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Marine Corps Veteran Applies Military Knowledge For Thriving Pool Franchise


Marine Corps veteran Shawn Sharratt uses the skills he acquired during his five-year tenure in the military to successfully operate his Pinch A Penny pool retail and service franchise in McKinney, Texas. 



“Franchise ownership is great for veterans, because there’s comfort in the structure of franchising as it parallels the military by operating on a checklist-type system,” said Sharratt. “Many veterans also need to find a mission once they retire, and franchising can offer that mission. You get to run a business, but also serve others in their areas of need.”

Sharratt, who comes from a family of servicepeople, was born in England and lived in 12 different cities throughout the United States growing up. He now resides in McKinney, Texas with his wife, Sara. During his time with the Marines, he worked on helicopters, performed maintenance on hydraulic systems, and completed body repairs on the framework of airplanes and helicopters. 

“My family history drove my desire to be in the military,” said Sharratt. “With my father serving in the Air Force for 26 years, I grew up on base and I remember being so impressed with how Marines carried themselves, and the respect the other branches of the military had for them.” 

During his career as a Marine, Sharratt also served for nine months in Iraq. While he was not in any direct combat, he vividly remembers a scud missile attack and several restless nights. Then, after retiring from the Marines, Sharratt knew it was time for his next mission. He searched for some time – trying one career to the next. At one point, he worked in the nutritional supplement and health food industry. At another, he dabbled as a financial advisor before returning to natural foods.  

Then in 2016, when Sharratt heard that Pinch A Penny was looking to expand in Texas due to the boom in demand for quality pool retail and service, he decided to shift goals. Plus, he was already very familiar with the brand and business model. In fact, while in college, he worked for nearly five years at a Pinch A Penny franchise in Pensacola, Florida. From ensuring customers had what they need to maintain their pools to helping them create their complete backyard oasis, it was a business model and experience he hoped to emulate in his neighborhood of McKinney. 

“When I learned that Pinch A Penny was expanding in Texas, I was immediately interested,” said Sharratt. “Based on my experience with the Pensacola franchise, I knew how successful we could be. Then, after meeting with the Pinch A Penny corporate team, they were able to help me locate real estate and take all necessary steps to get our business up and running by November of 2018.”

Now, three and a half years later, Sharratt already feels like he is fulfilling his mission as a franchisee. Just like his time with the Marines, Sharratt has enjoyed the structure and support that franchising offers. Instead of having to create a business model from scratch, franchising provides a blueprint for success. 

Sharratt finds comfort in knowing that Pinch A Penny has spent more than 45 years proving and perfecting their business model. For veterans and aspiring business owners like him, it’s the opportunity to use the tools he learned in the military and make a splash with America’s largest pool retail and service franchise.