In this exclusive Q&A, we learn about the Pinch A Penny Pool Patio and Spa franchise from its CEO, John Thomas.
Franchise Chatter (FC): What is Pinch A Penny Pool Patio and Spa?
John Thomas (JT): Pinch A Penny Pool Patio and Spa is the world’s largest retail pool, patio and spa franchise, offering a full line of products, as well as residential cleaning and repair services. With more than 235 stores across the Southeast and Texas, we are a one-stop shop for pool and spa supply needs.
FC: Tell us how Pinch A Penny Pool Patio and Spa was founded.
JT: In 1974, my father was an independent sales representative for a line of pool chemicals and supplies. A customer placed what my father believed to be a sizable order based on a firm commitment. Much to my father’s dismay, the order was cancelled and he was stuck with a surplus of inventory.
Our family did not have the means to pay the manufacturers for the supplies, so my father decided to rent a small warehouse where he could store the merchandise and sell it to the public on the weekends. My father worked weekdays as a sales representative, and on the weekends, as a family, we’d operate our “warehouse” which in-turn became a full-blown pool supply store within the first year.
We ran classified newspaper ads in the local paper promoting pool chemicals and supplies at “wholesale” prices direct to the public, to which local pool owners responded favorably. By the second year, my father wanted to open more stores but the banks refused to loan him money, which is ultimately one of the reasons why he decided to turn to the franchising model.
FC: The company opened its first store in Texas last year and has since expanded to seven locations across the state to date. Why is Texas a key state for Pinch A Penny Pool Patio and Spa’s growth, and how has the brand been successful given the steep competition?
JT: It’s been an incredible couple of years for the brand’s growth. Now with seven stores in the Greater Houston Area alone, and another location set to open in Dallas by early 2018, we are diving even deeper into the state.
Since our stores are owner-operated, we strongly believe in the value of relationship building with our communities. By building these meaningful relationships, we’re able to instill trust with our customers and ultimately expand our footprint across various neighborhoods in our growth markets.
FC: What are the brand’s expansion plans for the near future?
JT: At Pinch A Penny, our franchise business opportunity is poised for tremendous growth in Texas, and markets throughout the Southeast and Southwest. And the key to that growth is finding families that want to own a business in a stable industry who are not afraid of hard work and who want to be part of a proven system of success.
FC: What sets Pinch A Penny Pool Patio and Spa apart from other swimming pool retail and service providers?
JT: Pinch A Penny Pool Patio and Spa has developed a reputation for delivering best-in-class customer service and expertise while offering the highest quality in products and supplies. We provide our franchisees with all the necessary resources to carry on the company’s tradition of quality, reliability and expertise in a fun, family-oriented atmosphere.
In addition, our concept also provides owner-operators the opportunity to increase revenue and diversify their storefront with various pool-related merchandise and service options.
FC: Who is the ideal franchise owner?
JT: We thoroughly believe in transparency and stress the importance of integrity and hard work. A successful franchise relationship is just like a successful marriage. The center of the relationship requires trust, respect and honesty on both sides.
Second, our system is successful because our franchisees work inside the stores and service departments directly interacting with customers on a daily basis. The relationship between the owner of the business
and the customer is very important. If someone is looking for a passive investment, they should buy stocks and bonds.
Third, an ideal franchise owner has a “servant’s heart.” Our franchise owners help our customers because they want to and like helping others, and not because of the economic gain in doing so. Our franchisees make money because they like to serve our customers rather than thinking that they should serve our customers to make money. For us, success is the end result of doing what we love, not the motivation for what we do.
FC: How can potential entrepreneurs learn about franchise opportunities with Pinch A Penny Pool Patio and Spa?
JT: For more information, please visit pinchapennypoolfranchise.com.