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Look around at the growing number of pool service businesses an you'll see and industry that's growing.More
We started VivoPools because of our own frustration with the quality of care we were receiving at our homes...More
A Note From VivoPools Founder
We started VivoPools because of our own
frustration with the quality of care we were receiving
at our homes from our pool care providers.
We saw an opportunity to bring a new level of
professionalism and trust to an industry that has
long underserved client needs.
Willan Johnson VivoPools Founder
Joining an established brand like VivoPools brings many benefits and advantages.
How to Run A Seasonal Business
May 03, 2012
Whether it's a cocktail bar on the beach, a haunted house for Halloween, or a market stall selling Christmas trees, as the seasons shift, new opportunities abound for savvy entrepreneurs. While cashing in on the holiday rush may seem like easy money, running a successful seasonal business is often a year-round commitment, requiring dedication and hard work. Here are four tips for starting your own seasonal business.
Maximize your peak season
Unlike most traditional enterprises, seasonal businesses generally have only a brief window in which to generate the majority of their revenue. As a result, you must ensure that you make the most of your peak season, to compensate for the drier months ahead. To this end, preparation is vital, according to Rita McGrath, associate professor at Columbia Business School.
"Make sure that you are ready to sell, sell, sell when the window opens," she says. This means preparing your inventory and payment systems in advance, as well as straightening out any legal or financing ahead of time.
10 Things Your Pool Guy Didn't Tell You...
July 28, 2012
Most people think pool guys are either like Walter Matthau in “ The Bad News Bears ,” a scruffy guy in a beat-up Cadillac convertible, or like Jesse Metcalf in “ Desperate Housewives ” — young, hot and shirtless.
But when you’re paying a minimum of $10,000 to install a pool, or in the case of an in-ground pool, $70,000 (probably more than you spent on your car) — you need more than a guy with a net and a funny punchline — or nice abs.
“Most pool guys are like housecleaners. They should be part housecleaner, part mechanic,” said Willan Johnson, a former VP of Yahoo’s publisher network who is now the CEO of pool-management company Vivo Pools .
Willan and a couple of his buddies saw an opportunity in the pool industry, which he says is still operating like it’s the 1970s.
“The pool industry is 99 percent ‘one-polers’ — just a guy in a truck,” Johnson said. And that guy (or lady) is probably thinking how fast he can get in and out, not really about the long-term care and maintenance of the pool. In fact, to make money, he's actually got to get your pool cleaned in 20 minutes or less.
The initial idea for the company was to launch a marketing platform to help pool guys (and ladies) get business — using Google maps to identify pools in the area, Johnson said.
To his surprise, many replied: “We barely use email. We’re not that interested in leveraging your platform.”
Spotlight: Willan Johnson, CEO VivoPools...
April 11, 2013
"Vivo" means "alive" or "intense," and since its launch in 2009, VivoPools, a service, repair and renovation company with locations in California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida, has been both. Under Johnson’s guidance, VivoPools has become one of the fastest-growing swimming pool companies in North America. Currently, VivoPools services many leading celebrities’ pools and commercial properties like the W Hotels and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmys).
Johnson left a high profile job at Yahoo! to pursue a career in pool care management, where he saw an opportunity to provide a more customer-centered approach. Johnson himself was not satisfied with the way his own pool was being taken care of, and decided to improve upon that service at the helm of his own company, aided in part by what he had learned at the Internet giant.
“My experiences at Yahoo! were instrumental in my professional development. Yahoo! excelled at creating a unified corporate culture, and every initiative had a tremendous focus on consumer needs,” he says.
David vs. Goliath
April 11, 2013
From pool cleaning to bank loans to making brushes, three small companies are finding ways to thrive against much larger competitors.
VivoPools vs. ASP (America's Swimming Pool Co.)
The challenge: Bringing reliability, top-notch service, and panache to pool maintenance.
What he did: Willan Johnson spent 20 years frustrated by the slapdash, small-time contractors maintaining his pool near Los Angeles. In 2009, Johnson opened his own alternative -- VivoPools -- where he's making a splash with high-end service, online scheduling, and spiffy-uniformed workers. Previously employed by a search-marketing firm, Johnson, 48, raised funding from fellow Internet industry veterans and quickly hired a team with expertise in pools. With operations up and running in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, and New Jersey, he's now going up against America's Swimming Pool Co., a franchise serving 12 states. Vivo, which has begun franchising, brought in about $6.8 million in sales last year and has attracted clients like W Hotels.
Exec Willan Johnson Talks About...
April 24, 2012
Prior to VivoPools, Willan Johnson spent 9 years as an entrepreneur in the Internet space and the previous 7 years in management consulting. In early 2000, Willan was very fortunate to jump on board GoTo.com (which later become Overture) and help build the pioneer in Paid Search (an online advertising industry today dominated by Google Adwords).
Overture was later acquired by Yahoo!, and as Vice President and General Manager of the Yahoo! Publisher Network (YPN), Willan’s team launched a new business venture taking an advertising and publisher services platform from concept to a multi-million dollar business.
Willan left Yahoo! in 2006 and spent three years helping a number of Los Angeles based start-ups, including SupplyFrame and SocialVibe, raise venture funding and begin to build their businesses.
Los Angeles-area entrepreneur sees...
May 24, 2012
Willan Johnson was unhappy with the pool cleaning service at his house and he saw an opportunity as an entpreneur to create a professional pool management service.
VivoPools, based in La Canada Flintridge, has built a customer base in two years in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida. The company serves homeowners and commercial properties and is now awarding franchises and has plans to grow nationally.
I asked how a service as simple as cleaning pools could be profitable on a large scale. Willan says pool cleaning is normally a single-person operation that's run more as a hobby than a profession. And those small operators don't see the larger need.
"VivoPools is a pool management company where we provide peace of mind to families and commercial properties as it relates to their backyard experience."
Your Month-to-Month Guide to Great Sales...
January 17, 2013
Shoppers who don't realize what's in store for them in 2013 are understandably in a post-holiday funk right now. The tantalizing, tempting sales start in late November just in time for Thanksgiving. Then come the bargains on Thanksgiving Day itself, Black Friday, and several weeks of ads promising great deals on everything you could possibly want to buy, eventually washed down by post-Christmas sales. Then the opportune shopping season is over--no more big markdowns, no more incredible savings--at least until the same time next year.
Yet that isn't really the case. It's well-established that throughout the year, there are ideal times to buy particular items. With the Super Bowl around the corner, you'll soon see a slew of ads swearing that prices on big-screen TVs have never been better, which may be the case, at least until the next Black Friday rolls around. But it's far from only televisions you can save on in 2013, and arguably the deals throughout the year are much more important than the deals to be had in December. As Sheri Bridges, faculty director of the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., observes, "The holidays are about wants. The rest of the year is about needs."
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