RECENT ARTICLES
  • Sling's Hot

    by Grayson Walker September 2003

    Despite a proliferation of casual furniture types and styles in the past few years, sling remains king of the outdoors.

    "It's definitely the meat and potatoes of our business," says Bill Ryan, owner of Seasonal Pool & Patio in Burlington, Mass. "We also sell some cushion and a fair amount of jarrah, teak and wrought iron."

    Consumers...

  • Warming Up To Heaters

    by AQUA Editors August 2003

    When visualizing the clear blue pool they'll soon have in their backyard, many prospective pool owners imagine diving into cool, refreshing water on a hot summer day. Few consider the shock of plunging into a chilly 65-degree pool. But that's what they may encounter if they want to jump in before July. And since many pool owners today want to use their pool as early as...

  • Stepping Out

    by Emily Fuger August 2003

    Wood materials have been dominant players in the spa industry for the better part of its existence. Makers of spa steps, surrounds and most accessories followed the trend. But as as the category grows and evolves, new materials are appearing in the marketplace, allowing retailers and consumers to pick and choose the materials they prefer. Synthetic spa steps, surrounds and...

  • Jet Set

    by Kirstin Pires July 2003

    Consider the jet. Jets lead double lives, delivering all-important hydrotherapy and carrying more than their fair share of the marketing burden as well.

    While some manufacturers are scrambling to differentiate their tubs from the pack by adding lights, televisions and sound systems, others are marketing with a medical focus and an emphasis on hydrotherapy. But...

  • Buddy to Boss

    by AQUA Editors February 2002

    romoting Susan to that new management position seemed like a great idea. She always worked long hours and wanted to move up. And she was so popular with her coworkers! Why bother tracking down an outside candidate when there was already a staff member ready to roll.

    Unfortunately, problems cropped up as soon as Susan took on her new...

  • Vinyl Destination

    by AQUA Editors January 2002

    By Scott Webb

    From an inkling in a designer's mind to a top-selling pool pattern, vinyl travels a winding road

    Vinyl pool begins with an idea — both in a customer's and a manufacturer's mind. Not always simultaneously, of course, but somewhere a mother of swimming-age children considers the possibilities of outdoor preteen...

  • Keeping Your Employees Motivated in Turbulent Time

    by AQUA Editors January 2002

    Keeping Your Employees Motivated in Turbulent Times

    By Ed Rigsbee, CSP

    Ed Rigsbee, CSP, author of PartnerShift — How to Profit from the Partnering Trend, is a freelance columnist. His Partnering University Web site is located at rigsbee.com.

    As a business owner or manager you are currently dealing with two crucial...

  • Spas: The Straight Story

    by Barrett Kilmer January 2002

    Last spring, hot tubs made headlines in the Northwest as utilities, local governments and the media, looking for something to blame in the face of a potential energy crisis, painted portable hot tubs as major energy wasters, tying them to the perceived "California Lifestyle" of selfishness and decadence. The negative image stuck, and the industry scrambled to find ways to set the record...

  • The Evolution of Pattern

    by Aqua Editors January 2002

    By Scott Webb

    From an inkling in a designer's mind to a top-selling pool pattern, vinyl travels a winding road

    Vinyl pool begins with an idea — both in a customer's and a manufacturer's mind. Not always simultaneously, of course, but somewhere a mother of swimming-age children considers the possibilities of outdoor preteen...

  • Assuming Leadership

    by David Cohn January 2001

    Remember the statistic that I quoted in my February column. Seven out of every 10 family-owned businesses don't make it through the second generation. That means either entrepreneurs make poor teachers, or their kids aren't paying much attention.

    The problem with this factoid is that it doesn't carry much weight with risk-takers like you. Small-business people have already beaten the odds in the first place, and they don't care about adversity, or at least...