Poolwerx jumps in with solution for indie pool operator
Joining the Poolwerx network has proved the perfect solution for one independent retailer.
Sydney-based Les Colley’s Cronulla Pool Perfection has become the 41st Australian independent aftermarket operator to join the Poolwerx network.
After 23-years at the helm of the Sutherland Shire business, Colley says he was beginning to think seriously about retirement and the issues to be faced, when Poolwerx delivered his exit strategy on a plate.
Franchising as an exit strategy
“We’re in a sweet spot here just south of Sydney and have an intensely loyal customer base,’ says Colley, ‘So it’s a great business for someone, but the problem is attracting the right buyer.”
By ‘right’ (for him) Colley means:
- Prepared and able to pay what the business is worth. No tyre kickers or conditional contracts
- Sufficiently experienced technically and in business to make a solid go of it i.e. protecting the Colley name and the interests of his established clients
- Committed to looking after the career security of staff members
- Looking to work together for 12 months or so as he worked his way out of the business.
“Like a lot of independents, I was a bit sceptical about Poolwerx,” he says, “You have to give it to them – with going on 150-stores and 500-mobiles they’re going very well – but there’s that streak we have as independents that says we’ll always do a better, more personal job. All I can say is that if you’re starting to wonder about your own exit strategy, have a very close look at it. You’ll find it ticks a heap of boxes. In fact every box, for me.”
“Your business stays a family-run enterprise but with an amazing level of support in systems and training, so you can be confident that it’s not going to affect your staff and clients. Much as we might hate to say it, it’s a good brand. Very clean and well marketed.”
“It opens the market up to a far bigger range of potential buyers – who are sourced and vetted by Poolwerx for you – which means you’re way more likely to get the right price, with minimum uncertainty and fuss. Certainly far better than going to some broker with no idea about this industry. All brokers want is a marketing fee and a buyer signature, at any price. They don’t give a stuff what happens next.”
Rebranding the business
Les is starting the re-brand and introducing Poolwerx systems now, with a view to exiting in around 12-months. He says this will give his client base and own people time to get used to the idea while he’s still around.
“There’s no ‘My way or the highway’ with Poolwerx,” he says, “it’s about working together, you can be confident it’s going to be as close as it gets to a perfect match; that there will be the right buyer at the right price and that you can exit with a clear conscience. Maybe have a yarn to Andy Reid. He’s their business development guy.”