that I’m doing business with. So I always just try to put myself in the customer’s shoes and think, you know, what would they want? What would make them happy? What’s gonna make them want to stick with us versus go to another company?
It’s smart. I mean, too many people are, hey, we got $10 off this new pump or this this chemical, whatever it may be, I mean, show people the the why and the different options and and the long term, I think what you’re doing is just showing the opportunity costs, it’s like, hey, it might cost you 1000 bucks, but over the course 12 months, it’s gonna save you this much and make you feel better. I mean, it’s it’s a smarter way to do it rather than emails here text here, just discount and discount discount.
Yeah, and I think it really comes down to like how you actually feel about it, if if all you’re wanting is to just make more money then I think of the customers can kind of feel that but we generally want to help our customers and, and let them know the best option that they have for their pool. Because for a lot of people that’s like, you know, growing up, you think of your pool and all the fun memories you had in it. So we want to make that the best experience for them possible. So we’re just trying to, to come off and make sure that they know that we’re genuinely wanting to improve their swimming experience in any way we can.
Yeah, no, no, I love it. I mean, I learned a lot just from the Flamingo Pools learn about what I might get into transition to just the I mean mentioned you started a podcast man. Sounds like you have such a huge heart for entrepreneurs, people that are just wanting to go do it. You love being part of growth. That’s I mean, that’s that’s the reason why I love having a marketing agency is like and literally help other businesses grow. And there’s things that we can do strategy we can bring to the table and help them grow. That being said, I mean, what what, why did you start the podcast?
Yeah, so going back to when I first started the pool business, entrepreneurship and starting businesses can be super lonely. You’re just working all day and there’s not a lot of interaction. Usually I remember the first six months of starting I talked to dogs more than I talked to him. So that being said, I was I always have You know, my air pods and listening to an audio book and podcasts and I got so much great information from from them. But at the same time, I was listening to these millionaires and billionaires and a lot of the information or tips there and advice they’re giving. There’s, I just felt sort of a disconnect there. And I was like, gosh, I would love to, to have some role models, or just some business owners that I know, they’re kind of going through more of what I’m going through that are in there, you know, first couple, even their first, you know, 15-20 years of business, just kind of making the business decisions that I’m making not not some of these guys that are way up and doing those. And so, I was like, I would love to have a network of people, because I really didn’t know any business owners at the time. I didn’t have anyone I could reach out to and ask questions, I just had to figure it out. Other than my dad, my dad was super helpful, but he just kind of had a single thing on the side. So he didn’t obviously didn’t know everything. So that along with just I getting started, I realize how hard it is to start a business. And I just gained an appreciation for all these small business owners and all the hard work and effort that they’re putting into their businesses and their passions. And I just, I was like, I would love to just support businesses more. So this desire to support businesses more, as well as wanting to, you know, hear more from people kind of on my level, I just kind of put those down, like why don’t I start a podcast that we can hear from these business owners that are all going through similar things, and then being able to promote a different business every week. And even though every week, we have a business from such different industries. I think there’s so much correlation and so much that can relate to, to everything that we’re all going through as business owners.
Yeah. I mean, ultimately, it’s how do you decision make What are you looking at him at the end of the day, after you made the decision, whether it’s cleaning a pool or creating a video, whatever it may be, that might be different, but at the end of day, how you approach that how you go about it, how you look at finances to know whether something’s right or wrong. I mean, it’s insane how little there is out there, unless you want to listen, I mean, the Gary V’s The, the the big, huge, huge people that have, you know, the decision they’re making are quantified and millions and billions of dollars, not like, Hey, you know, it’s, do I hire them and not eat for a little bit? Or you know what I mean? Like? Yeah. And with that, I mean, have you created that to help create mentorship essentially, is you’re doing that through the podcast? Have you? Have you found a mentor or anything like that?
