Q&A with Michael Arrowsmith, Chief Development Officer at Pinch A Penny

Michelle Rowan, president & COO of Franchise Business Review, recently sat down with Michael Arrowsmith, Chief Development Officer of Pinch A Penny, a pool retail, service and repair franchise, to talk about their culture, what candidates are looking for when researching potential franchise investments, the recession, growth outlook, and training and support for franchisees.

Watch the video below for the full conversation – including the answer to what we’ve been wondering: Where did the name Pinch A Penny come from?

Here are just a few highlights from the conversation:

Michelle Rowan: What’s the biggest reason candidates come to you?

Michael-ArrowsmithMichael Arrowsmith: Our franchisees come from all walks of life, but most are mid-career and looking for a change. The vast majority of candidates that come to us are people that actually own pools or have owned pools before. That’s because they understand everything that goes into caring for them and they see how profitable the business can be. Like all outside bodies of water, pools require care and attention year-round because the water chemistry is constantly changing. Our customers come to us because they need help in properly maintaining their pools and we’re the experts. Our motto is to help families have fun in the safest, most sanitary water environment possible.

Also, being in the pool retail and service space, our business model is unique and attractive to prospective franchisees in that we provide multiple revenue streams: pool service, a retail store, and backyard services such as pool renovation, pressure washing, mosquito misting and more.

Michelle Rowan: Pinch A Penny has been on our franchisee satisfaction awards list for as long as you have been surveying with us because you have a really strong franchisee group that is doing well and thinks very highly of you as a team, but you most recently were on our list of top recession-proof franchises, which now that you’re talking through this makes even more sense.

Michael Arrowsmith: We have found that people looking at franchises today are doing their own research online. There’s so much information out there and everyone seems to have their own opinion about why certain brands are successful or not. But FBR has been such a valuable third party source because you all are doing your own extensive research and obtaining information from real franchisees, which is really key for prospective candidates.

Michelle Rowan: When people are looking at your system, how do you measure who’s the right one for you? What do they need to come to the table with?

Michael Arrowsmith: The most important thing for us is: Do you have an attitude of service? Are you a giving person? Are you really trying to help people? Our business is built on trust. Once we get a franchisee in our system, we take care of them the way that we want them to take care of the customer. We take a family approach to our business and provide our franchisees with unparalleled support and ongoing training to ensure their success. While, of course, our franchisees have to do their part in building their business, we offer the structure and proven tools to help them from the beginning.

Michelle Rowan: What kind of opportunities do you offer for your franchisees to learn or to connect with each other so that they can see how others are doing things better than they are or who’s doing it best?

Michael Arrowsmith: We have a couple ways that we do that. During our training program, which is a month long and very thorough, our franchisees receive a couple of national certifications, as well as a diploma from the exclusive Pinch A Penny ‘Pool School of Graduates.’ Through that process franchisees are going to start learning about the pool business and getting to know other Pinch A Penny owners. We also require prospective franchisees to talk to at least five other franchisees before we approve them to be added to our system. So, we’ve established a process of new and existing franchisees networking and interacting with one another from the beginning, and those relationships only strengthen over time, which helps to strengthen our overall network.