Thursday, September 15, 2011

Franchisee Profile: Michael Duggan of Athens, GA


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Franchisee since: January 2010
Location: Athens, Ga.

What is your background?
I grew up in Macon, Ga., and graduated from First Presbyterian Day High School. I then attended Georgia Southern University and graduated with a B.S. in chemistry. Currently, I am 24 years old and operating the business.

Why did you choose to invest in an America’s Swimming Pool Co. franchise?
Coming out of college, my options were to work in Northern Iowa doing agricultural research, or work with my former high school football coach, Chris Stewart. He is the insurance supplier for ASP - America’s Swimming Pool Company and bought the Athens franchise, offering me the opportunity to run it. I did my research on ASP and decided that route was the best career opportunity. This allowed me to live closer to my fiancĂ©, who lives in Statesboro, Ga. I took over operations of ASP in January of 2010.

How has your business grown since you took over?
When I started, we had one account after a year of business. Within a year of me working there, and the location’s second year overall, we had about 13 accounts. We doubled that last year and now have 27 accounts, seven of which are commercial.

What has allowed you to become so successful with ASP so far?
I just followed the plan and procedures set in place by ASP. The plan has worked for every location (ASP has had a zero-percent failure rate). I went to “Pool School” – ASP’s training program in Macon – and have become a member of Business Networking Inc. in Athens, which has helped me network in the community.

What sets yourself and ASP apart from competitors?
My background in chemistry sets me apart because I understand the chemistry of water and how pools work a lot better than the average pool maintenance professional. Also, the level of professionalism required is just a lot higher than I’ve seen, in terms of customer service and promptness when it comes to appointments. Most competitors show up dressed in whatever, but we wear uniforms, and that also helps to create brand recognition throughout the area.

What are your expansion/development plans?
I’m interested in expanding in to the Monroe or Gainesville territories once we maximize our potential in Athens.

America’s Swimming Pool Company, the Nation’s most respected swimming pool maintenance and repair franchise, was established in 2001 by Stewart Vernon of Macon, Georgia. The company was built on the belief that providing the highest-quality pool maintenance with competitive pricing and a high level of dependability will attract customers. Since 2005, ASP has expanded into 56 territories in the Southeast, servicing over 100 cities across the country. At this point, the company manages over 40 million gallons of water per week and renovates or remodels more than 250 pools each year. For information, please visit www.ASPpoolco.com

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