• Pool Cover Pateontology

    by Scott Webb June 2005

    Somewhere out on the Oklahoma prairie, a lonely oil derrick labors in the summer sun, extracting the liquid remains of a brontosaurus. Up, down, up, down, tirelessly it pumps, while hundreds of feet below, precious crude leaps up a steel straw and squirts toward the surface.

    It is one more step on a long voyage. Long ago, the fauna and flora of the Jurassic...

  • Questionable Answers

    by Jim Dawson June 2005

    Questionable Answers Mastering the art of inquiry Jim Dawson

    You receive massive amounts of information at work and in your personal life every day. But are you getting the information you really need? Do you know how to ask the right questions and actively listen to the answers - whatever they may be - in order to gain the knowledge and insights you need to be successful?

    There are two types of questions: open and closed. Open questions encourage people to share information...

  • Destination Gazebo

    by Kirstin Pires June 2005

    When most English speakers hear the word "gazebo," they picture a quaint, storybook structure with decorative brackets and spindles, probably painted white, sited on a lush lawn or in a garden. When the hot-tub world hears the same word, most think of a redwood, cedar or vinyl enclosure that serves as a barrier to the weather (either hot or cold) and prying...

  • Chemical Quandary

    by Karen Erstad May 2005

    As you've noticed, a lot of pool chemicals cost more this year. Last December, BioLab announced it would raise prices up to 35 percent on all its products containing chlorinated isocyanurates, and the prices of its other pool and spa products would be increasing by up to 10 percent. Advantis Technologies also raised prices on many of its chemicals earlier this...

  • Be The Nice Guy - It'll Pay Off

    by Karen Erstad May 2005

    A friend of mine recently stopped by a local sporting goods store that was going out of business. He wanted to buy a tent, but none were on display. So to see what one looked like, he took a tent out of a box that appeared as if it had already been opened. If he liked it, the tent was a good deal: regularly $200, it was on sale for $65. Well, he thought it was OK, but...

  • Top-Notch Training Ground

    by Virginia DeMoss May 2005

    "When we started out, I had a lot of the necessary mechanical and construction ability, but AQUA has really given us a feel for the industry and helped us develop our business skills," says Dan Hyatt, owner of Northwest Hot Spring Spas in Washington state. Like a lot of people in our position, we moved from doing everything ourselves to slowly adding service...

  • Finnish Line

    by Emily Fuger May 2005

    George Dalhammer has been selling Finnleo saunas in his Dayton, Ohio, retail store for about 16 years, but neither he nor his customers have ever paid much attention to them. "It has always been something that has really been in the back corner of the showroom," the owner of Hot Spring Spa of Dayton says. The saunas didn't necessarily hurt the company's bottom...

  • Eye On The Target

    by Claire Sykes April 2005

    No successful retailer would dream of doing business without sales goals. They serve as definitive marks you can aim toward in order to reach your desired profits. You can expect to achieve those numbers only when you and your sales staff set goals that are specific, realistic and measurable.

    With their target in sight, your salespeople feel in control of their own financial destiny and are motivated to sell even more. Sales goals also provide a budgeting...

  • Listen Up

    by Emily Fuger April 2005

    In 2004, Modesto, Calif.-based Aqua Pool & Spa sold 900 suction-side and pressure-side pool cleaners. How'd they do it. "I think understanding the needs of a client determines the right cleaner for them," says Gregg Whitley, co-owner and vice president of the company. "That's the most important thing."

    Beyond that, colorful displays featuring...

  • Merchandising Muscle

    by Virginia DeMoss April 2005

    Welcome to AQUA Show Solutions, a new column that shows how businesspeople just like you are investing in education to produce results and improve profitability. Each month, we'll talk with different professionals to learn how they've put their knowledge to work and how you can, too.


    "My first time at AQUA, I...