I mean, I wouldn’t say one in particular. But yeah, I’ve I’ve been able to network with a ton of business owners, some that have been in business longer, some have been in business shorter than me. And we’ve kind of all just been able to talk here and there. And I hopefully, there’s been a lot of listeners that have been able to, to, to learn from the podcast as well. My goal is to one day interview someone that that started a business because they heard the podcast, and they got advice from from those that came on. So that’s what I would love to have one day be I’ve learned a ton. And I love having not just one person’s advice, but just, you know, advice from so many people, because sometimes I’ll be a little selfish when they come on. And I’ll ask a question specific to like, I really want to know the answer to this question. Like, why don’t you come in, we’ll do an interview and, and promote your business at the same time. So it’s great for them to but I’m able to ask this question and get so much perspective from so many different people.
Yeah. And at least you’re able to provide value while being selfish at the same time. Yes, yeah. It’s all I mean, it’s, you can ask and get it. I mean, that’s cool. But I mean, the fact that you’re able to help someone else produce some content, hide themselves. I mean, it’s it’s a win win. And that’s what it’s all about is how can you create Win Win wins for everyone? And essentially, that’s that’s how I mean, the growth and everything happens.
Yeah, I think that’s so big for business owners and me to starting off, I was like, Who am I to ask this person for advice? Like, why would this person want to give me their secrets, and also spend their time going out to lunch with me or taking a phone call with me? And I think it’s just, well, the two things. One, I think people are a lot more willing to share advice. And we think they are I think people once they are successful, and once they learn a lot, they want to share that knowledge because nothing else they can do with it. And to just figure out what you can do to provide value for them, whether that’s just taking them out to lunch, buying them lunch, or just I think we we all have so much to offer. And so even if you’ve only been in business for a couple of months, I think there’s something that that you have that’s valuable to someone that’s been in business for a long time. So just figure out what your talents are what you can offer to other people. And yeah, so for me, it was a podcast, but for other people, it could be some other talent they have that they can provide value and find a mentorship from
Yeah, no, it’s funny, because it’s a huge proponent of give your knowledge away. And I mean, there’s especially I mean, agencies are so tight lipped about everything, like well, we don’t give her trade secrets. At the end of the day, I mean, how I see it is like you can give it all away and but at the end of the day, 99.8% of people aren’t gonna take it and actually execute in a way that you’re doing. They might take some of it and do it on their own, but I mean, I don’t know it comes down to scarcity versus abundance and I I’m a big believer in abundance and it’s like, even if the 2% or whatever it is, does it replicates that or whatever, there’s still millions of people in this world it’s it’s there’s there, we can’t service everyone and it’s like, it blows my mind. I mean, it’s
Yeah, like you said that abundance mindset is huge. I mentioned earlier, I think I try to have the same thing when it comes to money and taking risks with money. Just have an abundance mindset that that money He will always be there and there’s enough money for everyone. And same with same with just the amount of business that you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to share your secrets because you know what you share? I think it’s going to come back to you. And yeah, just just have that abundance mindset. I think it’s gonna help you grow healthy network.
Yeah. This has been great and loved hearing the the kind of the goals for the pool business, you personally, what are some of your big goals that you’re trying to accomplish over the next three to six months? Gosh, that’s a big, three to six months, I actually just read this book. It’s called the 12 Week Year, and it talks about setting Oh, and I’ve been seeing come up on my
Instagram, Facebook a lot I hear about it. I heard it, I heard about it from a podcast, they interviewed the author. So they I gotta check that out. And so it’s super interesting. He just talks about instead of setting year long goals, because sometimes that a year are so long that you can kind of procrastinate until the end of the year, and you end up doing things in a year that you could have done in a shorter period of time. So right now, that’s something that I’m focusing on is just setting 12 week goals. And so, you know, for each of my businesses, as well as in my personal life, I’ve got specific goals that I’m setting, whether that has to do with, you know, the the amount of revenue that we’re doing, or just my relationships, or just things that are gonna make me happy as a person. So yeah, I wouldn’t say nothing in specific but just a lot of just small things here and there for throughout my business in my life that I’m trying to improve over the next 12 weeks. And then from there, assess where I am, and then make more 12 weeks goals. And it’s all about having like a long term vision and setting goals that that are towards that vision.
