• Enclosure Exposure

    by Karen Erstad June 2004

    Gazebos provide protection and privacy in an aesthetically pleasing package. But perhaps the best benefit of gazebos — at least from a dealer's point of view — is that you can make good money selling them. They're not spa accessories that get "thrown in" with the purchase of a hot tub. In fact, the margin on some gazebos is as much as the spa it's...

  • Get Smart

    by Barrett Kilmer June 2004

    In theory, selling water testing products and chemicals should be a breeze. Your customers need them and you carry them. But both you and your customers know many of those products can be purchased for less elsewhere — whether that's at the cut-rate pool dealer across town, or worse, at the Home Depot on the edge of town.

    The temptation to buy from places like...

  • What's The Plan?

    by David Cohn June 2004

    So you realize that you need a buy/sell agreement. You want to make sure that your spa and pool business carries on to your second and third generations without any hitches. That's a noble gesture, but have you done all the prep work necessary to draft a useful buy/sell. If creating a buy/sell agreement is like writing a novel, then most businesses write just the final chapter and hope that the foregoing chapters will just be understood. In other words, partners...

  • Spreading Sunshine

    by Reid Creager May 2004

    The pool and spa industry is one of new frontiers: Ever-evolving technology and equipment that make for quicker installation, convenience and easier upkeep. Lavish landscape creations that virtually replicate nature, whether majestic waterfalls or complex rock formations. Futuristic computer technology that allows precise and nearly instantaneous design while...

  • Purely Portable

    by Emily Fuger May 2004

    The dream of spending hot summer days lounging on a raft in a cool, pristine swimming pool beckons nearly everyone. Until recently, however, many average-income families had to put this dream on hold because they couldn't afford to install a swimming pool in their own backyard.

    In the late 1980s, affordable portable pools began to be manufactured in the United...

  • Some (Don't) Like It Hot

    by Barrett Kilmer May 2004

    It's a wonder saunas aren't more popular in the United States. They've been used in Finland for more than 2,000 years, caught on in much of the rest of Europe some time after the Middle Ages and have been found in North American hotels, health clubs and pool stores for about as long as hot tubs have. Still, many Americans view saunas as mere...

  • ABCs Of APCs

    by Kirstin Pires April 2004

    An automatic pool cleaner is an automatic pool cleaner, right. Right. Except when it's a loss leader that seals the deal on an above-ground package and also cleans the pool. Or when it's an appealing colorful critter that also happens to clean the pool. Or when it's a sleek, color-coordinated accessory to a high-end project that — you guessed it — also keeps...

  • Step This Way

    by Reid Creager March 2004

    The recreational dream on wheels lit up the showroom: a $50,000 minivan with enough seating to lose a basketball star and enough extra gizmos to keep everyone in the family happily occupied. The parents and their two kids eagerly climbed inside — only to find that the overhead TV had fuzzy reception and the upholstery was garish.

    No sale.

    When you're...

  • Toys For Everyone

    by Kirstin Pires March 2004

    In case you haven't noticed, toys are not just for kids these days. More and more, adults are spending money on fun — for themselves and for the whole family. Add to that an increased interest in fitness and exercise, plus the growing trend toward folks spending more time at home (and more money on their homes), and you get a pretty good environment for selling...

  • A Will, A Grill And A Way

    by Karen Erstad March 2004

    You're not going to find a backyard with a pool or spa without a grill," says Eric Roller, sales manager for Olympia Pools & Spas in Fort Wayne, Ind. This thinking has led many pool and spa dealers, including Olympia, to add grills to their product mix. "It's just a natural fit," adds Roller.

    But grills, like pools and spas, don't sell...