So why isn’t everyone sinking and what can you do to stay afloat?
It really is getting hard to imagine that things in the wet leisure industry could get any worse.
There are things that can be done, but lets have a look at the problems we all face.
The picture does look a little gloomy, but read on to the end for a few things that should give you a more positive outlook.
So what exactly is the picture?
2012 has brought us our 6th consecutive year of bad weather. It almost beggars belief that the season could start with drought orders and a hose pipe ban and then go straight into grey skies and flood warnings.
The long range forecast isn’t looking any brighter although we may still get an Indian summer in August and September but by that time almost three months of revenue will have been affected.
The UK’s economy, while not having sunk without trace, is definitely still on the rocks.
Experts are pessimistic about the short-term prospects of the entire global economy. The situation in Asia is worsening, the Americans are more concerned than they were at the beginning of the year and the Euro zone goes from one crisis to the next.
All this affects the cost of imported products for our industry and brings down the consumers confidence in buying pools, saunas and hot tubs. Many people are ‘going without’ things that in the past they would have been buying and it seems that for too many families, the goods and services of the wet leisure industry are on that list.
No one is expecting the economy to recover in the near future and indeed, there may be further cuts ahead.
Hoping for a change in the weather and wishing for an economic up-turn isn’t going to get anybody anywhere so what are you planning to do about your business’s economic survival?
A failure to plan is as good as a plan to fail.
The business environment certainly looks challenging to say the least but throwing up your hands and saying, ‘but what can I do about it?’ is as good as throwing in the towel.
It may not be very comfortable, but taking a long hard look at your business and planning for a worst-case scenario may well be the best thing that you can do.
Take stock of your present position and assess the damage. It is only if you know the true picture of where you stand that you can make a plan that realistically addresses what you can do about it.
A damaged cashflow is the most obvious symptom of a business operating in a recession so looking at your books and how and when you invoice customers is a good place to start. There is advice on managing your cashflow and how to operate in a recession here.
If you can’t get any more money coming in, then at least you can try and control what is going out. There is an article on Top tips for cutting costs if you follow this link.
By the way, all the links in this newsletter lead to articles written specifically for the wet leisure industry so they are definitely worth a look.
A good business plan can’t guarantee success, but it can go a long way toward reducing the odds of failure. If you already have a business plan then perhaps now is the time to review it to reflect how things have changed.
If you don’t have a business plan then it’s never too late to put one together and we have some hints and guidance for you on that as well.
So, you can try and put your business in the best possible shape to weather the storm. What can you do about your marketing?
You are reading this online; and you aren’t alone in that.
A lot of wet leisure businesses have a love/hate relationship with the web. They see online competition as a massive threat to their own profitability.
The fact of the matter is that more than 50% of all consumers will research the internet before making a purchase decision.
Surveys and statistics vary but it’s safe to say that if you don’t have some sort of presence online, you are missing out on a lot of trade.
If you want any specific advice or you think there might be anything we can help you with in terms of marketing support or materials, then please just give us a call.
There is another way we can help as well. Use us to promote your business online.
We have set up three websites that are designed to attract and inform people searching for advice and information on pools, saunas and spas. Those people represent your potential new customers.
There are already over 300 dealers listed on those sites with their details visible to people searching for just the sort of goods and services that you are offering.
One of the ways that the sites work is that we write articles that are likely to contain the sort of answers that people are looking for and then, if you have an account with Golden Coast, you can have that article attributed to you. Your business gets increased exposure and credibility.
What do we get out of it?
We want the wet leisure industry to thrive and prosper and this is really one of the best ways we could devise to help that happen.
The continued success of our business is dependant on the continued success of yours so, yes, we are all in same boat.
We have articles waiting to go so if you want your name on one, all you have to do is contact our sales team and get some instant, free advertising.
So, if you are not already registered on WetLeisure.co take five minutes to do that now, while you are online, because all of our Golden Coast customers will have their information displayed, without any cost, on each of our consumer sites – YourPool, YourSpa and YourSauna.
And if you have any thoughts you’d like to share about any issues raised in this newsletter then please use the comment box below.