RECENT ARTICLES
  • How to Measure Social Media Marketing

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2018

    Ask anyone involved in advertising, marketing or public relations what the hardest part of their jobs is, and it won’t take long for them to mention measuring success. If a customer has a single ad playing on the radio during rush hour and sales go up, even an intern can write a report detailing the campaign’s worth. But it’s usually not that simple.

    Hot tub dealers, for example, might advertise on radio and television, send direct mail to targeted customers, put inserts into Sunday...

  • Is Wellness Working?

    by Eric Herman September 2018

    Back in 2016, spa manufacturing giant Watkins changed its name to Watkins Wellness. It was an attention-getting move that not only demonstrated the company's commitment to the wellness message, but was also in many ways...

  • Swimming Pools: Gone to the Dogs

    by Dana Robinson September 2018

    Most people who invest in a backyard pool have done so for two reasons. 1) They love entertaining and being outdoors. 2) The pool is a great place to spend time with family — and sometimes, those family members are of the four-legged variety.

    Many people consider their pets to be full-fledged members of the family, with all the rights and privileges thereof. That includes a seat in the car on family vacations, annual birthday celebrations (complete with bone-shaped birthday cakes)...

  • Winterizing Inground Pools, Step by Step

    by PHTA Recreational Water Quality Committee September 2018

    The winterizing process is different for just about everyone. It can differ based on your geographic location, which can dictate when winterizing season begins, the types of pools you'll service, the maintenance required during the off-season and more.

    However you manage the winterizing process in your area, the goal is the same for everyone: protecting pools from damage to the equipment, interior finish, plumbing, tile and structure that can result from freezing...

  • 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...