VivoPools vs. ASP (America's Swimming Pool Co.)
The challenge: Bringing reliability, top-notch service, and panache to pool maintenance.
What he did: Willan Johnson spent 20 years frustrated by the slapdash, small-time contractors maintaining his pool near Los Angeles. In 2009, Johnson opened his own alternative -- VivoPools -- where he's making a splash with high-end service, online scheduling, and spiffy-uniformed workers. Previously employed by a search-marketing firm, Johnson, 48, raised funding from fellow Internet industry veterans and quickly hired a team with expertise in pools. With operations up and running in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, and New Jersey, he's now going up against America's Swimming Pool Co., a franchise serving 12 states. Vivo, which has begun franchising, brought in about $6.8 million in sales last year and has attracted clients like W Hotels.
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