Pool care franchisees: take the plunge [part two]

|

Are you ready to dive into the pool business as a franchisee? In the second of our two-part feature on pool care franchises, you can find out how two different systems go about business. Maybe one will be just right for you...

SWIMART: Chris Fitsmaurice, Australasian manager

TELL US ABOUT THE FRANCHISE? 

Swimart is a swimming pool and spa specialist group with over 30 years' experience. We provide an extensive and affordable range of pool supplies, pool and spa chemicals, and pool services, in-store as well as at home. Since we established our first store in the Sydney suburb of Killara back in 1983, our friendly network of highly experienced swimming pool technicians and customer service professionals have ensured the health and wellbeing of thousands of pools and spas. 

We advise on the right pool chemicals and swimming pool cleaning equipment and also conduct product installations, pool and spa servicing, and can help with major filtration equipment such as pool filters, swimming pool pumps and chlorinators as well as gas, heat pumps and solar heating. 

HOW MANY OUTLETS ARE THERE IN AUSTRALIA?

There are 62 outlets in Australia and four in New Zealand.

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPANSION PLANS FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?

Swimart is always looking to expand its franchise network. We are currently looking at opportunities in new markets both here and in New Zealand. We expect to open another six stores over the next 12 months.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A FRANCHISEE?

Someone with a strong desire to build their own business is the primary prerequisite. An entrepreneurial flair and solid management skills, especially people management skills are highly desirable. Franchisees must also like interacting and dealing with the public and be capable of accepting responsibility for their own business.

DO FRANCHISEES NEED INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE?

No. Swimart has a comprehensive 23-day training course that includes classroom, in-store and in the field training. New franchisees are also assigned an experienced mentor to assist them for the first six months.

DESCRIBE THE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR NEW AND EXISTING FRANCHISEES

Swimart has a comprehensive one on one training program both in-store, in-the-field and in the classroom. We will shortly have our eLearning program operational, enabling franchisees and their staff to increase their product knowledge, business management and customer service skills.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DRIVE SALES IN THE COLDER MONTHS?

Yes it's a seasonal business, however pools need to be maintained all year round. While summer is our busiest time we are kept busy through winter with regular pool service and maintenance work. Swimart also provides other pool related services such as paving, cleaning and sealing and pool shell washes. These are typically done in winter.

WHAT ARE THE INVESTMENT COSTS FOR NEW FRANCHISEES?

For the establishment of a brand new store the investment cost will vary dependent on a multitude of factors including the size and state of the premises, individual landlord requirements and the level of finishes required. Initial investment costs start from as low as $190,000 and can be as high as $350,000. Franchisees must also ensure that they have sufficient cash flows in the formative period to cover business expenses and personal living requirements.

WHAT LOCAL AREA MARKETING INITIATIVES DO YOU ENGAGE IN? 

Local area marketing activities are co-ordinated by our state franchise managers who work one on one with franchisees. This includes events, sponsorships and local media. Local area marketing also supports our national TV advertising program. Local area marketing ideas are shared via the Swimart Intranet which also contains a comprehensive local area marketing toolbox with downloadable templates and other resources. 

POOLWERX: Jeremy winter, franchise development executive

TELL US ABOUT THE FRANCHISE?

PoolWerx is a pool and spa maintenance network, supplying a complete range of pool products, equipment installation, pool maintenance and repairs for both private and commercial clients.

HOW MANY OUTLETS ARE THERE IN AUSTRALIA?

PoolWerx has over 220 active franchise marketing areas, 330 vans and 70 retail stores nationwide.

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPANSION PLANS FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?

PoolWerx plans to develop in two ways. Firstly, our internal growth will see existing franchisees adding additional mobile vans, developing retail locations and even acquiring competitors in the market. Secondly, PoolWerx has over 100 new territories available across Australia and New Zealand, so there will be plenty of new markets opening in the coming year.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A FRANCHISEE?

At PoolWerx, we call this person an Intra-preneur. This is someone with the desire, passion and motivation to run their own business with the structures and system of the PoolWerx franchise.

DO FRANCHISEES NEED INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE OR EXPERIENCE?

o. You do not require prior experience in pool and spa management to become a successful franchisee. 

DESCRIBE THE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR NEW AND EXISTING FRANCHISEES

PoolWerx's Pool School is a comprehensive three-week training program conducted for new franchisees to provide the necessary competencies and skills to operate their business. Pool School is delivered through a mix of classroom style and in-field training modules. The training continues with an additional 90-day Forming Good Habits program designed to jumpstart the business. Ongoing support includes local one-on-one visits, regional meetings and the annual convention. 

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DRIVE SALES IN THE COLDER MONTHS?

There are a number of strategies undertaken at PoolWerx for year round consistent sales volume. One of these is the commercial client relationships that are built at a national and regional level. By developing our services and processes to meet the needs of commercial partners, we have developed a strong set of offerings which set us apart from our competitors. PoolWerx also works to educate their residential clients to understand and appreciate the value of year-round servicing.  

WHAT ARE THE INVESTMENT COSTS FOR NEW FRANCHISEES?

The investment for a new PoolWerx franchise is $89,800 + GST. This includes the business set-up and training, tools and equipment, van fit out, signage and starting inventory. Your only additional set up cost is the lease or purchase of a white van and working capital.

WHAT MARKETING INITIATIVES DO YOU ENGAGE IN? 

Like all good marketing programs, PoolWerx has a multi-layered approach of national, regional and local activity. National branding includes things such as mainstream media, online and sponsorship. This is supported by state based activities and one of the most important areas that PoolWerx focuses on is activity at a local level, driven by the local franchisee. There are a host of tools available online through our resource library supported by specialised training ensuring the local face and message is seen and acted upon by local clients.

  • Narellan Pools and Clark Rubber both featured in the first part of this feature

Image: thinkstock.com

My shortlist (0 item)
    Back to Top