Backyard Leisure was founded in October of 2010. It has 2 principle owners.
The first owner has a extensive retail background in the pool and spa industry. At the time, he was working for one of the largest retailers in country. He had managed stores in Greensboro, Raleigh, Richmond and Atlanta. He started in 1998 as a salesperson and worked his way up through the ranks. During this time he developed many relationships with manufacturers and suppliers in the pool and spa industry.
The second owner has a background in installation and service. He started as a helper, on a install crew, in 1994. From there he became a crew chief, then managed the crews for a local store. From their he started his own company doing installations for 5 stores across 2 states. At one point he managed over 50 employees and over 16 crews.
Then 2008 happened. The pool and spa industry shrank by over 50%. Faced with uncertainty, they both began to communicate about future options. Both truly loved the industry and wanted to continue growing in their perspective fields. With one having retail experience and relationships with manufacturers, the other with the ability to install large volumes of products, a relationship was formed.
Both owners wanted a different business model than they had worked for and owned. The one with retail experience wanted to provide products to customers that where primarily made in the U.S. and Canada. The one with install experience wanted to have a say in the retail side of things, so that the products he was installing where of high quality and locally sourced. The core reason for this was simple, they wanted to provide products that where consistent, high quality and employed people locally. Before 2008 occurred, many retailers searched for the lowest cost products, regardless of quality. The reason is simple, to make more money.
To do this, they came up with a plan. A smaller footprint store, with lower overhead, that would allow them to sell higher end products to their customers, at similar prices to their much larger competition. By cutting the store expense by 2/3 of the national average they could achieve this. But the stores would still need to display a large portion of product. When you enter a Backyard Leisure location today, you will see that the original concept is still intact. Lots and lots of product in a small area. People are always surprised when they walk into one of our stores and see how many options there are. Every square foot, of every store has been maximized. In any given store you will see at least 30 tubs on display. Plus swimming pools and swim spas.
But that was not enough. They where also going to do something unheard of in the pool and spa industry, deliver and build everything they sold with actual employees. See, even today, 90% of pool and spa stores use subcontractors to deliver and build the product they sell. But not Backyard Leisure. ALL of their crews are employees, with company trucks, company phones and company credit cards. They are all covered under Backyard Leisure’s Worker Compensation and General Liability as well. Most pool and spa retailers don’t do this for a simple reason, it is very expensive. Backyard Leisure does it this way for one reason and one reason only, piece of mind. Piece of mind for them and piece of mind for their customers. We know the people who are at your home. We know what time they left the warehouse and we know when they complete your job. In the event that something happens, and unfortunately it does, everything is covered. There are times that we do have to use subcontractors, but they are for certain aspects of your job, electricians, retaining wall companies and large concrete jobs. These portions of the job fall outside our expertise. However, we have vetted these companies and are listed on their insurance policies.
Backyard Leisure utilizes the latest software for scheduling. Any representative of Backyard Leisure can login to our system and see pictures of jobs, dates of completion, notes about any issues and all of the customers contact information. This is extremely helpful, especially considering the volume of product we install every year.
Backyard Leisure owns all of their equipment for year round use. Trucks, trailers, excavators, track loaders, ect. They also have accounts with every major rental company for the unique jobs that require bigger equipment or specialized uses.
All of this is crucial is providing the smoothest and easiest installations possible. This is major construction and there will always be the potential for delays, but we work every year to add to our already stellar install department to minimize them and shorten them. Again, very few people in the pool and spa industry invest this kind of money for the satisfaction of their customers.
This desire to provide the best possible experience for a customer is also in the retail stores themselves. When you visit a Backyard Leisure location, you will be happy to know that all sales staff has been trained by the manufacturers of the products we sell. They also receive quarterly training on anything new the factory maybe producing as well as continuing education to stay fresh on the products.
In addition to one of the largest displays of product in our areas, we also have the best financing options. We have worked with several lenders to find the best rates and packages available.
After being in business for 11 years Backyard Leisure has been fortunate to have a unbelievable retention rate of their employees. Some have came over with the owners, so there tenure is decades long. While others may have 5 years under their belt. Employee satisfaction is the true key to Backyard Leisure’s success. They are the ones that make everything happen. They are valued and loved. At this point, the owners responsibilities have been reduced to securing the best products at the best prices and making sure the staff has the tools to service their customers, to the best of their abilities.
Backyard Leisure plans for many more decades of serving the community. Plans where made 3 years ago and they have begun to start building their own stores. The first one is in the Greensboro area and is scheduled to be complete in September 2021. Previously they leased facilities, but they where never the exact dimensions or shape to optimally display product. They are also wanted to really put roots down each market so customers would know that they will be here for them decades to come!