RECENT ARTICLES
  • The AQUA Truck & Van Contest Returns

    by AQUA Editors September 2018

    After sharing the winners of the first-ever Truck & Van contest, we were flooded with feedback. In particular: “When is this contest coming back so I can enter?”

    Now, in fact — we’re excited to announce we’re bringing the Truck & Van contest back for another spin.

    This year, entries will be accepted on a rolling basis through June 1, 2019. (If you're planning a wrap redesign sometime this...

  • New Mini-Movie Promotes Trade and Technical Careers

    by AQUA Editors September 2018

    For a generation kids have been told they had to go to college to get a good job. Technical schools rebranded themselves as colleges, and hard trade skills and job experience were de-emphasized in favor of classroom instruction and theory. But as pool and spa professionals know, there are good careers in the trades, and if more people knew about the potential more would be choosing that path. The problem is that too few do, as anyone who has problems finding good help knows all too well.

  • Selling as an Exit Strategy

    by Daniel Seeger September 2018

    Rod Sterling tells a story about a family-owned pool and spa business in which the married proprietors were getting ready to retire. They had two stores and owned the building where the main business resided. Although they had rock-solid financial planning in most areas of their lives, the worth of their business was a complete mystery to them.

    “They were ready to close the door and throw the keys away,” Sterling recalls.

    As the president and founder of Sterling Advisory...

  • A Succulent Way to Attract Millennials

    by Kathryn Howard August 2018

    When patio pleasures Pools & Spas renovated its showroom earlier this year, it gained more than floorspace and a new look. Casual living products and on-trend decor items were also added to the product mix, as well as a build-your-own-succulent bar, an interactive attraction that will be a regular fixture in the showroom.

    “It first started with my own personal passion with succulents,” says Rene Huston, president of Patio Pleasures (Sun Prairie, Wis.). Huston got into succulents...

  • The Better Way to Train New Hires

    by Erik Taylor August 2018

    "All things are not created equal." We've all heard the phrase, right? Well, when it comes to hiring new service technicians, all things are definitely not created equal.

    See, most pool companies train new hires in the same way every time. But think of the chain pool and spa stores that have locations all over the...

  • Finding Efficiencies

    by Eric Herman August 2018

    There’s nothing ambiguous about saving energy. Whether out of concern for the environment or simply a desire to save money (or both), reducing energy consumption is always a good idea.

    When it comes to pools and spas, they can go either way. Poorly constructed and improperly equipped man-made bodies of water can squander tremendous amounts of energy both in heating and electricity, sometimes causing great frustration for owners when it comes time to pay the monthly electric and/or...

  • Are We There Yet?

    by Bil Kennedy August 2018

    Anyone who has raised children remembers the familiar refrain. No more than an hour into any road trip, there comes a small voice from the back of the car: "Are we there yet?" Which is shortly followed by, "How soon before we get to (Grandma's house, the lake, Disney World, etc.)?"

    I still hear that a lot. Not from my children, who are grown and on their own. No, today those plaintiff calls are from pool industry stakeholders asking if this is the year the business returns to those...

  • How Having a Pool Business Affects Family

    by Erik Taylor August 2018

    This regularly recurring column is brought to you by APSP’s Manufacturers Council, featuring hot issues impacting today’s industry, business insights and tips you can use to enhance your personal development and business success.

    I recently made a YouTube video with my wife, talking about the beginnings of my pool business from her perspective and where it is today.

    The video has had an overwhelmingly positive response from viewers and other professionals because it...

  • Not So Cryptic After All

    by Kathryn Howard August 2018

    The way we pay for goods and services is rapidly changing. The checkbook is fading into obsolescence, and even the familiar credit and debit cards are slowly being...

  • The Secret Life of Hot Tub Covers

    by Eric Herman August 2018

    Although often taken for granted, hot tub covers are in many ways indispensable — so much so, in fact, that it’s rare to find an outdoor hot tub that doesn’t have one.

    Covers are essential for heat retention, cleanliness, safety, security and overall enjoyment. Because they are so integral to the operation and service life of hot tubs, taking proper care of covers is crucial.

    When properly maintained, covers can provide years of durable service. Yet for all of their...