RECENT ARTICLES
  • How To Choose the Right Manufacturers

    by Mario Rossetti December 2018

    I am too often asked for my opinion on which manufacturer a business should choose. I say “too often” because it’s always difficult for me to frame an answer to this question. Unless I’m consulting for a company, I am hesitant to offer specific names because I know it would make someone upset.

    I do however feel strongly that choosing a manufacturer deserves serious contemplation; and probably for reasons that may not seem obviously apparent.

    If you make the right choice, you...

  • What Did You Learn This Last Year?

    by Tom Grandy December 2018

    Most of us have heard, "Do you have thirty years' experience or one year of experience repeated thirty times?" The other one we have heard is, "The definition of insanity is 'Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results!'" The point is the same in either case. Are we learning and changing?

    As the new year begins soon, it's important to reflect on our victories as well as our failures. What did the company do really well over the past year, and, just as...

  • Disciplining Employees: What to Keep in Mind

    by Erik Taylor December 2018

    One of the most challenging things you take on as a manager is disciplining employees. You have to walk a fine line: If you’re too easy on them, you won’t be taken seriously, and if you come down too hard, you’ll have a lot of turnover.

    Turnover is especially important to consider. It’s a job candidate’s market right now, meaning employees are hard to find in just about any line of work — but for the trades in particular. Given the time and training it takes to get a new person up...

  • Giving Thanks Year-Round Can Help Business

    by AQUA Editors December 2018

    Gratitude should not stop after Thanksgiving is over. In fact, we should be giving thanks all year-round, especially business owners. According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, showing gratitude can strengthen business relationships, extend goodwill and even re-establish one’s brand.

    Here are ways employers can best say “thank you” to their customers and employees to benefit business.

    THANKING YOUR CUSTOMERS

    Customers, new or old, help to...

  • LPI Acquires Atera Spas

    by AQUA Editors December 2018

    LPI recently announced that it had acquired Phoenix-based Atera Spas. The Johnson-City, Tenn.-based manufacturer said the deal is part of a strategic plan to further penetrate the aquatic and therapy markets.

    “We felt that integrating the Atera chiller feature into our line of swim spas was a big key to continuing our aggressive growth plans in the swim spa and fitness market,” said David Hatley, CEO of LPI. “The ability to chill a portable or swim spa in the hot climate areas will...

  • Retail Turnover Rate Rises

    by AQUA Editors December 2018

    The retail employee turnover rate is very high this holiday season, with retail workers leaving their positions for “better opportunities/promotions” and a desire for more money and hours.

    A new survey on the top U.S. retailers by Korn Ferry found that the retail employee turnover rate is up by nearly a third of survey respondents (29 percent) since the beginning of 2018. “Of all retail positions, part-time hourly store employees have the highest turnover rate, with an 81 percent...

  • Lost Hot Tub Found 20 Miles Away

    by AQUA Editors November 2018

    After Hurricane Michael slammed Florida’s St. George Island in October, many residents returned from the evacuation to learn they had little left to return to.

    David Coston, who owns a vacation home on the island, was one of the lucky ones whose property survived the Michael’s sustained winds and storm surge.

    The day he returned, Coston was certainly relieved to see the house standing, but he did notice something was missing. “Wait a minute, our hot tub’s not here,” he...

  • Vocal About Being Local

    by AQUA Editors November 2018

    Every year as the holidays approach the airwaves are awash with ads touting sales and special hours at the world’s retailing giants. But smarter shoppers know going to Best Buy isn’t the best idea of you really care about your community, and that Target isn’t what to aim for if you want to keep your money circulating locally. People do care about these things, but they need a little prompting to look beyond the media blitz and patronize the mom-and-pop stores that make up shrinking share of...

  • Parents Line Up For Swim Lessons

    by Eric Herman November 2018

    Way back in 2011, I covered a story from India about a public pool that had hundreds of people lining up for memberships. At the time, it seemed like one of those things that would only happen in a country where public facilities, including pools, are in short supply. I never imagined something similar might happen in the U.S.

    All these years later, it happened here. Back in October, the

  • Gone Fishing

    by Eric Herman November 2018

    As the economy slowly healed after the Great Recession, the pool and spa industry saw encouraging signs of improvement. Phones were ringing again. Retail stores bustled with business. Consumer confidence was growing stronger and property values were escalating.

    Yet despite these positive signs, for some industry pros it's been difficult to let go of the recession mindset. Out of an abundance of caution, many industry pros are retaining the lean staffing practices of the recession,...