Yeah, they’ll just shorter chunks that are more attainable. So you can actually see the milestones and progress. And where you already a big goal setter before that at all, or not really.
I mean, I’ll set my yearly goals, but I never end up doing them. And we’re just a weekend so far, but I’ve been tracking everything. And it’s it’s just crazy when you track things and how much of an effect that has on on what you get done. So
yeah, well, I mean, I think it’s just, you know, he said, even if you spent the time to think a year out, I mean, more times than not 2020 happen. And it’s like you’d have thought if you were to take in two weeks to plan all out. And it changes like that, when when reality happens, chances are most of the time, it’s not going to be what you even play Exactly. not spending too much time over planning, but also having the ability to pivot in real time. And that’s where I think that that 12 weeks is like a parody. Like Yeah, there’s not enough to where the world can blow up hopefully in 12 weeks, but it’s still long enough to where there’s some work that needs to be put in and you can accomplish those goals.
Yeah, cuz anyone who said their goals will be in 2020. Like, they did not do what they originally planned on doing better or worse, but
having those 12 week goals, you can kind of pivot and adjust based off, you know, where what you did those last four weeks, and just kind of where the world is at. So,
ya know, and to kind of wrap things up, I, I love everything you’re doing. I mean, you’re super knowledgeable, you had the intuition of an entrepreneur, you know, you’re even passing that wisdom off starting your own thing. That being said, anyone that’s trying to start their own business, you know, whether it’s brand new or their year to when they’re kind of getting some growth, but they really want to try it out the next step. And what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d have for anyone that’s just starting out or new? Yeah, I
would say the biggest thing is just to be intentional and, and to ask yourself, what’s your why, like, why are you doing this? And I think if you ask, you might have like an initial answer, then, okay, why do you want that and just keep going down until you figure out exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. I don’t necessarily think and I know, not everyone agrees with this, but I don’t think you need to be super passionate about what you do. I think you need to be super passionate about your why and about your end goal. So for me example, I don’t necessarily have a passion for pools. But you know, my end goal is to just have financial freedom and flexibility on my schedule and to be able to have time to, to create strong relationships with my family one day. And so that’s, that’s my, my end why and so, for me, the road to get there is by building these businesses. So at times, it gets hard. And I just think of that, why and that’s what helps me get through those times. And I think that can be the most motivating thing to help you to do hard things in life is to remember your your end goal, and always have that in mind.
Yeah, that’s a super unique perspective. Because like, like you mentioned, most people like well don’t do anything until you’re passionate about it, but it’s like well, there’s a lot like me accomplish like if it takes 12 years to find that thing. There’s a lot that can be accomplished. Like you said, it doesn’t necessarily need to be my my passion is bubblegum saying figure out how to build a business around bubblegum. And that could be part of
Yeah, you can figure out a way to incorporate things you love into it. Like I love Like I said, I love marketing, I love growing a business, I’m able to incorporate those things, but I realized that you know, whatever, I just love growing a business so lucky for me, that’s a great thing I can do to to reach my end goal and like my passion like I’ll play basketball or something if I tried to create a business around basketball, I don’t know maybe do good but I probably wouldn’t be where I am right now. And in terms of on the road to my end goal, if I would have just focused on what do you love?
Yeah, no, absolutely love it. This has been great. I am excited to see what you do in the future. I have no doubt you’re gonna blow up even bigger this next year and then I have a funny feeling you’re gonna do something marketing related because it’s, I’d see the passion and helping others grow. You have a passion for marketing. It’s, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. But I really appreciate the time. Appreciate coming in.
I appreciate you coming on. It was fun to see you have a strong 2021. We’ll see. I love it. Thanks, man.
Where To Find Dallin Huso
LinkedIn: Dallin Huso
On the previous episode of RGR, Dustin talked to Cynthia Sassi of Fabulous Arizona on supporting businesses through her magazine.