Veteran Franchisee Profile: William Schlemmer
Meet William Schlemmer, Veteran Owner/Operator of America’s Swimming Pool Company of Coastal Virginia located in Virginia Beach, VA. He became an ASP franchise owner in September 2014 and has had a successful start.
After retiring from the military, Schlemmer’s desire was to pursue a second career in business. He earned his MBA while on active duty and enjoyed the aspect of small business ownership. He considered a franchise because of the turn-key aspect. He liked the idea of having a base and team to fall back upon when needed.
“I liked the aspect of having a base of professionals with a wide breadth of the exact experience required,” said Schlemmer. “There is always support when needed.”
A lot of time is put into researching the right franchise. Once the right franchise is found, training is conducted to make the first year as easy as possible, but there can always be roadblocks ahead. There are certain aspects of planning that can help anyone through the initial start. ASP franchisees like Schlemmer have discovered the importance in investing in employees and focusing on exceeding expectations.
“Plan your launch like a military operation, in that you consider contingencies, desired end-states, and most likely courses of action. War-game your launch and identify several key factors that must be achieved for success, and several key factors that could be catastrophic,” stated Schlemmer.
ASP provided Schlemmer with the support to successfully start his own business. Housed at headquarters, ASP offers a 20,000-square-foot training campus with 12 display pools, two functioning pools, and a classroom. This is where pool school is held. A two-week training program that each franchisee goes through before launching their business.
Schlemmer has learned a lot about the pool business through Pool School, but he also dedicates a lot of his knowledge from his background as a Naval Flight Officer. Schlemmer’s dedication to his business and his employees is evident.
“My military background and training prepared me for business ownership in 3 key areas; 1. Multi-tasking. A pool service company can be very busy, with multiple projects working simultaneously. The ability to prioritize, focus, and execute are crucial to achieving or exceeding our customer’s expectations 100% of the time. 2. Accountability is imperative in being a successful military member as well as a business owner. Gain trust by doing what you say you are going to do, and pledge to the customer that you, as the owner, will be held accountable if the team misses the mark. 3. Planning is such a key ingredient of any successful operation. Whether launching a start-up or preparing to conduct and extensive renovation, planning is where you start. The more planning you conduct, the higher the percentage of mission success and mitigation of unplanned consequences,” said Schlemmer.
ASP is the largest swimming pool cleaning, repair and renovation franchise system in the nation. Founded in 2001 by Stewart Vernon, the company is based on the belief that by providing a higher quality pool service at a reasonable price, the brand would raise the industry standards for pool service. In 2005, ASP began franchising and now covers 225 territories across the nation. For more information on ASP’s swimming pool franchise opportunities, visit ASPfranchising.com. For more information on ASP – America’s Swimming Pool Company, visit ASPPoolco.com.