• New Report Finds Good News For Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

    by AQUA Editors March 2018

    No matter how low e-commerce retailers price their products, brick-and-mortar retailers have a big advantage over their online counterparts: the ability to put a product in a customer’s hands before the sale. In fact, according to a report by digital commerce agency Astound Commerce, 73 percent of consumers visit a brick-and-mortar store for that very reason.

    Called “Save Our Stores” (or “S.O.S.” for short), the report combines the results of 1,000 consumer surveys with a mystery...

  • The Next Generation Speaks

    by AQUA Editors March 2018

    The future of the industry has long been a concern in the pool and spa industry, but over the past couple years in particular, the issue has reached a boiling point. Who will take over from the greying generation of pros who are itching to retire? How will we find young people interested in getting their hands dirty in service and building?

    Those concerns are merited. However, while putting our Next Generation Issue together,...

  • Creating Your Legacy

    by Eric Herman March 2018

    Planning succession is one of the greatest challenges business owners face — even more so for smaller companies where the owner, founder, CEO or head honcho often remain integral to daily operations. Finding, grooming and handing over control to the right person or set of people requires careful forethought and deliberate action over years. How you approach that all-encompassing process is at the heart of building a legacy.

    That’s the core message in “

  • Technology: A Small Business’s Secret Weapon

    by Dan McManus March 2018

    With the explosion of online shopping, brick-and-mortar small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in specialized industries, such as pool and spa, have many challenges. Ecommerce and price-checking tools have made it difficult for brick-and-mortar stores to keep competitive product pricing intact without hurting the bottom line. In addition, finding, training and retaining sales associates for brick-and-mortar locations can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. For many SMBs, getting...

  • Zodiac Announces Redesigned Loyalty Program, New Retail Program

    by AQUA Editors March 2018

    Zodiac Pool Systems announces it has reconfigured its loyalty program and implemented a new program designed to reward retailers.

    The loyalty program is broken down into four programs, starting with Zodiac Rewards, an entry-level program that provides access to business tools and allows members to earn points on purchases, which can be redeemed for various products or services.

    Once a Zodiac Rewards member,...

  • How to Tell Customers They're Wrong

    by Mario Rossetti March 2018

    Have you ever found yourself in a position with prospects when they begin to make a point or state a particular opinion that embraces an entirely false premise? Sure you have, and so have I.

    You immediately recognize that their understanding and therefore their logic is flawed. They are wrong, and you realize that unless you are able to clarify the initial error in their thinking you will not be able to help them achieve their goals or satisfy yours. You will not be able to complete...

  • Finding the Next Generation

    by Scott Webb March 2018

    The current weakness started out as the industry’s great strength — individual entrepreneurs building unique small businesses as the pool and spa market grew. Few of them grew particularly large; most of them stayed local. And for decades they created a rich national tapestry of tight-knit, often family-owned companies.

    But time passes unseen, relentlessly, and that whole generation — the generation that really built the pool and spa industry — has gotten old, and a lot of them are...

  • Growing Bigger — in a 600-Square-Foot Showroom

    by Cailley Hammel March 2018

    Rocky Mountain Hot Tub Company (Breckenridge, Colo.) is an anomaly in the hot tub industry. While some dealers boast about their expansive showrooms and countless display models, RMHTC owner Jake Olweiler finds he doesn’t need a 5,000 square foot store, or even 1,500.

    Six hundred square feet is plenty.

    That may sound crazy, but RMHTC has seemingly found the answer to a riddle many pros in the pool and spa industry encounter: How do we make more money while still staying...

  • Share Your Opinion, Enter to Win

    by AQUA Editors February 2018

    Update, 3/8/18: The SOI survey closes tomorrow! Please take a couple minutes to help us put the issue together — complete the survey and you can enter to win some cool prizes.

    It’s that time of year again…our State of the Industry issue is just around the corner.

    Our State of the Industry issue, one of our most highly-anticipated of the year, is an annual compendium of data and valuable industry insight broken up into four reports: Retail, Service, Hot Tubs and...

  • Why Retailers Must Embrace Change

    by Ted Lawrence February 2018

    Change. Most people don't like it — we are creatures of habit who enjoy the comforts of our daily routine. But when it comes to shopping, especially at our favorite retailers, we don't just expect change — we demand it. As consumers, we reward retailers who continually add to their product selection, change the look of their stores and keep their websites up to date.

    Change is clearly a good thing for your business, but be careful. Too much change can do more harm than...