I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of being at the mercy of the weather.
Don’t get me wrong: I love the Wet Leisure industry. It has always been my family trade, and our father’s before us. It’s in our blood.
But it’s clear we can’t expect any favours from the British summer… or the government, or world economy, for that matter.
If we’re going to survive, we need to take control. But how?
In the lap of the Gods?
Last week, watching the Olympics, I found myself hoping that a great performance in the pool by Team GB might spark a few pool enquiries for Golden Coast customers.
But the truth is, that’s no way to run a business. Firstly, as our recent article on psychology and marketing pointed out, pool purchases are not snap, impulse decisions.
More importantly, though, the performance of a sportsperson you’ve never met is completely out of your control… and it’s the same for the weather and the global economy. Betting your livelihood on any of them is a big risk.
Instead, let’s focus upon four things we can all do to stop leaving our business up to fate, and actively improve our own chances.
1. Weather the storm
There’s an old, Scandinavian saying: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.”
What they mean, of course, is that it shouldn’t matter what life throws at you, if you’ve prepared well enough.
The Scandinavians are experts at preparing for the weather… and it’s no coincidence they also know a thing or two about steam rooms and saunas.
Remember: spas and saunas are especially popular in cold, snowy countries where the weather really helps you appreciate the warmth, and enjoy the sense of luxury. If we, as an industry, can sell these benefits to our customers, they’ll thank us for suggesting something they can use all year round, and we’ll all be much less reliant on the British summer.
If you’d like to know more about expanding your range of products and services, or perhaps move into sauna installation, Golden Coast can help. Check out this article on diversifying your business – or simply give us a call.
2. Look after your list
Don’t forget, your best potential customers are often the people you’ve sold to before.
Your existing client base already know who you are, and what a great service you offer. It’s therefore much easier to get them to listen when you want to offer something new; plus, of course, you don’t have to spend time and money looking for them.
With that in mind, your database – or any list you keep of contact details for existing customers and hot prospects – is potentially one of your most important sources of new business, so it’s essential to keep it up to date.
Think about which products or services will go well with each customer’s existing purchases. Perhaps, if they had an installation some time ago, they might even be tempted to upgrade or make some new additions ?
Don’t be afraid to call a customer and ask how they’re getting on with their pool, hot tub or spa. It’s good service, and if you listen well you might spot an opportunity to suggest something new.
For more tips, have a look at our article on increasing profitability with cross-selling.
3. The future’s… green!
Another way to stay ahead of the game is to watch for emerging trends in the market, and position yourself accordingly.
For some time, energy prices have been rising and there’s no sign they’ll get any cheaper soon. As a result, customers are becoming increasingly interested in the running costs of their pools, saunas and spas.
Similarly – although it’s hard to remember now we’ve had so much rain – the hosepipe ban earlier this year will have worried many.
This is a challenge… but it’s also an opportunity. Give your customers advice on ways to ensure excellent energy and water efficiency, and you’ll look confident and well-informed… while new, energy-efficient products like the DEL solar-powered pool covers give you a chance to up-sell and cross-sell to new and existing customers alike.
4. Choose your partner wisely
If all the above seems a little complicated, don’t worry. While it can be difficult for a busy company owner to stay informed of products, trends and opportunities, a good distribution partner will support you with the information, updates and ideas you need to get on with the day job.
For example, here at Golden Coast, we understand that our success depends upon yours, so we want to help you thrive in any way we can.
If you need guidance on any aspect of business – whether it’s a technical product or maintenance question, or something about databases and marketing – please do give us a call: we know this industry back to front, and we’ll be delighted to help.
We’ve also put a wealth of information and ideas on our exclusive Wet Leisure trade site. Have a look and, while you’re there, take a moment to sign up. It’s completely free, gives you access to additional forums and resources, and best of all you’ll receive free advertising for your company on the popular public websites YourPool, YourSauna and YourSpa.
If your current product supplier is not innovative, knowledgeable or sufficiently committed to your success to offer you this level of support and guidance, please talk to us here at Golden Coast. We’d love to show you the difference a great partner can make.
It’s high time all of us in Wet Leisure decided to stop worrying about what we can’t control, and commit ourselves to making a difference where we can.
Will you join me in that commitment? If so, why not say how, in the comments box below?