In this article we look at three areas that anyone who wants to grow their pool, spa or sauna business in 2013 should focus their attention on.
How do you approach business in 2013?
We have just entered into another year that is forecast to have a tough economic climate.
Small businesses throughout the UK have been calling for tax reforms and investment stimulus to get the economy moving again and these would certainly help but we in the wet leisure industry can’t depend on them for our future.
Banks aren’t lending to consumers or businesses as they once did.
We all have to take matters into our own hands; but what are the most productive areas to focus on?
If you have a business, you need a strategy.
Many established businesses don’t really think at all about what their business plan or strategy might be. For many it is something that needed to be done to show to the bank when they first set up their business and then that was it.
But ask yourself, ‘what is my business strategy for 2013?’
Listen to the answer that you give yourself and then think about this. A business strategy is a plan specific to a certain set of circumstances, in this instance; your business and the economic and trading environment that it operates in.
A good strategy will give your business a clear point of difference between itself and it’s competitors and ideally that will be a difference that is of clear advantage to your customers and can be maintained.
A competitive strategy is about being different. What that difference might be will depend on the talent and resource that might be in your business, on a particular skill or expertise that you might have or perhaps on a unique feature of the market that you work in.
In these tough times it’s easy to say that you want to do any sort of business with anybody but how can you formulate a plan for that?
The more specific and focussed your thinking and your planning is, the more likely you are to uncover an area of the market or a way of doing business that sets you out from the crowd and leads to success.
The most important business assets you have probably go home at 5:30.
People are at the heart of every business. Your sales staff, your service people or engineers and installers; these are the visible face of your operation.
The more you invest in your people, the more likely your business is to grow.
Investments in your team, either salary or professional development and training, let your staff know that not only do you appreciate their work and want them to stay, but also that you want them to grow with your firm.
If you think you need new skills to keep up with new developments, then train the people you already have to acquire those skills.
Most suppliers are only too happy to offer training courses in new products, either for technical know-how or to help your sales staff.
Make the most of all the training you can get, either from private firms or government initiatives. It’s an investment you will definitely see a return on.
The last few years have seen a lot of businesses go under. Some of them have been ‘High Street names’ and some of them been the sort of small businesses that have left the gaps on our High Streets that are so evident in almost every town.
The reasons behind their closures may be quite different and, of course in some way, will be specific to each business.
But there is another way of looking at it.
All of those businesses that have closed either couldn’t or wouldn’t change with the times.
In all probability the financial crisis and this global recession have changed the face of our economy forever.
When times are good and an economy is booming, businesses that are actually old fashioned or no longer viable are able to keep on trading and turning a profit. When times are harder, they go to the wall.
You have to be realistic and you have to embrace change.
If you were starting your business today, selling pools, spas or saunas in this economic climate, under these conditions, what would your business model be? How would your business act? What would you do to ensure its success?
Those are the questions that we all need to ask ourselves and be honest in our answers.
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