• Why Small Talk Matters

    by Ted Lawrence February 2018

    Communication, especially small talk, is something that has changed substantially over the last decade. It’s not just verbal any longer — communication takes place via emails, texts, print and, especially in today’s world, social media. (Even my 78-year-old father is now a master at social media!)

    But what about the old-fashioned way of speaking? When was the last time you stopped to train...

  • The AQUA Truck & Van Contest Returns

    by AQUA Editors February 2018

    After sharing the winners of the first-ever Truck & Van contest, we were flooded with feedback. In particular: “When is this contest coming back so I can enter?”

    Now, in fact — we’re excited to announce we’re bringing the Truck & Van contest back for another spin.

    This year, entries will be accepted on a rolling basis through October 1. (If you're planning a wrap redesign sometime this...

  • Preview: 2018 Everything Under the Sun Expo

    by AQUA Editors February 2018

    For 46 years, pool and spa pros have flocked to Orlando for a show that offers a bit of everything under the sun. That tradition continues this year as the Florida Pool and Spa Association presents the Everything Under The Sun Expo.

    This year, as in years past, the show will attract a large service contingent; it’s an excellent chance to pick up Florida Public Pool Specialist (FPPS) certification, prep for an installer license or brush up on a variety of topics from heat pumps to...

  • Facebook’s Drastic News Feed Change: What It Means for Your Business

    by AQUA Editors February 2018

    Facebook has started to prioritize posts from family and friends over posts from businesses, and the change will drastically impact your business’s page.

    The new goal for the News Feed, as outlined by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is to switch from presenting relevant content in the News Feed to presenting content that sparks meaningful social interactions among your family and friends. He then goes...

  • Hot Tub Retailer Partners with Washington Redskins

    by Eric Herman January 2018

    Back in early November, at last year’s PSP Expo in Orlando, Jennifer Clements accepted the APSP Retailer of the Year Award on behalf of Pla-Mor Pools, her family’s retail/construction firm, based in Mechanicsville, Va.

    Founded in 1968 by her husband Kenny Clements’ parents, the company has based its success in recent years on providing products and services that offer maximum value for the dollar and also a marketing plan that promotes both the outdoor living experience alongside...

  • Customer Service in the Digital Age

    by Kathryn Howard January 2018

    Ten years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, a device whose slogan promised to "reinvent the phone." In the decade since, smartphones would indeed live up to that premise: They're now our cameras, our alarm clocks, our calendars, our way of communicating. For many, grabbing the smartphone is the first thought of the day.

    As smartphones and tablets have grown more sophisticated, so too have customer expectations of the businesses they frequent. Today, your customers are more...

  • Lonza Awards $25,000 for Retail Makeovers

    by Cailley Hammel January 2018

    Lonza made a splash on the first day of The Pool & Spa Show by awarding a total of $25,000 to the winners of its first Store Makeover Contest.

    More than 100 retailers from across the country entered the contest, providing 200-word essays about their stores and why they deserved to win a makeover. Three retailers won $5,000, and the grand prize winner took home $10,000.

    The winners included:
    West Region Winner: Elk City Pools & Spas, Elk City, Okla.

  • Supreme Court to Hear Case on Internet Sales Tax

    by AQUA Editors January 2018

    E-commerce sites have several competitive advantages over their brick-and-mortar counterparts, one of which has long chafed small, independent retail owners: sales tax. As determined by the 1992 case South Dakota v. Wayfair, state governments cannot require an online retailer to collect sales tax if it does not have a physical presence in that state.

    In the 25 years since that ruling, however, the online retail space has radically evolved — today's consumers flock to the internet...

  • Furniture Store Sees Booming Success with Artificial Intelligence

    by Kathryn Howard January 2018

    Albert is not your average salesperson — he’s an artificial intelligence program designed explicitly to increase sales leads.

    Albert uses complex algorithms to assess existing marketing strategies and implement new ones, like landing pages, social media posts, email campaigns and more. Better yet, “he” does it completely autonomously, meaning companies that use Albert can spend less time on marketing and more time on lead follow-ups. 

    If you’re skeptical, you’re not alone....

  • Make “About Us” About You

    by Alice Cunningham January 2018

    One of the most popular pages on most websites is the “About Us” page. Research shows visitors typically click those first. Why? People want to know something about a company before doing business with it. I sure you look at "About Us" pages too when you’re shopping.

    Many hot tub companies miss this opportunity to make a meaningful connection. Often, you’ll just see bland lines like “Here at ABC Hot Tubs, we’re really great people, we love our customers and we’ve been in business...