2023 Franchisee of the Year – National Awards Interview with Theron Vassiliou

Another Year of Jim’s Pool Care National Awards has passed and a huge congratulations to Theron Vassiliou of Jim’s Pool Care Balwyn for winning the National 2023 Franchisee of the Year Award! Theron has had a busy year this year and we look forward to seeing his growth which is sure to continue.

We asked Theron how he felt about winning the Franchisee of the Year award for the second time, after only just a few years of becoming part of the Jim’s Pool Care team:

‘What Initially Attracted You To The Pool Service Industry?’

I was looking around at various businesses but hadn’t considered the pool industry. The idea was first suggested by my pool builder who told me a bit about the market. Intrigued, I did further research and then looked at all of the major pool care franchise brands. As I went through the process what became very clear to me was a Jim’s Pool Care franchise was going to be the best fit for me; with the greatest level of autonomy and freedom, whilst still being backed by support, training and the brand.

‘What Was The Most Difficult Part In Starting And Growing Your Business?’

Great question. Honestly it hasn’t been that hard. New clients came in hard and fast from day 1, and I was able to build the business to a sustainable level quickly. Probably the most difficult part was the mental adjustment of doing work that was consistently enjoyable, yet still earning well. Almost four years on and I still find that reality incredible.

‘What Motivated You To Get Out There Each Day And Grow Your Business?’

Where do I start? It’s enjoyable work and the rewards are tangible. Providing solutions for clients is satisfying and it’s often not hard to make a difference to the way pools operate that make them healthier and better looking. Working outdoors is so much better than sitting at desk or in an air-conditioned office – and healthier. And knowing that it’s my business – that every hour spent benefits my business – is a great motivator too.

‘What Do You Like Most About Running A Business?’

I love the freedom. I’ve done corporate, I’ve had responsibility for people. Now I start work when I want, work where I want, with who I want, and for as long as I want. When you love what you do, it really doesn’t feel like work.

‘Have you been able to speak with other Jim’s Pool Care business owners about ideas to grow your business?’

Many of us catch-up regularly. Whether its formal training events like conferences or informal gatherings like drinks; we share notes on growth, time-saving techniques and technical ideas. I try to get to as many of these meetings as possible as often it only takes one small idea to have a large impact on the business. No matter how successful you think you are, there’s always something new to learn and a better way to do something.

“What do you think are the important skills or attributes you need to grow a pool service business?

Obviously the technical skills like pool water chemistry, plumbing and equipment are important, but these are taught and the training is ongoing. Important skills from there are;

Communication – being able to communicate with clients and suppliers.

Curiosity – having a natural curiosity to understand how equipment works and to diagnose solutions to problems.

Drive – there are few businesses with opportunities like the pool industry; if you have the drive and desire to succeed, you will.

“How have you been going in keeping up with the changing Pool Technology and equipment in the Pool Industry?

Innovation is exciting! We’ve got some great suppliers that run regular briefings and training on developments. I try to stay in regular touch with industry players and regularly compare notes and ask ‘what’s new’. I also listen to podcasts from around the world talking about techniques and new products.

‘Will you be going to Conference this year and what do you like about the Jim’s Pool Care Conferences?

Wouldn’t miss the Jims Pool Care Conference! Great chance to catch up with other Jim’s operators and to see what everyone’s doing, to learn new things and get new information. Sure it’s a decent investment in time and money, but just one good idea and it will have paid the cost back in multiples.

‘What Are You Excited For Coming Into A New Year?’

We’ve seen a fair degree of innovation in the sector in recent years, particularly around automation of pool equipment and heating. I think we’ll see more of that in the coming 12-18 months and that sort of innovation brings new options for domestic pool owners. For pool technicians like me, that brings new learning opportunities and the ability to work with customers to install equipment that runs their pools better than ever before leading to more swim time. What a great industry to be in!

Jim’s Pool Care General Manager, Brett Blair, told us his thoughts on this award. “Congratulations to Theron for winning this top award. To be named best in Australia for the Jim’s Pool Care system is testament to Theron’s commitment to customer service and growing a great business. He has worked our system well and developed great business practices that keep customers happy and his business growing. He is happy to share his ideas and success which is what franchising is all about and how good systems get better and continually improve. We need top performers willing to provide feedback and give back to others, which Theron is happy to do. I take my hat off to him as he has achieved this success in only 4 years. I look forward to Theron’s next steps and journey in our business”.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a Franchisee, you can visit our Franchisee page.