Mark Jones’ wife loved pools and so when they bought a house in New Orleans, they made sure it came with a pool. But they didn’t know much about how to maintain pools, including how to turn a filter system on. That was when Jones befriended Curly, the owner of his local pool supply store, who taught Jones how to maintain his own pool. As Jones worked on his pool, his neighbors watched and soon asked him to come and clean their pools.
“My neighbor called me and said, ‘Hey, I’m not happy with my pool guy. I’ll pay you what I pay him and I’ll pay for the chemicals.’ I was like so that’s easy,” Jones recalled to CNBC Make It.
At the time, Jones was working as an assistant manager of an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location earning $29,000 per year but he lost his job. Before Enterprise, the Southern University graduate with a degree in marketing worked as an Apple “expert” and a sales manager at an Acura dealership, according to CNBC Make It.
After losing his Enterprise job in 2019, he started driving for Uber and Lyft while cleaning pools on the side. But by March 2020 during the pandemic, his Uber and Lyft business started doing badly so he decided to turn his pool cleaning side hustle into a business.
He spoke with Curly about his pool business plan, who asked him to go for it. But to start his business, he had to find clients. Using Google Maps’ satellite mode, Jones was able to see the homes nearby that had pools. He observed that in his subdivision alone, there were 38 pools. Soon, he began passing out flyers, and within one week, he had five accounts.
“I remember thinking, as long as I can match what I was making at Enterprise, my family will be okay. So as long as I’m bringing in $1,200, every other week, everything would be good,” the husband and father of three said.
And everything did go on well, especially during lockdown. Between March and December 2020, he made about $44,000. “March and April is right before swim season starts. That’s when all these people’s pools are green and that’s where I could make a home run. Because if I’m at your house two to three days, I can make $600 to $1,000 for flipping your pool,” he said.
In 2021, his business expanded. In June of that year, he told CNBC Make It that he made $29,514 between January and April. As of that time, Jones was on track to make $88,542 that year and was hoping to make six figures in the future.
With over 1.5 million followers on TikTok after sharing his business on the platform, Jones has enjoyed being an entrepreneur thanks to the flexibility it gives him. Besides being in control of his whole schedule, the basketball lover doesn’t have to worry about missing the game, he said.