ASP Springfield Gears up for Summer with the Opening of New Showroom
Many business owners remember the days of operating their small business from a home office, and looking forward to business success demanding a more official location. Veteran-owned, ASP - America's Swimming Pool Company (ASP) Springfield recently realized that vision, opening its new showroom and office on Alban Station Boulevard.
Since starting ASP Springfield in 2012, owner, James King has grown the business to include not only pool maintenance, but also pool design, landscaping and more. “I like to say we handle everything from the back door to the back fence,” King explains. The new ASP office boasts a full showroom of patio options, pool tiles, fire pits, lighting configuration and even a sample outdoor kitchen. In addition, clients can visit the office and see virtual designs of their future outdoor living space through a computer program called Pool Studio, which uses GIS imaging to create an accurate picture of the customer’s real property and incorporate project elements for a virtual tour. The build-out of the showroom took nearly a year, but offers customers an inviting place to visit and visualize.
King began researching franchise opportunities while he was still on active duty in the Marine Corps. “I looked into everything from KFC to KOA,” he said. Finally deciding on America’s Swimming Pool Company, King wanted a business that allowed him to get outside and work with his hands. He didn’t want a traditional desk job, and the KC-130 pilot knew he could apply his mechanical skills to the pool business too. He sought out industry training right away and recently earned his Virginia Class A Contracting license as well.
King credits some of his success to addressing challenges quickly. He knew he would need help with the business side of things – the accounting, the taxes, the county regulations, etc. – and sought out the necessary experts to handle these functions ensuring everything was documented and done correctly from day one. Truly a family effort, King’s wife, Ellen, joins him as co-owner and for the first few years handled much of the back-office work. The King children have also been on board since the beginning working in part-time and seasonal positions.
“It only took a year for us to begin outgrowing our home office,” King said. “We had to rent a warehouse space to house equipment and vehicles.” During this time ASP operated out of two locations, which King says was not ideal. The office work was done from home, but the service portion ran out of that rented warehouse. With the new space, all aspects of the business operate out of one location, creating a more cohesive team.
King says, he thinks of the company’s marketing strategy as a “Combined Arms Approach,” using a variety of outlets, information and tactics. With networking and community involvement being part of that strategy, ASP Springfield increased its membership tier in the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce this year and will host the Chamber’s June 1 networking breakfast at its new showroom.
Article originally featured in Springfield, VA’s Chamber of Commerce Spring 2016 Newsletter found here.