Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year – Shropshire-based ABS Pools is owned by Roger and Sarah Fildes, who bought the company in June 2003 from Alan Barr. Main dealers for Jacuzzi® and Endless Pools, the company’s showroom at the Battlefi eld Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury, displays a packed gallery of photos; showing the pools it has built and refurbished both indoor and outdoor, domestic and commercial, over the past decade. As well as free parking, the showroom has a selection of hot tubs, an area for wet testing, chemicals and equipment – and plenty of expert advice from Roger and Sarah. “We started off with a very good database of clients and we have managed to triple the business in the past 10 years,” says Roger.
FIRST CLASS SERVICE
“We are very much a family business and fi rst class service and customer satisfaction are enormously important to us,” he adds. Roger takes on the pool building and maintenance work himself, with assistant John Pyke. The company also has a ground works expert Philip Cooper – known as ‘Smiler’ because he always seems to be upbeat. Sarah is in charge of administration and marketing while Andrew Parsons has recently joined the company on a part-time basis as an offi ce assistant. It might sound initially as though Roger and Sarah have unusual backgrounds for a career in the pool industry, for he was a farmer and she a teacher. “We farmed about 150 acres at two farms, arable and a few beef cattle,” explains Roger. “You do, though, learn quite a few skills in farming, like building, electrics and working with pumps, that are certainly transferable to constructing and maintaining swimming pools,” he adds.
DUCKS TO WATER
Although both had transferable skills, it was agreed that Alan Barr would stay on for six months to show them the ropes. And they have taken to the business like the proverbial ducks to water. Members of the Institute of Swimming Pools Engineers, Roger was crowned Student of the Year, winning the Gartside Cup, in the industry examinations. That gave them a solid foundation from which, despite the recession, they have built the company into one of the region’s business success stories, with a raft of satisfied customers in Shropshire and Mid Wales. “Much of our business comes from word-of-mouth recommendations, which you only get if you do a good job,” says Roger. “We are perfectionists and hopefully this comes through,” he adds.
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