The traditional media and social media are full of comment and opinion about Brexit and the EU. Unfortunately, that is mostly what it appears to be; just comment and opinion.
Actual facts seem to be sadly lacking and the opinions that are voiced seem to fall into two simple categories, ‘doomed if we do’ and ‘doomed if we don’t’.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m making a decision that will affect the future of my business for decades to come, I like to base it on a few hard facts.
And the decision to stay in or leave the EU will affect all of our businesses; there is no doubt about that.
Golden Coast might be tucked away down here in Barnstaple and our customers might be largely in the UK but our business is connected to Europe and Scandinavia, to America and a fair few other countries. If you think about it, your business is too.
Products come in from all around the world and some of us export products that are made here. Trade agreements, tariffs and exchange rates affect all of us on a daily basis.
Brexit, whichever way it goes, is going to have an impact on business. The problem is, it seems impossible to discover what that impact will actually be.
And I wonder why we are always so conflicted about Europe?
“I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”
We joined the EEC, as it was then, in 1973, ten years after the French had refused us entry because Charles de Gaulle said that the British government lacked commitment to European integration. (He may have had a point.)
Just two years later there was a UK referendum on continued membership of the EEC. The vote then was; ‘Yes’ by 67.2% and we stayed in Europe.
But in the late 90’s, we kept the pound when almost everyone else pocketed the Euro, and we are great ones for ‘renegotiating’ our deal.
For whatever reason, once we had been accepted into the club, rather like Groucho Marx in the quote above, we seemed to be in two minds about whether we actually wanted to be members of it or not.
So which way will it go?
Personally, I’m going to vote to stay in mainly because I don’t have the facts to make a balanced judgement but I do know what I currently get. I suppose that it’s a slightly ‘better the devil you know…’ argument.
My feeling is that a lot of people will feel the same way. We often say that we like change but when what we are changing towards is the unknown, people are usually a bit less keen.
I wonder if the fall out from the Scottish referendum will make a difference because it seemed as if that brought a huge feeling of ‘that was an opportunity lost’ out into the open? It’s hard to say.
What I do think is sadly true though, is that people will vote on emotional grounds and not after analysing and considering those elusive facts.
Business as usual.
So I find myself voting for business as usual, which is a bit funny because I get very frustrated when people stick with their usual suppliers and usual products despite poor service and other shortfalls.
For Golden Coast, business as usual centres around our commitment to customer service, our depth of knowledge on the products that we sell and our constant search for innovative products that have a real benefit for our customers.
And oddly, that last point brings me right back around to the EU.
The new BADU Easy Fit pump is a ‘game changer’ for the industry.
The EasyFit is exclusive to Golden Coast and allows installers to introduce new pumps into existing plant rooms without the need for costly and time-consuming re-plumbing.
Its optional connection kits offer a perfect fit for at least 9 leading brands, including the Sta-Rite 5P2R and Hayward Superpumps. The EasyFit is exceptionally efficient; it uses 20% less power than the industry’s most popular pumps so customers benefit from lowered running costs.
The EasyFit is extremely well engineered for reliability and they are maintenance free.
They are made by Speck, in Germany.
Coming from France we have the new Ultima pool cover.
Ultima offers a complete, all-season solution for covering pools. It completely isolates water from dust, insects and other contaminants while making the pool safer for children. Its powerful, reliable hydraulic motor ensures that operation is quick and effortlessly smooth.
We also have an impressive offer running all year on the Ultima that gives you a chance to win £5,000.
Duratech heat pumps come from Belgium.
At the moment we are offering a free Duratech heat pump with every Swimmer Platinum pool kit.
We think it’s an offer that your customers will warm to.
Etatron is the premium manufacturer of chemical dosing pumps and equipment in their home country, Italy.
Chemical dosing and metering systems are becoming more and more popular as people want to spend less and less of their time on worrying about the water balance in their pool. Etatron make some of the best systems available.
One of our brightest new product ranges comes from EVA Optic, a Dutch developer and manufacturer of LED lighting.
Their state-of-the-art lighting has been installed in Center Parcs and Disneyland, in private pools and public sports halls. Their lighting is built to survive the harsh environment of a pool room and produce a beautiful effect.
As LED lighting becomes the norm, EVA really do set a new standard.
I don’t actually think that we stock anything that is made in Luxembourg but, along with the other 5 countries on that list, they were the founders of the European Union so that’s why they are here.
Perhaps Luxembourg can represent the knowledge that we have on all of those products above and how happy we’d be to share it with you.
By the end of next month, the referendum will have come and gone. Whatever the result, we’ll still be here to support you and your business.
Best wishes, Jamie