• Pool Sales The Wise Way, Part I

    by Merry Wise August 2005

    Successfully selling a swimming pool starts long before your prospective pool owner even darkens your door. Just like any other effective operation, pool sales can be broken down into steps. Developing an organized method for sales success rather than randomly scampering after leads will guarantee you higher sales volume, higher profit and better use of your time. You can sell pools the easy way or the hard way. Selling the easy way is more fun and much more...

  • Fine Redesign

    by Karen Erstad August 2005

    Since the Internet is quickly becoming the Yellow Pages of the 21st century, it may be time to invest some serious dollars in your Web site. Instead of hiring your cousin's friend's 14-year-old who does some Web work on weekends, you may want to hire a professional Web site designer. But how do you choose the person who will create this all-important Web presence? And...

  • Do The (After) Math

    by Kirstin Pires August 2005

    Most disasters — even the worst ones — drop out of the news cycle long before the disaster has cycled out of the lives of its victims. When the 2004 hurricane season pummeled Florida with an astonishing four major hurricanes, it dominated the print and broadcast news and the rest of the country paused to gasp at the images of destruction. But the news cycle...

  • 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...