“That’s summer down the d-rain.”

That was the headline in The Sun newspaper on 7th July 2012.

Say what you will about The Sun, sometimes they sum up our nation’s mood in just a few words and in this instance it feels like they summed up our industry’s mood as well.

To quote from the BBC Weather service, “The year thus far has disappointed.”

Once again, the nail is hit rather squarely on the head.

Droughts, deluges and economic downturns; what with one thing and another, it has been a damn awful season.

Does any cloud have a silver lining?

The Olympics lifted the nations mood – and even seemed to lift the cloud cover for a fortnight.

The Games proved that Britain can still be ‘great’; that we can design and build to a truly world class standard and that we can compete and win at a level well above our weight.

In mid August, the Daily Mail published a survey that was headlined, “Want your neighbours to know you’ve made it? Buy a hot tub!”

According to their research, 69% of men and women saw a hot tub or spa as the ultimate status symbol.

If that doesn’t count as a ray of sunshine, I don’t know what does.

The drought-induced hosepipe ban has prompted serious discussion in the pool industry on everything from water-efficient filtration to rain-harvesting and renewable energy.

If pools come more into step with modern, eco-friendly views it can only improve their image and their sales.

And the world of saunas continues to be relatively warm and relaxed.

‘The weather beyond about a week ahead stretches even the most experienced weather forecaster.’

That’s another quote from the BBC Weather service.

Well, that’s as may be, but I think I can make some fairly robust predictions.

  • It’s been a long time since we enjoyed a long, hot summer and I doubt that wishing for one next year will make it happen.
  • Behaving in the same way and expecting a different outcome is a definition of madness; and when people in business do it, it’s just crazy.
  • The only way to successfully plan for the future is to really understand where you have been and where you are.

So where does that lead us?

Last year we conducted our first industry-wide survey and now it is time to launch the State of the Wet Leisure Industry Survey 2012.

These surveys are unique in gathering information about the whole of the wet leisure industry and once the surveys have been completed and the results analysed, we share the report drawn from those results freely with all of you in our industry.

The purpose of the survey is simple; other industries and markets have facts, figures and statistics that are available to all and they help people make better decisions and grow better businesses. We should be the same.

We have increased the scope of the questions this year to give us all an even more detailed picture about the wet leisure industry but it should still take you only a few minutes to fill in the complete survey and add any specific comments or insights that you would like to share.

We will also be letting people know about this survey by promoting it through social media and by including a link to the survey on our wet leisure forums.

The more businesses that respond, the more accurate the picture will be and that overview of our industry will help you make better plans for next year, consider how and why you might diversify and generally run your businesses in a better way in order to achieve better outcomes.

For everything there is a season…

Autumn officially starts on September 22nd. Summer will be over.

But the thing about seasons is that they come around again.

The plans that you make and the decisions that you take over the next months will bear fruit next year.

Take some time to look back over the summer, celebrate your successes and make a note of where, if anywhere, you went wrong.

It might seem a little early to start talking and thinking about autumn and winter, but time passes quickly and the longer you give yourself to think and plan, the better.

If you want to improve your marketing next year and you’d like help and advice with that, then please call us.

If you want to change or extend the range of products that you offer or even diversify into other areas of the wet leisure business, then please call us and we’ll be glad to help.

Even if you just want to bounce some ideas off someone, then just give us a call.

We want our industry, the wet leisure industry, to thrive and prosper.

The continued success of our business is dependant on the continued success of yours so that’s why we will always go out of our way to give you all the support we can.