RECENT ARTICLES
  • How to Manage a Challenging Hire

    by Erik Taylor October 2018

    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...

  • Stock-Tank Swimming

    by Barrett Kilmer October 2018

    Like drunken cowboys in second-rate Western flicks, a lot of folks are spending time soaking in stock tanks lately. Only these people haven't gotten there via face-punch or bartender banishment. Quite the contrary, actually. They're paying for the...

  • Zodiac Pulls Jandy Products from E-Commerce Sites

    by Eric Herman October 2018

    In a bold move that could have far-reaching impact on the way many dealers in the pool and spa industry do business, Zodiac Pool Systems has announced that it is prohibiting internet sales for the Jandy Pro Series, a line that includes more than 400 products.

    In a Sept. 28 press release, Zodiac announced that the change is a continuation of its “trade series policy” it established in 2014, in which the company altered its warranty program in favor of the trade. The new policy, which...

  • How a Trust Can Protect a Pool Business

    by Phillip M. Perry October 2018

    James has run a successful pool business for over three decades. Things are going great, but he worries about the future. What if he were to suffer a sudden decline in health, like a stroke or heart attack? What about when he passes — how can he help ensure the wealth he’s built in the business is distributed to his children without squabbling? What about other threats, like lawsuits?

    If he should suddenly become incapacitated, who will run the enterprise for the benefit of his wife...

  • Emojis Can Help Your Business

    by Abigail Carpenter September 2018

    Since their birth twenty years ago, emojis have popped up in every communication channel from text messages to Facebook, Instagram and more. While they are largely limited to personal conversations, new data shows you should be using them in business interactions, too — especially when it comes to paid social ads.

    According to a 2016 study by Twitter, emojis have been proven to boost ad effectiveness. When a branded emoji was used in a social ad post, engagement increased by 10...

  • How to Measure Social Media Marketing

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2018

    Ask anyone involved in advertising, marketing or public relations what the hardest part of their jobs is, and it won’t take long for them to mention measuring success. If a customer has a single ad playing on the radio during rush hour and sales go up, even an intern can write a report detailing the campaign’s worth. But it’s usually not that simple.

    Hot tub dealers, for example, might advertise on radio and television, send direct mail to targeted customers, put inserts into Sunday...

  • Make Way, Macy's!

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2018

    Craig Ecelbarger is the owner of Recreational Warehouse of Southwest Florida, a backyard retailer based in Fort Myers that also serves customers in beach communities about 40 miles to the south and 40 miles to the north. Until last year, he had two stores: the 16,000-square-foot flagship and a southern satellite about half that size in Naples. That left the seasonal residents, retirees and townies of Port Charlotte, on the northern end of Ecelbarger's media radius, to battle traffic on 41...

  • Is Wellness Working?

    by Eric Herman September 2018

    Back in 2016, spa manufacturing giant Watkins changed its name to Watkins Wellness. It was an attention-getting move that not only demonstrated the company's commitment to the wellness message, but was also in many ways...

  • Swimming Pools: Gone to the Dogs

    by Dana Robinson September 2018

    Most people who invest in a backyard pool have done so for two reasons. 1) They love entertaining and being outdoors. 2) The pool is a great place to spend time with family — and sometimes, those family members are of the four-legged variety.

    Many people consider their pets to be full-fledged members of the family, with all the rights and privileges thereof. That includes a seat in the car on family vacations, annual birthday celebrations (complete with bone-shaped birthday cakes)...

  • Consumers Projected to Buy Big-Ticket Items This Holiday Season

    by Abigail Carpenter September 2018

    New data released from Adobe Analytics this month should leave pool and spa retailers hopeful for high holiday sale numbers this season. According to the report, not only are retail sales up 23 percent, or $2.08 billion, from last year, shoppers are also purchasing big-ticket items.

    “The numbers bear out that we’re in for a good holiday season,” Adobe’s Director of Retail Industry Strategy Michael Klein told the Los Angeles Times. “Consumers were shopping for larger and more...