Al Curtis
Al Curtis is the designer and builder for Legendary Escapes Pools. He has pioneered the hybrid vinyl liner/gunite swimming pool, and is known for his unique and innovative custom designs. Also known online as @askthepoolguy, he blogs, does video, training, and events for the pool loving public and fellow industry professionals. He can be found online at www.AskthePoolGuy.com
  • Tuesday, July, 05, 2016 How YouTube Can Lead to More (And Better) Pool Customers

    YouTube: It's the third-most visited website on the planet with more than a billion people using it. Those people spend an average of 40 minutes during each viewing session, consuming vast amounts of content on a wild range of topics. In 2014 it was officially declared the world's second largest search engine, and data shows that you could miss up to 70 percent of your potential mobile traffic by ignoring video.

    Given the massive scope and reach of this marketing channel, it still...

  • Tuesday, May, 24, 2016 Confessions of a Scaled Up, Stressed Out Pool Guy

    In our business — really in any business — the idea of leaving money on the table is abhorrent to most people. We’re taught in business school that scale is the way to riches. If you can build one thing and make a little money, you should build tons and make tons.

    The logic is undeniable, and so is the fact that many people in this industry are making a great living doing just that. It was the dominant paradigm when I became the owner of my pool company several years ago.

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  • Monday, December, 07, 2015 Why Your Marketing Isn’t Working

    “Established in <<insert year>>, our company has been providing quality <<whatever we sell>> to customers in the <<wherever area>>, with a focus on good value and outstanding customer service. Please browse through our site to how great we are at what we do and how much you need us.”

    I can’t tell you how many websites I’ve read that sound a lot like the cookie-cutter cliché above. And too many times, my eyes glaze over and I lose...

  • Tuesday, November, 03, 2015 Beyond the Buzz: Three Good Reasons to Attend Industry Shows

    In the early days of my pool career, I worked for a builder here in Michigan. From the start, I constantly wanted to learn more. I pored over the magazines that came through the office, devoured the few books I could find on the subject and constantly bugged my boss about going to the trade shows.

    However, he was more interested in keeping the status quo than expanding his horizons, and the pool shows were just not on his radar.

    It's not that he didn't learn about new...

  • Tuesday, September, 15, 2015 Why Happiness Matters

    Slogging through some prep work at a new build one day in March, I had one of those crystal clear moments. It was pouring rain — the kind of icy cold rain that felt like frozen needles on this "spring" day in Michigan — and I was aching and sore, standing up to my ankles in liquefied mud.

    My body was screaming for mercy, having basically atrophied over the winter in this seasonal business I'm in, and I was soaked to the bone. The moment of clarity came when I realized — in spite of...

  • Thursday, July, 02, 2015 Why Boutique Means Business

    In business school, we often learn that the way to make more money is to grow. We take courses on how to scale, how to get bigger, how to manage that growth … all the while making the assumption that bigger means more profit at the end of the day.

    But going bigger isn't the only way to make more money, especially in a business like ours. From my experience in this industry, I see two basic ways that companies can make more money: They can scale up, or they can add value with the...

  • Thursday, March, 12, 2015 The Learning Curve - In the Pool Business and In Life

    As pool industry professionals, we are always learning, always expanding our skills. Whether your company installs a huge volume of manufactured pools or creates a handful of custom poolscapes, you learn something new with each job.

  • Tuesday, March, 10, 2015 Why We Love Reclaimed Materials

    photo of Legendary Escapes Pools project

    Our company is quickly earning a reputation for taking old things — stuff that many would consider junk – and repurposing them in a new way.

  • Wednesday, February, 11, 2015 The Art and Science of Quality
    photo of a paint ring rendering

    “Quality on the physical level is science. On the emotional level it’s art.”

    Quality — we all want it, chase after it and often pay more for it. Yet how much do we really understand quality and how to achieve it?

    For people who work in the fields of quality assurance, quality is measurable,...

  • Thursday, January, 15, 2015 How 'No' Can Help You Build Your Dreams
    photo of a man on his laptop
    Shutterstock.com

    The customer is always right. Except when they are wrong.

    Traditional business models tell us that to succeed in our chosen field, we need to cater to the customers and do what they like. To a point, this is true. You won’t have much success as a bartender if you refuse to mix drinks for your...