1 Stop Pool Pros has been a quiet player in the industry’s growing franchise market. But do not mistake quiet for ineffective. Since signing on its first franchisee in 2010, the Orange County, Calif. firm now boasts 15 locations.
While the company formerly was concentrated in California, it recently branched out to Florida and Arizona. It continues to spread farther, with Texas and Nevada on the horizon, said the company’s president, Todd Noesser.
Other franchising companies have been more public about their business models, but 1 Stop Pool Pros prefers to keep a low profile. Noesser admitted he was even a little hesitant to speak with Pool & Spa News about the company’s steady expansion across the Sunbelt.
“It’s nice being kind of stealth,” Noesser said. "We’ve always stayed low key. That’s always worked to our advantage.”
Rather than be inundated with inquiries from tire kickers, 1 Stop Pool Pros approaches entrepreneurs it wants to do business with.
The ace up its sleeve is Pool Route Sales, its partner company owned by Charles Baird, author of The Millionaire Pool Man (Chloe Publishing, 2005). The route brokering service is a sort of recruitment tool. People buying or selling routes are prospective franchisees.
“We use it as a screening process,” Noesser explained. “We find people coming into the business who have a good head for the industry.”
These are experienced pool professionals and newcomers alike. For the outsider, franchising offers a turnkey approach to entering a new industry. For the already-established, it’s a way to remain independent with the backing and resources of a national company.
It worked out well for Eric Clawges. After experiencing 15 years of growth, it seemed his firm, Clermont Pool and Spa, serving suburban Central Florida, had plateaued.
“One of the reasons, I strongly believe, is that as an organization gets better, you need better protocols and systems and policies to follow,” said Clawges, who is now operating as a 1 Stop Pool Pro franchisee. “That’s the advantage of a franchise system. It takes that back-office work out so that you can really focus on what’s important.”
He estimated that revenue is up 30 percent with more than 600 routine maintenance accounts since converting to the franchise model.
1 Stop Pool Pros recently made the decision to divide its commercial and residential services into separate divisions, overseen by Noesser and Baird, respectively. Each division has its own distinct business plan, marketing, training and support.
“There are just so many tricks to the trade that make the two different,” said Noesser, who has more than 30 years of experience in the commercial arena.
The company’s growth isn’t just through franchising. As a corporation, it currently has more than 40 employees, with a commercial department serving high-end properties and consulting with large, destination theme parks.
It’s now hard at work establishing a presence in Las Vegas.