convert Poolwerx brand

Converting to the Poolwerx brand elevated Hunter Valley business

Sarah Stowe

Seasoned pool care business owners Megan and Tony Walters converted their business to the Poolwerx brand 15 months ago, and couldn’t be happier. 

The Hunter Valley couple had run their own highly successful independent pool care business for 13 years.

“Originally we set up from home in our garage,” Megan explains. “Tony had worked for a pool company, and we saw a gap in the market. We were sitting around our own swimming pool, and then thought, ‘why don’t we do pool care?’. 

“The next day we got an ABN and business name,” says Megan. “We just jumped in and learned on the job!”

At the time they were young parents with a four-month-old baby; establishing their own business meant doing all the work behind the scenes. They had to find suppliers, create their own marketing, and solve technical and IT problems.

Independent business owners

Megan says as independents they always wondered how they were really performing. 

“You think you are doing the right thing, but you don’t really know,” says Megan. “When you’re an independent business owner, you’re always busy. We could see other people’s success and yet didn’t know how it related to how we were doing.”

Despite constantly working in and on the business, it was hard for Megan and Tony to get an objective perspective. And they found the hours they worked didn’t match their expected revenue.

Even with two stores and service cars delivering a top notch customer experience, the pair could see the benefits of joining a franchise network.

“For us brand consistency, a great product range, and strong training are pivotal to business growth.”

Poolwerx gave Megan and Tony the brand strength, support and systems to take them to the next level. After careful consideration, they joined the Poolwerx network of small businesses and rebranded their business.

Better buying power when business converted to Poolwerx brand

“We were thrilled! After Covid, we were absolutely exhausted as an independent business. The pandemic amplified everything for us; it was really tough, with no-one to turn to for support or advice. So we knew we wanted to be a part of the Poolwerx network.”

The benefits oof rebranding are clear to Megan and Tony.

“The store conversions were great and the team that did the fitout cannot be faulted. We didn’t have to do a thing and we communicated with the team each step of the way,” says Megan. 

“To get real training for staff within the industry is really hard, so being able to send team members to Brisbane for a training week was invaluable. It’s a value-add for staff and helps with their career progression, retention and our professionalism.”

The couple love that they effectively just plug in a system and benefit from all the hard work and testing that’s already been done by the Poolwerx team.

“The systems have helped team efficiency, and really solidified our business so we are ready to grow the business and take advantage of opportunities in the market,” says Megan.

“Our team had worked with similar systems and adjusted well considering the big changes to some of our workflows.”

The couple were careful to manage the brand transition with clients, starting conversations about the change before upgrades and refurbishment began.

“We sent out emails and SMS, and gave our VIPS a call. It was a multi-layered communications strategy. Everyone was super positive; their main questions were whether Tony and I would still be here. Would it be the same team, the same service?”

The pair were able to not only reassure clients that these elements would stay but there would be improved value and product selection because of Poolwerx’ buying power.

Now their supply chain difficulties have vanished; they can offer a reliable supply of products, including exclusive items, and a better shopping experience. 

Megan says as an independent business, they had difficulties with the supply chain. Now they can offer a reliable supply of products, including exclusive items, and a better shopping experience all round.

Converting to Poolwerx brand has elevated the business

Partnering with Poolwerx has elevated Megan and Tony’s business. The benefits of staff training, IT systems, enhanced product ranges, refreshed vehicle branding and new-look stores have resulted in increased customer demand.

“Our service business has grown over the last 12 months and we already have an additional van on the road,” says Megan. “We are looking to expand with more technicians and another retail hub.” 

Today Megan and Tony own and operate the Maitland, Kurri Kurri and Cessnock territories, all under the Poolwerx Hunter Valley banner.

“Poolwerx’ values of “find a better way” and “dare to succeed” really resonated with us as we have always been about setting the bar for what we do,” says Megan.

“We bought to Poolwerx a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn new ways and to improve what we do and were doing. We also brought a strong regional business, and a well-established client base.”

Megan says she and Tony share the values that the brand espouses – family first and providing value for customers. And after working by themselves for so long, they love the peer-to-peer support.

“That’s what I like the most about Poolwerx,” says Megan. “It’s been really good, a very positive experience. We can just chat about what’s working for other franchise partners, get peer-to-peer support and share ideas and solutions. I love the share factor; we are all working together for our success.”