"The Secret to Building the Ultra-Successful Pool and Spa Business That You've Always Dreamed About"
By Simon Cope
A few years ago I was visiting with a marketing executive friend of mine. I was excitedly telling him all about the new marketing course that I had just developed and how awesome it was. He patiently sat and listened to me.
He could see that I was really enthused about what I had just created. After I had finished my boasting and gloating he got up, and as he started to walk away he said, "That's great Simon, now the real trick will be getting people to buy it."
What is the Principle Objective of Your Spa and Pool Business Manual?
My first reaction to his comment was, "What do you mean. Of course people are going to buy it. It's the best work I've done to date." But as I pondered for a moment about his comment I realized that I had fallen into the age-old deadly small business mistake that most entrepreneurs fall prey to... ...forgetting the principle objective of my business.
My marketing friend subtly reminded me that my principal occupation is NOT marketing consulting; it's the MARKETING of consulting services.
"Any Fool Can Make Soap, It Takes a Clever Man to Sell It"
There is an old advertising quote that says, "Any fool can make soap, it takes a clever man to sell it." This is as true today as when it was first uttered many years ago. Any Tom, Dick, and Harry can make a bar of soap (or a hot tub or pool in your case).
In fact, Harry might make a soap so advanced that it is even self-rinsing! (By the way, there is a self-rinsing soap called the "Hand Sanitizer" made by Purell... it's fantastic) But, even if it's the most advanced soap on the planet earth, it won't matter if no one buys it.
I hate to think of my masterful marketing course as just another piece of soap, but that's exactly what it is. There's a thousand great marketing courses out there...
... but it takes a clever man (or woman) to sell it!
Failing to understand (or accept) this principle is so poisonous that it can kill any spa and pool business fast. You see, to make a spa and pool business successful you need cash flow. To get cash flow you need customers. To get customers you must sell spas and pools.
You might be a spa wizard or a crack pool builder, but so are the ten to twenty other spa retailers and pool builders whose ad sits right next to yours in the Yellow pages / Finda / No Cowboys / Google listing etc. No matter how great your technical skills are or how innovative your product is, your business will wither away and die like 80% of all small businesses if you can't sell it.
"How Would You Do Things Differently If..."
Let's suppose for a moment that you truly did internalise this critical principle. Suppose that you sincerely believed that your most important function was the marketing of your spa and pool business. What would you do differently tomorrow morning?
I would suggest that if you really believed deep down that your primary business objective (and number one goal) is to *market* your spa and pool business, your to-do list, the way you allocate your time, your role in your company, the hiring process, and your personal and employee training would be radically different than it is today.
High Value Activities
Now that you know what your primary business objective is, what are your going to do about it? In my prior life as a corporate Sales Engineer I was always sensitive to how much my company billed by clients for the products I sold.
I often asked myself, "Am I adding value right now equal to the price my client is paying?" It helped me to prioritise my activities. I suggest that you make a habit of asking yourself that same question everyday.
Allow me to list out a few activities that I (and you should) consider "high value."
Okay, that's enough. Do you get the idea? Normally, your Director of Marketing would perform those activities. You must become the Director of Marketing! That should be your new role in your business. Why leave the absolute most critical part of your business to someone else?
I can hear you saying right now, "But I'm already doing all those things." And my response is, "How much time are you devoting to those "high value" activities?" Do you need to hire a manager or assistant to relieve you of most of your other duties so that you can focus exclusively on those activities that have the most impact on your business?
Brian Tracey, a famous author and speaker has said that, "To be really successful, you should stop doing any activity that wouldn't normally pay you what your worth." For example, if you think you're worth $50 an hour, why would you be filing papers when someone else can do it for $8 an hour?
Becoming a Master of Direct Response Advertising
If you were to ask me, "Simon, I only have $1,000 to market my product. Where should I spend this money to get the highest return on my investment?" My response would be to invest it on your personal education. Nothing will bring you a greater return on your marketing dollar than your personal investment in becoming a master of direct response marketing.
I regularly spend thousands of dollars every year investing in books, tapes, CDs, workshops, conferences, videos, DVDs and every other form of educational medium. In fact, as I have interviewed many successful business people I have consistently found one common trait... ...each person had a passion and insatiable desire to learn and invest heavily in their own private education.
What Do Bill Gates and Oprah Have In Common
What do Bill Gates and Oprah have in common other than their own personal Fort Knox? An insatiable desire to learn. Did you know that every year Bill Gates goes away for a week with a suitcase full of books just to read. If Bill can find time to do it so can you! Oprah is famous for her "book of the month club."
Do you have a reading list? If so what is on it? If you want your business to succeed, you must become a marketing guru in your own right.
One of the worst mistakes you can make as a spa and pool business owner is to be fooled into thinking that you are in the business of selling or building spas and pools. Wrong! You're in the business of MARKETING spas and pools.
The faster you realise this, the faster the cash will flow. I've always said, good marketing can make up for a bundle of operational sins (just ask Microsoft). Marketing IS your business, not just part of it. Become an expert in direct response marketing by investing heavily in your own education.
Re-evaluate how you are managing your business by asking yourself some of the questions that I've mentioned. What I've shared with you may require a new paradigm shift. But if you want to not only survive, but to thrive in this new economy, you must make the shift.
A good start would be to review my, "101 Spa & Pool Marketing Secrets: Recession-Proof Your Spa and Pool Business" marketing system. It's the only comprehensive marketing system designed specifically for the spa and pool industry based in NZ. I'd also encourage you to get a hold of my new book titled, "33 Out-of-the-Box Marketing Strategies to Jumpstart Your Pool and Spa Business."
I also invite you to spend some time reading a few of the articles on this site, which just might give you a few new marketing ideas you haven't come up with yet.
If you internalise this one secret that I've shared with you today you will be lights years ahead of your competition. In fact, if you actually take the initiative to change your role in the company as that of the boss of all the operations to the Director of Marketing, your business will start to soar!
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