• Manager As Coach

    by Doug Silsbee March 2005

    When a child asks you for help with homework, do you simply tell the child the answers? Of course not! Most adults know that to do so would be to shortcut the child's learning process. Instead, we help children study by asking them questions that guide them through the problem-solving process. The objective is to help them learn to think and solve problems for themselves, not to simply provide them the answers.

    If helping through questions is so obvious in the...

  • We've Got You Covered

    by Barrett Kilmer February 2005

    Flip through the pages of trade magazines or walk down the aisles of industry trade shows and you're sure to see plenty of new patterns being introduced by vinyl liner manufacturers and fabricators. Some years it's new shades of old standby colors like blues and greens. Other years earth tones and non-traditional pastels are trotted out. Recently, glass-tile and mosaic...

  • Who's Your Buyer?

    by Marj Schultz February 2005

    There's a little-known product offered by the pool and hot tub industry that has the potential to become a popular item as the population ages. Lots of manufacturers make them, but for most dealers — if they sell them at all — they represent a small portion of their businesses. Ask a random person off the street about them and you're likely to get a blank...

  • The Silent Sell

    by Patti Wood January 2005

    You have gone over your sales material, you've researched your prospect, and you're excited about what you are going to say about your company, product or service. You are now ready for your sales presentation.

    Well, at least 15 percent of it. Because the newest research says that most face-to-face buying decisions are made within the first three to five minutes of...

  • Common Scents

    by Kirstin Pires January 2005

    It's purely a non-scientific observation, but doesn't it seem like everything smells these days. It wasn't that long ago that Windex smelled like Windex. Now it comes in five flavors. From the expansive growth of the air-freshening-product category, to the bewildering variety of fragrance-flavors now available in previously self-scented products, to the entirely new...

  • The Fifth Sense

    by Kirstin Pires January 2005

    It's only on rare occasions that I get to experience — in person — the products that we write about every month in AQUA. Sure, I swim in a big commercial pool twice a week, but my third-floor apartment is equipped with neither a hot tub nor a sauna. The only water feature in my home is a tropical fish aquarium. Pretty much all my furniture is casual, but because it's so well used, not because that's the category it started life in.

    Without a pool...

  • The Total Package - January 2005

    by Jenna Danninger January 2005

    Forget Botox. Package pools are getting a facelift without the injections and expensive procedures. With the all-new look of package pools amounting to an “extreme makeover,” it’s sure to turn heads and raise curiosity. “It’s coming down to aesthetics,” says Phil Della Pietro, director of construction at the Pool and Spa Doctor in Wall Township, N.J., “and trying to make your backyard a little paradise island.” And with the ability to do...

  • Down But Not Out

    by Barrett Kilmer November 2004

    Floridians are picking up the pieces after a series of vicious hurricanes ravaged the state in August and September. The combined insured losses from hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne are estimated at between $16 billion and $28 billion by RiskManagement Solutions, an insurance-industry consulting firm. The storms were responsible for scores of deaths and...

  • Avoid Costly Payroll Woes

    by Phillip M. Perry November 2004

    Who gets paid overtime. If you're like most retailers, that question has caused more than a few sleepless nights. After all, lots of money rides on the answer. Load up the hourly gravy train and you end up with a bloated payroll that erodes your profits. Exempt the wrong people, though, and you face a worse risk: Costly litigation for back pay from employees claiming misclassification.

    No wonder employers often feel caught between red ink and a lawsuit. Is...

  • Outdoor Is In

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2004

    Years ago, the perfect poolside patio might have included a black Weber grill, a RustOleum-coated table and chairs from a hardware store and maybe a swing set or a bug zapper. Backyards were more of an afterthought than anything else. Well, times have certainly changed. Today's discerning homeowner wants more. Much more. The Weber's been sold at a garage sale and in its...