It can take years to develop a swimming pool business into a success. Once you have achieved a certain level of success, you will feel like it is time to start expanding. The best ways to expand a swimming pool business includeS ideas for your current location and the possibility of opening satellite stores and other businesses.
Deciding to open more business locations is a good way to expand your business, but it requires planning, according to small business expert Karen E. Spaeder writing for the Entrepreneur website. Spend several months collecting the ZIP codes of your customers to determine what areas your products are being sold into. You may find that customers are driving 10 miles to your store, but outside of 10 miles your customer base begins to dwindle. Do a demographic search on the ZIP codes you are not selling into to determine if your target audience is out there. Take a drive through the areas you are considering to see what kind of pool store competition there is, and to see how many people already have pools. If there is a large pool-owner population but no competition, then you may want to start a smaller location that just specializes in maintenance chemicals and accessories and build it into a full pool store over time.
Pool owners and people looking to purchase a pool require services. Pool owners need cleaning services, repair services and someone to help close and open the pool each year. New pool owners need pool installation. To expand your business, consider starting a pool services division. You can hire and outfit a cleaning and maintenance staff of your own. The maintenance crew would need a reliable van, cleaning supplies and equipment. For pool installation, you can team up with a local contractor to supply services to customers. You would get a percentage of the job and the contractor would get a steady stream of work.
People who buy pools often purchase deck chairs, tables, umbrellas and outdoor deck storage boxes. Consider expanding your product line to include the things that people buy to go with their pool, but that you currently do not sell. The landscaping materials for around the pool area such as gravel, path stones and even park benches can all be sold as accessories to a pool installation. You can also sell small outdoor shed kits for storing pool supplies, and pre-fabricated pool deck kits as well.
Team up with local companies to offer discounts to employees. You can also offer discounts to government employees, members of specific community groups and local professional organizations such as labor unions. Offer discounts of anywhere from five to 10 percent off of a total pool installation, or a 10 percent discount on pool supplies. The point to a group discount is to expand the visibility of your company, and to reach people that may have never thought of buying a pool. People receiving group discounts feel like they are members of an exclusive club, and you can use your affiliation with local companies to do a presentation to the their employees on the benefits of owning a swimming pool.
- Small Business Administration: Ideas for Growing Your Business
- Entrepreneur: 10 Ways to Grow Your Business
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George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.