When you dive into the pooled resources of a membership organisation like National Leisure; it is like becoming part of a very special extended family.
“You don’t seem to have competitors; just lots of like-minded friends,” comments Roy Howard of Howard’s Hydrocare, based in Nazeing, Essex.
“National Leisure gives you an extended but knowledgeable business network to talk to and get ideas from,” he says.
“If you have a problem; you can phone up another pool company and see if they have been experiencing the same thing and see if they can help,” says Roy. “If you are a smaller business then I think NL is really good for you because it offers a fountain of knowledge to tap into,” Roy advises.
“For instance, the National Leisure Forum is an on-line debating chamber,” he explains. “I cannot tell you how many times I have had a problem with a product only to find several other members have been experiencing the same issue – a godsend when it comes to tackling suppliers,” he adds.
With more than 30 years in the business himself you would think it was a case of old dogs and new tricks.
“You are never too old to learn,” Roy protests. “That is what is so interesting about National Leisure; other like-minded people raise good points and share good business practice.
“If you are smart, you will listen and you will get a constant flow of ideas to keep investing to your business so as not to just survive but thrive.”
It was Roy’s father, who first started in the pool business back in 1954. Roy joined him as a youngster and the pair formed Howard’s Hydrocare in 1983. Roy continues to run the business based on core family values alongside his wife Stephanie, daughters Mel and Joanne and sonin- law Simon with newest recruit, son Lee, now learning the ropes.
“It is great to have input in the business from younger people who see everything through fresh eyes,” says Roy.
“We have thrown them in at deep end and they seem to swim very well,” Roy adds. The future continues to look bright and the recent arrival of grandsons Frederick and Bradley ensures the continuing line of the Howard’s Hydrocare dynasty.