At last year's PSP Expo in Orlando, APSP met to gauge interest in developing a group that would...
Last week we kicked off our monthlong celebration of the Awards of Excellence with a look at the...
Organizers of the International Pool |Spa | Patio Expo recently announced five finalists for the...
There's really no arguing with the simple truth that training and education are the keys to growing a business and the industry as a whole, and that resulting certification and/or licensing is one of the best ways to establish professional legitimacy in the mind of the consumer.
Still, there's more to the question of establishing legitimacy. The fact is, the industry can have all the training and certification imaginable, but if the general public doesn't recognize those programs and resulting credentials, they do little to enhance professional status.
And therein lies the proverbial rub: It's one thing to have expert knowledge in a given field — it's quite another to be recognized for it. Even the staunchest advocates of our industry's educational programs will openly concede the public identification component is lacking. That leaves professionals in our industry with a considerable challenge: Absent some form of widely recognized certification or licensure, how do you establish and maintain professional credibility?
The answer comes down to each individual company and how its owners and managers choose to represent their organization's background and strengths to the public. In other words, establishing credibility is to a large extent a self-determined process. Here are a few of the most effective means:
RELATED: Three Cheap Marketing Tips for Small Pool Service Pros
At every opportunity, take the time to explain the training required to reach your certifications. Use words like "stringent," "authoritative," "verifiable," "experienced," "trusted" and "responsible." These all have a place on the websites, marketing materials and advertising of top-notch companies.
One way to demonstrate that your walk matches your talk is to maintain a list of positive referrals. Satisfied customers are probably the single most credible form of promotion. If you have clients who will sing your praises, make sure those voices are available to people who might be considering your services. Whether it's on your website, in your collateral materials or simply available upon request, there's probably no better way to back up your claims of excellence. Few people will walk in the door and write them out for you on a piece of paper. Usually you have to ask for them, even from people that genuinely love your work.
On the builder side of the industry, a great many firms rely on plaques on the wall to make their case for legitimacy. Whether you believe design awards are valid or really nothing more than glorified photo contest, there's little question that a great many potential buyers are impressed by builders that have a bevy of awards. The fight for credibility should be fought on multiple fronts, but a few design awards noticeably posted can help.
Though it might not directly reflect on the quality of your work, maintaining a positive presence in the community is an effective way to bolster credibility. It shows that you are not only professional, but also that you care about improving your community and helping others. People see that and think you must be a good person, and therefore likely a good contractor. You can be a member of a chamber of commerce, rotary club or simply take on an important cause — it all works.
Long gone are the days when businesses can afford to ignore social media as a means of promotion. There are loads of resources about using modern technology to promote businesses, so I'll refrain from retracing those recommendations other than to say that maintaining an online presence is essential any company's reputation.
RELATED: Reputation Beacon: A Mobile App That Tracks Online Reviews
Without trying to sound glib, the best way to maintain legitimacy and credibility is to be really and truly legitimate and credible. If you act like a professional and carry yourself as a fully formed adult, people will respond with respect. For all of the clever machinations of the modern world, the old-school values of trust, honesty and the value of your word remain far and away the surest path to professional credibility.
If that sounds idealistic, guilty as charged, but is there any question that maintain high professional and personal standards is the surest path to success?
After all, legitimate is as legitimate does. There's really no question about that!
Hiring and training new employees isn’t a black-and-white process — in fact, there’s quite a bit of gray area. That’s because there’s a lot of emotion and opinion involved, and everyone approaches it differently.
For example: What do you consider satisfactory job performance? How much time do you think is required to properly train an employee? How long should it take before a new hire “gets it”?
And what would you consider to be poor performance and/or unsatisfactory...
In an effort to provide a networking forum for women working in the pool and spa industry, SWIMN (Supporting Women Industry-Wide, Mentors and Networking) will hold its third annual reception at the PSP Expo on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
An independent networking group, SWIMN was established by Pam Vinje, CEO of digital marketing firm Small Screen Producer and former director of social media, marketing and events for APSP. Vinje established SWIMN with several close female associates she met...
At last year's PSP Expo in Orlando, APSP met to gauge interest in developing a group that would focus on the commercial side of the pool and spa industry.
The response was overwhelming. The event played out to a standing-room-only crowd, with a vigorous exchange of ideas among all assembled.
“As we continued on in that meeting and asked questions of what people were interested in, we found a great alignment within the entire industry,” says Donna Williams, chief marketing...
Last week we kicked off our monthlong celebration of the Awards of Excellence with a look at the impressive lineup of projects in the Bronze-winning category. Now, we're moving on to the Silver award winners.
This week you'll find projects than range from simply sensational to the sensationally simple, some with geometric borders and others with craftily coped edges. Fire effects, luxe lighting and fantastic homes frame the work, all of which earned the second-highest accolade the...