Peter Kirk, Gladesville
Prior to purchasing Swimart Warner’s Bay, what did you do?
I’ve been in advertising and marketing all my working life. I started my career with Christchurch Press in New Zealand, selling newspaper advertising in a building that was recently destroyed in the earthquake. I previously worked for large advertising agencies including George Patterson, Clemenger and Grey, and then in 2000 started my own agency, Adwork Communications.
What have been some of the highlights of your career?
There have been many, but a couple that stand out are when I coordinated the celebrity race for Nissan at the Formula 1 when it was held in Adelaide in the late 80s. Another was securing sponsorship of the Super Skins Golf Tournament at the Mirage Resort in Queensland in the middle of a pilot’s strike. I’ve also been privileged to meet many varied and interesting people on the way, plus over the years I’ve watched how marketing and advertising has evolved. I’m still as passionate about it today as I was when I started.
You wear two hats with Swimart, what are these?
I coordinate and facilitate all marketing and advertising functions at a national level for Swimart – plus I own Swimart Gladesville
What does your marketing / advertising role involve?
My roles include coordinating the national advertising campaign; undertaking market research to further understand what pool owners want and need; negotiating media opportunities; developing advertising campaigns that communicate to pool owners; organising direct mails; providing marketing and advertising for Swimart stores at a local level; and helping secure Susie O’Neill as Swimart’s Ambassador.
Why do you like the pool industry?
I think it’s exciting and interesting. And I believe that increasingly homeowners are making the pool the centre of their home entertainment area, with more and more making their homes their havens.
Have you ever owned a pool?
I’ve had pools all my life, and I now have a spa at my home in Sydney. I love the entertainment value, fun and lifestyle aspect.
What do you enjoy about owning a Swimart store?
I enjoy watching the business grow; the respect that my team has built up with customers and, indeed, the community; and I enjoy working on the business and running events, such as family fun days and visits by Susie O’Neill. What I have achieved I could not have achieved without my manager, Jacqui Brown and the team. You can have all the plans in the world, but unless you have people with the knowledge, customer service abilities and who can provide advice, then it’s all for nought. This is a people industry.
What have been your greatest achievements since owning your Swimart store?
Growing the business has been a great achievement. And being awarded NSW Franchisee of the Year in 2010 at the annual Swimart conference was humbling. That was a fantastic result for everyone particularly Jacqui as leader of the team at the shop. A truly outstanding achievement. Also, winning NSW Marketeer of the Year was a proud moment for me.
What do you do in your spare time?
I go to the gym four or five times a week, I ride my bike, I love relaxing in my spa, and I’ve become a mad cooking nut, using my Thermomix. It does everything!