Longevity. As a business owner, you already have it or you have an overwhelming desire to build it. Building a strong, sustainable pool and spa business doesn’t happen overnight but keeping your sights on a few key business elements will certainly help.
Tip 1: Tighten Up Pricing
Pricing can be a deal killer or a deal maker. You may need to make adjustments in your pricing if you clearly are making more deals but your profits aren’t going up. On the other hand, if you are consistently being out bid by competitors, an adjustment may be in order. How are you assigning prices? Do you have a consistent balance between cost of goods and sale of goods and/or services. To review a comprehensive list check out “5 Signs You Need to Adjust Your Prices.” Then take a good hard look at your software systems for tracking pricing across all jobs to ensure you are making consistent profit margins on similar jobs. If you don’t have a comprehensive view of these numbers across areas of the business, it may be time to upgrade your systems. After all, you can’t make decisions about your pools and spa business if you are left in the dark.
Tip 2: Improve Your Inventory Management
Too many retail pool and spa businesses overlook efficiencies in managing their inventory which leads to thousands of dollars in lost revenue each year. In many instances inventory is split between multiple retail locations, delivery trucks and service trucks with no solid system to account for when items move or even could move to fill orders versus reordering new inventory.
Once you establish a process of physical counts, consider adding monthly or shorter cycle counts. For example, on service or delivery trucks you could do weekly counts especially if you suspect this is where inventory tracking gets lost. Monthly cycle counts in your retail shop or warehouse can increase accuracy versus waiting until the end of the quarter or even year.
[And of course, track your inventory in the only pool and spa software built for the industry. Evosus inventory management features work specifically for your type of products and integrate with your industry suppliers like POOLCORP.]
Tip 3: Go Mobile
Chances are you already have a field service truck or delivery truck, but have you considered putting mobile tools at your team’s finger tips? Doing so, can save time and time is money. For example, service staff would no longer have to drive into the office to retrieve their schedule, they could go straight to the job site.
Secondly, they would not have to waste time routing their day, it would all be done in advance, and re-route as appointments change if necessary. Lastly, technicians can carry the customer’s history and past part’s ordered/purchased from the job site to better aid in customer support and troubleshooting.
Going mobile may not only save your company time and money under current operations but it may also mean you can expand your geographic reach. Going mobile just may mean adding a nearby city without having to open another physical retail location.
Tip 4: Collect Leads and Provide Education
Customer satisfaction and loyalty is directly tied to knowledge and education. The more knowledgeable a business owner and the staff, customers will return again and again for product purchases and recommendations. They are also most likely to refer people. So start a monthly email campaign to your clients and leads with tips and tricks for either maintaining their pool, selecting the best pool products and parts, or even why they should invest in a pool, spa or other equipment such as a BBQ, patio furniture and more.
If you don't already, start to capture leads from your web site or local shows even if you have to collect them on paper first—it’s a start. From there you can use a simple email platform like Mail Chimp to build your own campaigns or newsletters. Start with just one email a month with a single tip and a single offer, then grow from there. In this case, you may even find less is more. The point is you are still keeping in consistent contact, educating those contacts and offering something compelling.