March 2022

10 Florida Pool Prosm • March 2022 “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” ~ Herbert Bayard Swope Owning and managing a business has never been easy. We are continuously faced with making decisions that are not clearly right or wrong. Each decision we make affects the next situation that will be presented to us. And to further complicate matters, our decisions not only affect ourselves, but also often our families, our businesses, our employees' families, our community, our industry, and the list goes on. We are at a time in our market like we have never previously experienced. Yes, we have seen good times before, and many of us can recall lean years or downturns in the market. But the market that we are navigating through right now is uncharted territory. We have a virtually unlimited customer base who wants the products we offer. Customers have the ability to pay for our services. This should be exciting times for us in the pool construction industry! This should be the market environment that in times past was only dreamt about. But here we are, entering into 2022. Our marketing conversations have gone from marketing our goods and services to prospective customers, to how to market our business to prospective employees and/or subcontractors trying to fill the ever-increasing demand for our services. And we now negotiate (and sometimes beg) with our suppliers simply for the ability to purchase the products they sell. Who would have thought that simply getting basic construction materials would be such a challenge? If somebody would have told us two years ago that we would be struggling to get concrete and pipe, we would have laughed! Yet, this is exactly the position that we find ourselves in. As pool builders, obviously everything starts with sales. The core business model has always been: sell the job, and then figure out how to build it. Lead times, or selling jobs with a start date months in advance, has always felt like a security blanket. Whatever our lead time comfort level has been, having that “hopper full” has given us, as business owners, the peace of mind knowing that Find your niche By Brent Handy, Paragon Pools / DIGGING UP IDEAS