A SWIM school which started with six students 30 years ago has grown to teach 1500 swimmers at ten venues nationwide.

Carol Saunders Swim School now boasts the title of being one of the North Yorkshire’s most successful family run swim schools, and is hoping to claim a crown at this year’s Press Business Awards.

Entering both the Small Business of the Year and Family Business of the Year categories, the business is based in Selby and run by founder Carol and her daughter Naiomi.

Their award entry follows a “turbulent” past 12 months, with the team facing the challenges of “unexpected and uncontrollable” community pool closures.

Luckily for them, the strength of the team and their efficiency in solving problems meant as little disturbance for both swimmers and teachers alike was felt.

As both a family run and small business, the team work hard to ensure their presence is maintained in the competitive marketplace and therefore decided to invest in their marketing strategy to develop their online presence and raise their brand awareness.

Introducing a website built by a local website agency, they now offer customers the ability to access their own online “fish portal” to manage their lessons and their payments and check for any class changes.

In addition to this they have developed the consistency of content they share with customers by introducing monthly blog posts to share top tips, raise awareness of important times and team/swimmer success stories, as well as posting daily to their Facebook page with new venues, lessons and team news.

Founder Carol Saunders said: “The Carol Saunders Swim School is an inspiring family business story, borne out of passion and one that should be seen to inspire other family businesses.

“We believe strongly that if you care enough about what you do and what your business ethos is, you can, and you will, succeed.”

Working with family comes with both positives and negatives, Carol and Naiomi encourage other family businesses to make sure that clarity and transparency are at the core of every business decision made.

Sharing a passion for something of course helps and luckily for these two swimming has always been at the heart of their family and therefore makes running a successful Swim School together all the more satisfying for not only the pair of them but the team of 35.