The Edge - Q1, 2014 - (Page 10)

Business Feature Taking Your Business to the Next Level by Connie Sue Centrella IS YOUR BUSINESS in a rut? Are you doing the same things you did five years ago? You survived the economic downturn and you are optimistic that your pool and spa business is on a profitable path again. Now it's time to take your business to the next level. This requires a close look into your business history and management style; what you have always done won't necessarily make it in today's business environment. 10 THE BUSINESS LIFECYCLE Every business has a lifecycle. Identifying where your company sits on the business lifecycle curve will help you better plan your future. Business management identifies the seven stages of the business lifecycle: seed, start-up, growth, established, expansion, mature and exit. The swimming pool and spa business is just like any other industry, and owners must examine these stages. Traditionally, most industry businesses start with one individual who has a strong desire and vision, very little capital and an informal business plan. As growth continues, the business becomes more structured and profits increase. But competition also increases. As the business develops and becomes established in the marketplace, the challenge becomes more of "rethinking." In this established stage, an owner's ambition, drive and vision may begin to subide, resulting in complacency. This is when a "jump start" is needed. The business must accept change in order to expand. Most often, a pool and spa business in stagnation will look at alternative means of expansion. The challenge becomes identifying the company's strengths and weaknesses. Pool and spa companies may try to branch out into new types of construction, moving from vinyl to gunite or fiberglass in an effort to increase sales. A good builder will open a retail establishment or begin a service arm to take care of customers after the sale. While expansion is good, the issue

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Edge - Q1, 2014

The President’s Message
Taking Your Business to the Next Level
Don’t Hire ‘Deadbeats’ – Use Talent-Based Interviews
Three Routes to Increased Profitability
The Latest and Greatest Online Marketing Tools
The Outdoor Room Boom
Successful Collaboration Between Landscape Architect and Pool Builder
Project Focus: Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools and Landscaping
Add Profits to the Job with Artificial Rock Waterfalls
Safely Operating the Service Truck
Selling Energy Savings
Service Award Winner Honored
Moving Beyond the Basics of Water Chemistry
Index of Advertisers

The Edge - Q1, 2014