Post-pandemic, we’re dealing with a new world. The events of the last nearly 3 years changed much in the business world, and pool businesses (especially newer ones) aren’t really sure what the market forecast holds. Surely demand is dropping as we enter a tighter economy, and both labor and supply chain shortages have taken their toll. But growing your pool business doesn’t have to be dependent on new pool demand.
What do pool businesses do now that the world is entering the post-pandemic period, and that boom is no more? Well, there are a few simple yet effective ways in which you can keep your pool business thriving despite the calming of the waves.
Reel Customers In With A Variety of Products
We’ve seen pool builders add product lines as an effective way to boost sales. Chlorine shortages have increased demand for alternative sanitation systems, including saltwater, UV, and bromine.
Pool dealers are also seeing success by adding additional lines like hot tubs and swim spas. This addition to your product lines opens up a host of other sales opportunities, including hot tub chemicals and accessories. Swim spa accessories like rowing systems and underwater stationary bikes are excellent sellers, since people know now that they could potentially lose access to their local gyms. There’s also a huge demand for hot tub and swim spa covers and cover lifters. Customers who bought hot tubs during the pandemic are tired of hoisting those heavy covers and enjoy solutions like automated hot tub covers.
Pool heaters and winter or safety pool covers open up sales opportunities to your existing customers who’ve owned their pools awhile. Many customers who invested in unique pool shapes are searching for custom covers, which require laborious installations to keep your install and repair crews busy well into the offseason.
Lots of pool businesses offer a holistic product line to include pool furniture, umbrellas, pool fences, and even cabanas and gazebos.
A simple yet effective way to turn your new pool owners into recurring customers is by offering them everything they might need. This comes in the form of offering them chemicals to clean and maintain their pools, filters, or even water heaters and other pool accessories. For an article with Aqua Magazine on keeping the pandemic surge in the long-term, industry veteran Andy Tournas was quoted as saying, “With all these new pool and spa owners, wouldn’t it be great to make $500 in chemicals and filters and accessories from them, every year from now on?”
We think Andy Tournas makes a great point. If you can make consistent money every year from loyal customers, that might be better than making more from one customer’s pool installation once and never having that customer again.
The Online Dilemma
While consumers were already well on their way to adopting online shopping, the pandemic kicked that into overdrive. What do you do when your pool business’ customers turn to cheap chemicals online?
Well, you compete. We’ve seen many pool dealers have tremendous success with e-commerce stores. Local dealers can compete with the Big Guys by offering high-quality brands of pool chemicals, filters, and more through their very own online store. Customers appreciate that they get the local dealer quality and hometown service with the convenience of online shopping.
Many pool dealers go a step beyond by providing something the big online retailers can’t: scheduling pool service and maintenance calls online. Adding the ability to schedule service or a repair call makes it a breeze to keep your pool customers happy in the Age of the Internet.
Reduce Your Stress As You Grow
Keeping your customers engaged and growing your business shouldn’t be a hassle. Generally, those two go hand in hand. Instead of rushing to try all the things to keep your customers’ loyalty, analyze your strengths and what would be more convenient for you and your audience.
Are you based in an area with warm weather year-round? Use emails or postcards to promote your year-round, worry-free maintenance services and bring on more route service customers. Are you based in an area with harsh winters? Focus on signing up each of your new pool builds for pool opening and closing services.
To sum it up, one of the best ways to keep growing your pool business post-pandemic is to keep your new pool clients coming back to you for their ongoing pool needs over the years. Focus on service, chemicals, and customer loyalty. Even if you hit a slow year where you’re not building as many pools, your existing customers will still need chemicals, maintenance, and repairs, which keeps you growing.
Attending conferences and industry events is another great way to keep your pool business growing. Check out our Training and Education page for events you may be interested in.