Friday, July 27, 2012

Franchisee Profile:Rick McKnight

Name: Rick McKnight
Opening Date: 7/15/2012
Territory: Longview, TX
Phone Number: 903-918-0233

Rick McKnight is a Longview, Texas native with a degree in environmental science from Steven F. Austin State University. Upon graduation, Rick began working for the local Longview government as an environmental programs editor. While working for the local government, Rick simultaneously earned his master’s degree of public administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. Rick is now the owner operator of America’s Swimming Pool Company of Longview.

How did you learn about the brand?

I was looking for a career change and I decided to explore a number of possibilities. The thought of owning my own business was appealing to me so I began researching different franchising opportunities. I found ASP online and from my research I knew that this type of service would do well in my area.

What makes your business unique?

The swimming pool maintenance industry is fractured, but with ASP we are bringing a service to the area that is of the highest quality, professional and dependable. We will do whatever it takes to make sure that our customers are happy and well taken care of.

What challenges have you overcome to get where you are now?
Our greatest challenge right now is just building up a presence in the area and just getting the ASP name out there. Being a new company to the market, I know that it will take a little bit of time which is why we have spent so much time marketing and speaking with local residents.

What are your expansion or development plans?

Right now we are focused on building awareness within the community to start building the business toward its full potential. I’m excited to be able to bring such a quality service to the area and know that residents will also appreciate the new level of customer service and support that the ASP name comes with.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies or passions?

I’m a big college football fan and I love to play golf. I also recently bought a house in the area and enjoy doing all the handiwork that needs to be done.

Friday, July 20, 2012

ASP Featured in Athens Banner-Herald

ASP is featured in an article in the Athens Banner-Herald. The article discusses the merger between Sweetwater Pools and America’s Swimming Pool Company to join two of the largest pool maintenance and repair companies in the market. America’s Swimming Pool Company has its retail storefront in Athens at 1720 Epps Bridge Road in Suite 106.

Pool Company Merger Opens Up Larger Market
By Athens Banner-Herald Staff

Sweetwater Pools, a 10-year-old pool company serving Watkinsville and Athens, has merged with America’s Swimming Pool Company. The larger company now has a permanent store located at 1720 Epps Bridge Rd. in Suite 106.

Sweetwater Pools was created by Chad Sutton 10 years ago when he saw a void in the Athens area market for quality pool companies. Sweetwater Pools was the only pool company in the area until America’s Swimming Pool Company in Athens a few years ago. Sutton started making arrangements to merge the two companies when he realized his competitors offered full service renovations and has a national brand.

Looking to open up a larger market, Sutton began work to merge the two companies. Sweetwater Pools and America’s Swimming Pool Company finalized the merger earlier this year.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

America’s Swimming Pool Company Experiences Explosive Start in 2012

Despite being a relatively young company, America’s Swimming Pool Company is experiencing unprecedented growth, breaking nearly every record to date. The nation’s first pool and spa renovation and maintenance company has signed and opened 16 new franchise territories in three new states in 2012 and has seen a 62 percent increase in year-to-date sales. Its explosive start is a testament to the unmatched professionalism and unique systems that America’s Swimming Pool Company has designed for franchisees throughout the system, which was contributed to its zero-percent failure rate.

Since the Macon-based company began franchising in 2005, they have grown drastically and now have 99 territories in more than 175 cities in eleven states across the United States. By providing an easy-to-follow system that has been proven by new and existing pool companies, America’s Swimming Pool Company has excelled in nearly every environment.

“So far 2012 has produced tremendous growth as a system and for nearly every franchisee,” said Stewart Vernon, CEO and Founder. “All of our new franchisees have had the best start to date and we have seen an increase in demand for services for every franchisee in the system, which means we are doing something right.”

ASP was founded to bring a higher level of professionalism, service and reliability to a highly fragmented industry. After establishing a location that exceeded a million dollars in sales, Vernon believed he had a concept that could be not only replicated but highly successful in any location. And the numbers don’t lie. In 2011, annual revenues were up 55 percent from 2010 to $10.5 million and in 2012 the brand is expected to top $15 million in system-wide sales.

“We have continued to improve our systems to make sure we allow every franchisee to be as successful as possible, which means we are constantly working with national vendors to secure the best pricing scale for not only our franchisees but also for each of our customers,” shared Vernon.

As a company, ASP takes pride in helping new and existing entrepreneurs open their own business, entry into the system is doable, with no prior experience needed and an initial investment level between $43,550- $64,300. Over the past year and a half, ASP has also worked with a number of conversions of existing pool companies to help accelerate growth by providing a nationalized brand, marketing guidance and 24-hour support. ASP has also hired new members to the corporate team to provide a better level of support for every franchisee, whether it be in evaluating sales goals, improving marketing or making sure all pool problems are handled as quickly as possible for customers.

“With the incredible growth that we have seen, we realize it is more important than ever to continue growing our staff to answer all questions from our customers and our franchisees,” shared Vernon. “We have built a reputation on our level of professionalism, outstanding customer satisfaction and service and we are determined to uphold that reputation as we grow.”

Thursday, July 5, 2012

ASP Featured in 1851 Magazine

ASP has been featured in 1851 Magazine in an article titled Finding Your First Veteran Franchisee. The article talks about the addition of ASP's first veteran franchisee, Col. James King, and why franchising with ASP was the right fit for his life after service. Click here to read the entire article.

Finding Your First Veteran Franchisee
By 1851 Magazine

As a young franchise system, finding your first veteran franchisee can often be a challenge, but one that companies are willing to work for. Whether it be overcoming barriers of sharing franchise information with military veterans about future opportunities or delivering messages about the growing company, it can be hard to connect with the right individual at the right time.

In 2012, America’s Swimming Pool Company welcomed their first military veteran to the system, Col. James King, Ret. King served as a Marine Officer for nearly 30 years, working across the globe for humanitarian missions, global crisis and served in multiple wars including Desert Storm and the conflict in Iraq. King mostly flew KC-130 aerial refueling tankers as he worked his way up through the ranks.

Upon retiring, he spent some time working for a defense contractor as a senior strategic policy and program analyst for the Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Program. In 1997, King decided to take a step back from his military life and began looking for a new career to pursue closer to home; one where he could stay active, work with people and fill an underserved market with a professional company.

After looking into various business opportunities, King was introduced to America’s Swimming Pool Company through the help of a franchise broker. Based off the tremendous growth over the past few years and the growing success of the brand, King knew it would be a good fit.

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