RECENT ARTICLES
  • Get With The Program - Why sell a product when you can sell a system?

    by Becky Strauss September 2006

    It's impossible to walk into a spa dealership without noticing the rows of matching products meant to take the mystery out of keeping the spa water sparkling clean. There are sanitizers, clarifiers, balancers and so on. If you really look at the packaging, all the products lined up next to each other look an awful lot like personal-care products — coincidence?

    Chemical...

  • Room For Growth

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2006

    As a casual furniture retailer, you do your best each season to make sure your customers have a good selection of outdoor dining sets, sofas, settees, etc., at a variety of price points. High-end stuff will set you apart from the mass merchants, while a less-expensive line will keep you in the running for sales that would otherwise be rung up at a Target or any of the...

  • Learn To Love Your Job

    by Allyson Lewis September 2006

    You have met one or two of them; they are in every company. They pass you on the elevator each morning with smiles on their faces. They grab cups of coffee from the break room, just like you. They sit in offices just like yours. They have titles, just like you do. They even receive paychecks, just like yours. But something about them is radically different from you: They actually love their jobs!

    You can see it in the way they walk; you can see it in...

  • Put To Rest

    by Karen Erstad September 2006

    What's not to like about automatic covers. They make pools safer, they reduce heating and chemical costs, and generally make the pool easier to maintain. Plus, they're not hard to use, which means they'll actually get used. "If something is not convenient, even if it's a good idea, people just won't do it," says Wes Mathis, co-owner of Pool Cover Specialists,...

  • The Frugal Googler

    by Barrett Kilmer August 2006

    It's easy to forget how quickly the Internet has become an important part of our everyday lives. Only 10 years ago, someone could utter the phrase "information superhighway" without drawing derisive laughter. And Google was still just a funny word fifthgraders heard in math class (and it was spelled googol, BTW). A mouse was something most people didn't want...

  • Beat Winter Blues

    by Karen Erstad August 2006

    During the hottest month of the year, few of your customers will be looking ahead to closing their pools. But you should. Not every service is worth offering, but winterizing pools and spas is. "Winterizing is the most profitable part of servicing pools," says Larry Hayes, president of Anchor Spa & Pool in Huntley, Ill. "And it's because of the...

  • Weather Or Not

    by Lindsay Renick Mayer June 2006

    As pool designs become more and more complex — with vanishing edges, waterfalls and raised spas — so too does the homeowners' ability to cover them completely during the winter months in an effective and attractive way. Thanks to a host of innovative winter pool cover products, however, not only can homeowners open their pools in the spring with little...

  • Easy Enclosure Sales

    by Becky Strauss June 2006

    Competition to sell spa enclosures is coming from many places nowadays. For manufacturers, the competitive presence of China and Southeast Asia is beginning to have an impact. Dealers have chosen a variety of methods to deal with the competition, focusing on service and providing quality products chief among them. The Internet, too, has made sales easier for dealers just...

  • Go Solar

    by Barrett Kilmer May 2006

    Over the past several years American citizens and their elected representative have been focusing more on ways to reduce our country's dependency on foreign oil and other pollution-causing natural resources. The war in Iraq and Iran's recent saber rattling, in particular, underscore the danger in continuing to rely on what's historically been relatively inexpensive and free-flowing oil and its byproducts, including propane, from the Middle East. In addition, even if...

  • Cape Crusaders

    by Lindsay Renick Mayer May 2006

    It was only a matter of four weeks that determined whether Jim Treese was bound to sell copy machines or travel down a path that would lead to the 2002 opening of Cape Cod Aquatics, a pool and spa company that has doubled its sales every year since.

    After working for a fire and safety inspection company for 10 years and after a short stint with an Internet company,...