• Enclosure Exposure

    by Karen Erstad June 2004

    Gazebos provide protection and privacy in an aesthetically pleasing package. But perhaps the best benefit of gazebos — at least from a dealer's point of view — is that you can make good money selling them. They're not spa accessories that get "thrown in" with the purchase of a hot tub. In fact, the margin on some gazebos is as much as the spa it's...

  • Get Smart

    by Barrett Kilmer June 2004

    In theory, selling water testing products and chemicals should be a breeze. Your customers need them and you carry them. But both you and your customers know many of those products can be purchased for less elsewhere — whether that's at the cut-rate pool dealer across town, or worse, at the Home Depot on the edge of town.

    The temptation to buy from places like Home...

  • What's The Plan?

    by David Cohn June 2004

    So you realize that you need a buy/sell agreement. You want to make sure that your spa and pool business carries on to your second and third generations without any hitches. That's a noble gesture, but have you done all the prep work necessary to draft a useful buy/sell. If creating a buy/sell agreement is like writing a novel, then most businesses write just the final chapter and hope that the foregoing chapters will just be understood. In other words, partners...

  • A Sale For All Seasons

    by Elissa Sard Pollack June 2004

    Ask anyone who sells a lot of winter safety covers when the best time to sell them is, and the answer will be "anytime." Sure, some companies promote end-of-season purchases, while others push them when pools are being opened in the spring. But the truth is, you can sell a safety cover any day of any month.

    For builders, this might mean including a cover...

  • Some (Don't) Like It Hot

    by Barrett Kilmer May 2004

    It's a wonder saunas aren't more popular in the United States. They've been used in Finland for more than 2,000 years, caught on in much of the rest of Europe some time after the Middle Ages and have been found in North American hotels, health clubs and pool stores for about as long as hot tubs have. Still, many Americans view saunas as mere...

  • Spreading Sunshine

    by Reid Creager May 2004

    The pool and spa industry is one of new frontiers: Ever-evolving technology and equipment that make for quicker installation, convenience and easier upkeep. Lavish landscape creations that virtually replicate nature, whether majestic waterfalls or complex rock formations. Futuristic computer technology that allows precise and nearly instantaneous design while...

  • Purely Portable

    by Emily Fuger May 2004

    The dream of spending hot summer days lounging on a raft in a cool, pristine swimming pool beckons nearly everyone. Until recently, however, many average-income families had to put this dream on hold because they couldn't afford to install a swimming pool in their own backyard.

    In the late 1980s, affordable portable pools began to be manufactured in the United...

  • ABCs Of APCs

    by Kirstin Pires April 2004

    An automatic pool cleaner is an automatic pool cleaner, right. Right. Except when it's a loss leader that seals the deal on an above-ground package and also cleans the pool. Or when it's an appealing colorful critter that also happens to clean the pool. Or when it's a sleek, color-coordinated accessory to a high-end project that — you guessed it — also keeps...

  • Above And Beyond

    by Scott Webb March 2004

    Homeowner once described his above-ground pool as a "great big water dish in the backyard," suitable for Clifford The Big Red Dog. It appeared to be little more than that — a simple vessel of clear liquid, adorned with just a tarp below the ladder for changing shoes.

    Not that his kids (and a good number that weren't his) didn't enjoy the pool on a...

  • Step This Way

    by Reid Creager March 2004

    The recreational dream on wheels lit up the showroom: a $50,000 minivan with enough seating to lose a basketball star and enough extra gizmos to keep everyone in the family happily occupied. The parents and their two kids eagerly climbed inside — only to find that the overhead TV had fuzzy reception and the upholstery was garish.

    No sale.

    When you're...