It may have been a clear case of jumping from the frying pan into the “fire pool” for former Bay restaurateur Chevonne Bishop, but eight years after plunging into the swimming pool maintenance business, her enterprise is progressing more than swimmingly.
Bishop’s radical shift from the hospitality industry – in which she operated the popular Valley Harvest eatery – to running a pool business, has paid dividends for the 46-year-old mother of four, who has quadrupled the turnover of her Swimline Pool and Spa maintenance company since opening up at her 6th Avenue, Walmer premises.
Attributing the success of the enterpriseto her competent and enthusiasticcomplement of 22 staff members,Bishop also enjoys access to high-level backup – her husband.
And while Gletwyn Rubidge has no direct involvement in his wife’s business,he holds a doctorate in water chemistry – meaning that Bishop can apply the brightest of brains to any stubborn water-related problem.
“When I started this business, I knew nothing about swimming pools.
But because of my husband’s expertise in the field of water chemistry, I felt confident to tackle something I knew absolutely nothing about.”
“T h e re ’s a huge difference in going from a restaurant to a pool shop, yet I knew I could treat the way I went about my business like a recipe.
“If you follow certain steps, you are going to have success and it helped a lot that the business came with excellent staff,” she said.
Bishop acquired the business during one of the region’s worst droughts in recent history, during which time severe water restrictions were implemented in the Bay.
Despite these conditions, Bishops’s business thrived.
“The water restrictions gave mybusiness the biggest boost for sure.
We were the only pool shop in the Bay who could clean certain pools without having to drain them. And we were certainly the only pool shop prepared to go under water and do repairs,” said Bishop, who went on to explain that the company’s relative unique service offerings had given it a competitive edge.
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