• Energize Your Ads

    by Phillip M. Perry August 2005

    "It pays to advertise." No one disputes that old chestnut. Even so, it's all too easy to place an ad and wait for throngs of new customers to crowd your store . . . only to be disappointed when your registers don't ring a merry tune.

    Fact is, some ads work and some don't. How can you improve the odds that your ads end up in the first group. Use these...

  • Under Wraps

    by Scott Webb August 2005

    A new spa cover arrives at the customer's home in pristine condition, just like the spa it will secure and insulate. But you can bet it will be replaced, perhaps several times over, before the spa finally gives out.

    And some dealers, like Kim Steffenhagen, showroom manager for Benson's Pool & Patio in Middleton, Wis., have pondered this. He sells a lot of spas...

  • Uberdealers

    by Karen Erstad July 2005

    Careers are, ideally , about more than just making money. But for business owners, maintaining profitability is still the highest priority. For those selling portable spas, if they're any good at it, they're probably safely in the black these days, since people really are spending more time at home and investing in their nests. But if your goal is to be more than just good...

  • Profit Partner

    by Phillip M. Perry July 2005

    Say the word "bank" and most of us picture an imposing building with a bunch of faceless tellers. For a successful retailer, though, a bank is more than a place to deposit receipts and cash checks. Indeed, if money is the lifeblood o f your store, your bank is the beating heart that keeps you healthy and vigorous in good times and b ad.

    "Banking today goes far beyond its traditional role as a source of loans," says Marilyn J. Holt,...

  • On The Clock

    by Jack Perry July 2005

    Every day people seem to run out of time. You've heard all of the cliches: "Time flies," "Where did the time go?" and "There just aren't enough hours in the day." The fact is that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. The only difference is what we choose to do with our time.

    Most people tend to focus on time management as a way to more effectively use their time. However, they are focusing on managing the wrong thing. The focus...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...