Taking the plunge has paid off for Poolwerx couple

Ian and Irene Hughes.
Ian and Irene Hughes.

A DECADE spent building up a string of franchises has earned a northern suburbs couple a national award.

Irene and Ian Hughes left their corporate careers almost 10 years ago to set up their first Poolwerx franchise.

Topping sales of more than $3 million last year, the couple won the Franchise Council of Australia ‘Multi-unit franchisee of the year’ award in this year’s National Excellence in Franchising Awards.

Opening their first store in Sorrento in 2006, the couple grew their business to four stores and five vans servicing pools across Joondalup, Beldon, Hillarys, Ocean Reef, Woodvale and Sorrento.

Mr Hughes said the award was a welcome surprise.

“To think that we’ve come out ahead of some other very impressive franchises across Australia is very humbling,” he said.

“We started out with one store, added another within two years and then a partnership in 2010 saw us grow to four stores.

“We have continued to grow year on year at an average of 20 percent despite some tough economic conditions over the last five years.

“We bought out our partners for another 30 percent in 2011 to become 80 percent manager owners.”

Mr Hughes said a stronger focus on digital marketing and social media helped propel awareness of the brand and contribute to strong growth last year.