Some companies are too big. Some are too small. But for H.J. Chandler, ASP - America's Swimming Pool Company is just right. When he and his wife decided to move nearly 200 miles south of Atlanta to Albany, Ga., Chandler began thinking about what his next business step would be. With a strong background in sales, spending much of his career in the financial services industry until the markets collapsed in 2007, Chandler knew he wanted a company that had a product he believed in. After hearing about ASP from a family friend familiar with the brand, he realized the opportunity was perfect for his family. “To me, the situation was kind of like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, just trying to figure out what the right fit was,” Chandler said. “After weighing all my options, looking at the risks and the rewards for each opportunity, I decided that the risk I’m taking with ASP isn’t as great as it would be with other companies, and the return is greater.”
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: I was born in Atlanta, but grew up just outside of Rome, Ga.
Q: Before franchising, what did you do?
A: For the past 15 years or so, after graduating from the University of Georgia, I’ve been in a variety of sales capacities. I’ve primarily worked in the financial services industry, opening up my own finance company that I wound up shutting down in 2007. When the market crashed, I had nothing to sell anymore. I have also spent time independently selling repossessed vehicles, selling equipment down in Central and South America, and selling commercial HVAC products. I also owned a small contracting business that did commercial clean outs of buildings, but most of that fell off in 2007 as well. Before becoming involved with ASP, I owned a Jani-King franchise for some time.
Q: How did you hear about ASP?
A: A close friend of my wife grew up with the founder, Stewart Vernon. I began conducting my due diligence back in November 2010 and looked into a couple of different opportunities, some franchise and some not. My wife and I wanted to move from Atlanta down to Albany, which was a big change for us, and this brand seemed like the right fit for us and for this area.
Q: Why was this brand the right fit for you?
A: First of all, the guys that run the operation — Tom and Stewart — are pretty sharp guys. To me the situation was kind of like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, just trying to figure out what the right fit was. After weighing all my options, looking at the risks and the rewards for each opportunity, I decided that the risk I’m taking with ASP isn’t as great as it would be with other companies, and the return is greater.
I feel like the brand as a whole is committed to excellence and being involved with it is a way to be part of a brand that is growing throughout the country. Every individual unit adds value to each other, and this is something that will be able to be built up over time.
Q: Why is Albany a good market for ASP?
A: There are a lot of pools in this area, which is a big thing. I don’t know exactly how the market was serviced prior to my arrival, but I did see an opportunity to bring a better product to the area. With the training from ASP corporate, I’m also able to bring the best service available.