We are probably past the best of it now, but according to the Met Office, this summer contained the longest unbroken spell of good weather that the UK has seen since 1976.
Yep, the scorching summer of ’76.
Back in that glorious year, the temperature reached 32°C every day from June 23 to July 7. The authorities issued tips to save water, including bathing with a friend.
Well, this year we seem to have avoided droughts and hosepipe bans but it looks as if the ‘bathe with a friend’ advice has been taken to heart.
Spa sales have been buoyant, pools have been opened and enjoyed and a lot of people have been buying ‘Splasher’ pools for their gardens and hopefully that will have sown the seeds for them to consider looking at an in-ground pool for next year.
In many people’s minds, the end of August marks the end of the summer weather; although, of course September 21st is the last official day.
This year, however, things look set to go on a little longer. The BBC long-range weather forecast says, ‘Moving further on into mid-September, at this stage it looks like pressure will remain relatively high across much of the UK, resulting in a good deal of fine weather for much of the time.’
And I would love to sit back, rub my hands and say, ‘Great. Back to business as usual.’
But business is never ‘usual’.
The world is always changing, the world we do business in. That might be changes in the climate, changes in people’s expectations and desires or changes in how the market that you are in behaves.
My job is to make sure that our business does as well as possible next year and whereas I’d be very, very pleased to see another good season of summer weather, it’s not something that I’m prepared to rely on.
It’s human nature to hark back to the ‘good old days’; but if those days are always behind us, what does the future have in store? I think we need to keep changing and doing our best to make the future bright, whether the sun shines or not.
There are some things that you can count on, come rain or shine.
People love the things we sell. Well, they love swimming, soaking in a hot tub and relaxing in a sauna and the things we sell help them do that.
What you can count on, come rain or shine, is human nature. People will want to save a bit of effort, save a bit of time, make their lives more environmentally friendly, or smarter or indeed all of the above.
At Golden Coast, we are lucky enough to work across the entire wet leisure industry; pools, saunas and spas. And those trends are where the business is growing and those trends are common to the whole industry.
What we are doing at Golden Coast is not just to follow those trends; we are going to lead them.
We’ve made an exclusive distribution deal with Darlly Europe who are the world’s number one manufacturer of quality filter cartridges. Their cartridges minimise chemical use and maintenance and, as a firm, they believe in constant innovation in the same way we do.
EVA Optic develops and manufactures Europe’s bestselling LED underwater lighting systems designed for both residential and commercial swimming pools and leisure facilities. We have made an exclusive deal with them. They combine leading edge design with energy saving technology.
We have made an exclusive deal with Triogen, the world leader in Ozone and UV water treatment systems for private and commercial swimming pools. Triogen products provide optimum reliability and safety, combined with high performance and low energy consumption.
We are obviously proud of these deals, but I’m telling you about them now in order to make a point.
Our industry needs to keep on innovating and specifically in the areas of energy saving, environmental awareness and premium quality design.
But ‘building a better mousetrap’ won’t do it alone.
Even products that are based on clever technology, breakthrough thinking and state of the art design won’t make the world beat a path to your door.
These innovations count for little unless we use smarter marketing to let people know about them.
As you know, we pride ourselves here at Golden Coast in giving the best customer service and support in the industry. I don’t think that should stop at just sourcing and providing these products and giving technical support. We talk a lot about the importance of marketing and we back that up with as much help and advice as possible.
We have produced an eBook on marketing that is written specifically from the perspective of the wet leisure industry and you can download that for free. It’s practical, straightforward advice and written in plain English.
Our website, wetleisure.com, now has over 70 articles on business strategy and marketing for the wet leisure industry and more are being added every month keeping the site up to date with the latest thinking and trends. The site also hosts groups, forums and discussions that can keep you connected with the rest of the industry.
One of the most recent articles, back to work after the summer, looks at a marketing opportunity that is relevant right here and now, at the close of the summer.
“People holidaying abroad and staying in a good hotel are almost certainly going to be enjoying a pool and, in all probability, a hotel’s health centre that is equipped with hot tub and sauna as well.
Effectively, these holidaymakers and tourists have been test-driving spas, saunas and pools for an entire fortnight.”
The article looks at ways you can capitalise on those good experiences while they are still fresh in people’s minds.
And we don’t just offer insights and advice.
Earlier this year we produced a Retrofit brochure, which lists some of the modern technology and design that can be retro-fitted to existing pools. The brochure is written from your customer’s point of view and talks about the benefits that can be gained in a way that they will understand and is attractive to them.
We can customise that brochure with your company name and logo and print copies for you to display in your showroom.
In fact, our in-house designers are available to support your business with all sorts of marketing materials, from flyers to web banners. Just give us a ring and see how they might be able to help you.
And, of course, I’m proud of all this but I’m also saying it to make a point 🙂
We have all had a good summer and we should be pleased about that.
But none of us can afford to rely on the weather to take care of our fortunes. We need to take that responsibility ourselves.
We work in a great business, full of great people and we deserve a little good luck now and then; although as someone once said, ‘the harder I work, the luckier I get’.
So let’s work hard to make the most of this season almost gone, and if there is any way we can help you and your business, please just ask.