• 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • AQUA E-News Profile Management Center

    by AQUA Editors April 2005

  • Manager As Coach

    by Doug Silsbee March 2005

    When a child asks you for help with homework, do you simply tell the child the answers? Of course not! Most adults know that to do so would be to shortcut the child's learning process. Instead, we help children study by asking them questions that guide them through the problem-solving process. The objective is to help them learn to think and solve problems for themselves, not to simply provide them the answers.

    If helping through questions is so obvious in the...

  • Don't Fence Me In

    by Karen Erstad March 2005

    The only good pool is a safe one. Unfortunately, not every safe, fenced-in pool setting is attractive. But safety and beauty don't have to be mutually exclusive when it comes to poolscapes. Codes and covenants must be followed, but much can be done to diminish the effects of aesthetically unappealing fences or barriers.

    "Quite often the main solution for making...

  • A Competitive Market

    by Emily Fuger March 2005

    The number of consumers spending time online to research and purchase retail items is growing every year. In fact, new households going online — and more online spending from those already there — will boost consumer spending on the Internet to approximately 13 percent of all general merchandise retail spending by 2010, according to research conducted by Forrester Research, an independent technology research company based in Cambridge, Mass.


  • Stepping Up

    by Reid Creager March 2005

    You may have heard the sales expression, "it's such a great product that it sells itself." You may have heard it from someone who wasn't very good at sales.

    Manufacturers have to be creative — and good at it — when making spa steps and surrounds that will entice consumers to spend more of their hard-earned money on the total luxury environment....