|In 1975, Ken and Pam Uhler began a fledgling pool company in their garage in Ashland, Ohio. Forty-one years and 2 generations later, Family Pools has expanded to 2 locations, one in Ashland and the second in Wooster.
Mary Pheneger, one of the Uhler’s two daughters and the Store Manager of the Ashland location, is very proud of how Family Pools has evolved. “Dad and mom began working out of the garage and now we have 3 generations working in our 2 locations and we have 11 employees.” Pheneger’s sister, Becky Macar, manages the Wooster location.
Over the years, Family Pools diversified the products they carry and install. Realizing that hot tubs and other products sold well in addition to pools, they have added multiple products that help to turn a backyard into a private oasis. Some of the products they sell and install are in-ground and above-ground pools, hot tubs, saunas, toys, games and chemicals.
Pheneger knows that what sets Family Pools apart from the competition is their customer care. She states, “We take the time to teach our customers about water care – we begin our relationship there.” To keep the level of customer care high, they offer off-season training to their sales team. Pheneger knows that an educated team is one of Family Pools’ best assets. “We have always had a caring staff and because of that we have lasting relationships with our customers.”
Over the years, Pheneger has weathered the ups and downs of being in business. “Obviously, the economy changing is a big one” she states. “Staff loss can also be hard.” In addition, she finds that keeping on top of the programs they offer can be challenging. “But, we work very well to overcome our fears and keep things going smoothly!” she adds.
One of the things Pheneger is looking forward to is strong hot tub sales. Family Pools has just come off the Fair season where they had a great presence. “That really helped to promote us and keep our market up” says Pheneger. She is also very excited to be able to deliver the sold tubs with the new trailer they purchased.
Family Pools has been a Nordic Dealer Partner for almost 10 years. Pheneger is very pleased with the quality of the Nordic products and support. “The dealer support we get from Nordic, as far as servicing is top quality!” she states.
When asked what advice she would give to other dealers, Pheneger responds, “I LOVE selling hot tubs! So, my advice is to love what you are doing and have a passion about it!” She goes on to say, “Give your customers what they are looking for.”
The Family Pools Sales Team can be contacted through the website and they are also on Facebook!
|Starting as a decorative concrete company in 2000, Signature Pool & Spas has grown into a successful pool and spa company. While working on pool aprons and concrete walkways, Brian and Kelly Clarke realized they had all the skills to become ‘dream specialists’ and create a little piece of paradise in their customers’ backyards. So, as the new millennium began, they began their new business venture, Signature Pools & Spas in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
In 2005, the Clarkes made the decision to add a retail component to the business by bringing in hot tubs and grills to round out their product line. Kelly feels that being a ‘one-stop’ pool and spa shop is what sets Signature apart from the competition. “We can do everything for the backyard, from building the pool, patio and hot tub, to low voltage lighting.” She adds, “We can even do the plantings if that’s what the customer wants done!”
One of the biggest challenges Clarke faces in business today is staffing. She states, “In a small business we seek out people that want to work and want to stay with the company even if winter layoffs happen. We take good care of our employees but when you get that one ‘glowing star’ you do a little extra for them!”
This year has been a very busy year for Signature Pools & Spas which is a good thing. However, Clarke’s second largest challenge is not having enough time to accomplish what has to be done throughout the day. “Can we just add an 8th day?” she quips.
For the rest of this year and into the next, Clarke’s vision for Signature is focusing on continuing their growth as she states, “We are looking forward to more growth, more sales and happy customers.”
Signature Pools & Spas has been a Nordic Dealer Partner since 2010. Clarke states they looked at a lot of products but found Nordic to be the best fit for Signature. “My favorite thing about Nordic is the Warranty,” states Clarke. She is also very pleased with how she feels Nordic listens to dealers. “My second favorite thing is the integrity of the company. They make a quality product and the company is, hands-down, the easiest vendor to work with,” she adds.
When asked if she has advice for other dealers Clarke responds, “Work with other dealers and not against them. If we become a united front and don’t undercut each other, we can only make things better for all of us.”
Join the Clarkes and the outstanding Signature Sales Team as they host a Nordic Truckload Sale this Friday through Sunday, September 15 – 17, 2017!
For more information, contact Signature Pools & Spas through the website. They can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
|Paul Habeck, owner and founder of North Eastern Pools, has been in the pool and spa industry since he was 18 years old. Right out of high school he dove into pool building and has never looked back.
According to Craig Friedman, Sales Associate at North Eastern Pools, the early days of the company were spent as a contract building company installing above ground and in-ground pools. In the mid-1990’s hot tubs were brought in as a complement to the pools. While the scope of what North Eastern Pools builds is fairly great, they choose to remain focused on pools, both standard and custom, hot tubs, chemicals and accessories. Friedman says this allows them to do what they do best.
Because North Eastern Pools began as a construction company and grew into retail, Friedman feels this gives them an advantage. “We don’t do a lot of subcontracting,” states Friedman. “We are a 1-stop shop.” When customers come in to buy from North Eastern they know they will be dealing with the same company from beginning to end.
To give customers an up close look at their products, the North Eastern showroom has 30 hot tubs on display along with 1 above-ground pool and 3 in-ground pools. “Out back we even have a pool park so the customers can see how things will look in their yard!” states Friedman.
The recession of 2008/9 was quite a challenge for North Eastern Pools according to Friedman. “We were building around 120 to 140 pools per year and in 2009 we dropped to 65 just like that” he states. However, North Eastern stayed the course and recovered very well to where they currently have around 50 employees. “We know the business fluctuates. In 2010 we bounced back to build 96 pools and now, 2016, has been our busiest year ever!” Friedman says they are looking forward to continuing their growth trend well into next year as he quips, “Who knows, maybe we’ll break another business record!”
North Eastern Pools has been a Nordic Partner since around 2003. Friedman cites the reliability of Nordic Hot Tubs as one of the key reasons they decided to carry the Nordic line. “They [Nordic] have a solid service track record” he states. “They just work!” Along with the reliability, Friedman is also very pleased with the price point. “Nordic tubs really hit a certain section of our market!”
As one hot tub dealer to another, Friedman offers this advice, “I feel the most important thing is to be able to keep a wide variety of spas on display; dry as well as a couple of running models. Customers need to see how the products work.”
Join North Eastern Pools this coming Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25 as they host a Nordic Truckload Sale Event!
For more information, the North Eastern Pools’ Sales Team can be contacted through the website and on Facebook.
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