• Why retail pool toys and games

    by Kirstin Pires August 2008

    You don't need to read about it in AQUA Magazine to know that Americans love their sports. From Bug Ball (soccer for 2 year olds) to the Senior Games, from church-league basketball to X Games snowboarding, there's an organized (or chaotic - whichever you prefer) sport for virtually anyone who wants to play. And if you prefer to watch, there's ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, EXPN, ESPNews ....

  • Take your business performance to the next level

    by David Benzel August 2008

    When Emma was 12, it was common to see her writing down specific water-skiing goals on colored paper with an artistic flair. Some goals were short-term performance targets, while others looked much further out at specific outcomes like making the U.S. team. She was competitive and determined to win a national title.

    The family awoke one particular Saturday morning to find the weather windy, overcast and nasty. The lake was rough, but not too rough to ski. Emma's father knew it...

  • Prompt collection protects your bottom line

    by Phillip M. Perry August 2008

    Making a sale: Great! Collecting past-due accounts: Lousy.

    Late-paying customers are always a problem. In a slowing economy, though, burgeoning accounts receivable can do serious harm. Worse, uncollected bills can create a real cash squeeze.

    "The risk of extending credit is not just about not getting paid," says Robert S. Bernstein, a partner in the Pittsburgh-based Bernstein Law Firm and author of Get P.A.I.D. "There's also a real cost...

  • Pool and spa continuing education helps beat the competition

    by Kirstin Pires August 2008

    Kirstin PiresWhether you pack a Kung Fu Panda lunchbox and set out for first grade or you pack an Igloo Playmate cooler and head off to the job site, September prompts thoughts of going back to school.

    Each year it seems like there are more education and training opportunities offered for and by the industry than there were the previous year. I'm happy to note that this year is no...

  • Seven tips to keep shoplifters away

    by Phillip M. Perry July 2008

    Shoplifting: Few problems can be as costly - and as upsetting - as this perennial nuisance of the retail world.

    Unaddressed, retail theft can take a surprising chunk out of profits. The numbers tell the tale: If a store runs at a 10 percent profit margin and someone steals a $5 item, the retailer has to make $50 in sales to recover the loss.

    Here's good news: Shoplifting is...

  • Finding local talent to employ and keep business successful

    by Ron Price July 2008

    There is a fable about a successful farmer in the ancient world who one day heard a story of the riches to be had from seemingly ordinary rocks mined from the earth. He became obsessed with diamonds and sold his productive farm to set out in search of the gems. He spent his entire fortune traveling the world in search of riches but never found the diamonds he sought. Soon after he died, the largest diamond mine ever found on the continent was discovered on the very farm he sold to finance...

  • Sell spa covers with a direct mail campaign

    by Barrett Kilmer July 2008

    When spa sales slow, as they have recently, dealers tend to look to past customers to make up some of the difference. One common strategy is to increase sales of replacement covers and lifters, and an excellent way to do that is through direct mail.

    The keys to a good direct mail campaign, whether it's for spa covers or anything else, are focus, message and repetition, according to John...

  • Business practices to avoid to watch business soar

    by Daniel Burrus June 2008

    If you want to truly stand out in today's marketplace and lead your company to new heights of success, you have to work smarter, not harder. For many leaders and managers, that's easier said than done. Despite their best intentions, they get snarled in the glaring failures that derail business growth and stagnate profits.

    To avoid the most-common traps that stifle business growth, you have to be aware of them and know the strategies to combat them. The following list will help...

  • Invest in Rotationally-Molded Spas

    by Scott Webb June 2008

    Back in the early days, when spa manufacturing was a garage-based operation, a spa was a spa, and the cheapest spa was usually the market leader. Capital investment was minimal, and if an entrepreneur could figure out a way to sell for $100 less and still make a profit, the company's future was assured.

    In time, as companies grew they tried to differentiate themselves by making spas more elaborate....

  • Pool and spa chemical manufacturers strive to reduce environmental impact of pool ownership

    by Barrett Kilmer June 2008

    Amid all the media coverage about global warming, smog-choked cities and dwindling natural resources, it's easy to forget how far we've come in terms of environmental awareness. Remember those '70s ads where the old Native American man sheds a tear at the sight of a litter-riddled roadside? We've gotten a pretty good handle on the littering problem in the 30-odd years since those announcements...