Winter a can be a less than inspiring time for both pool owners and pool shops.
There is little sun to induce pool owners to use their pools, and as a consequence, many feel they have little or no reason to make purchases in in a pool shop.
In this article, Paul Simons from Lo-Chlor offers some direction for the pool shop owner, starting with these two options:
Option 1: Accept as a fact that you aren’t going to make any sales of note till the sun comes out, or
Option 2: Work out ways to show the pool owner that caring for their pool in winter will ultimately save them money over the course of a 12-month period.
Simons says the choice is yours but realistically, choice number two is the one that is going to keep your bank manager the happiest and genuinely benefit the pool owner.
So what should you recommend your customers do with their pools over winter?
Put it to bed
Over the years, pool owners have tried many different remedies in winter with varying results. However, Simons is now totally convinced that by far the best, most economical way to look after a swimming pool during this period – when it is invariably not being used – is simply to “put it to bed”.
He recommends the pool owners adopt a winterising program that will keep the water free of algae as well as cutting down overall costs.
“We all know how frustrating it is, at the beginning of the swimming season, to find that a pool is a green mess, full of algae, murky and worst of all, not fit to swim in when the pool owner wants to,” he says.
“Protecting a pool correctly through the winter months can save this frustration as well as time, effort and money.”
Winterising algaecide is designed to specifically kill and control algal blooms during winter. They can last for up to 90 days, enhance chlorine production and chlorine efficiency and so save money on chlorine.
“The best thing is they give a crystal clear, algae-free start to summer,” says Simons.
“It’s also worth using a phosphate remover. By removing phosphates from the water, you take away the algae’s food and equally importantly, allow algaecides, bactericides and other chemicals to work far more effectively.”
While the abovementioned tips provide benefits for the consumer from a winter program, the other side of the coin is that pool shops can also benefit from a winter program.
“Putting it bluntly, it is all down to how much effort you are prepared to put into promoting the concept to your customers,” he says.
“If you are prepared to circularise your customers in some form or another on the benefits of a winter program, then you will ultimately reap the rewards. You all know your database numbers so why not just for fun pick a percentage of that figure and picture the number of bottles that could be sold to them over the course of winter.”
– 2 x 500ml bottles of winteriser algaecide for the average size pool
– Phosphate remover – number of bottles dependant on phosphate levels
– Heavy duty phosphate remover – at least one bottle if extreme phosphate levels are prevalent at any time
“I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the figure that you have come up with,” he says.
There are a variety of other things to recommend customers do in winter.
“Removing unsightly stains is a perfect example. Winter is the ideal time to attempt this exercise, as the pool is not being used and the pool should be depleted of chlorine to get the best results with stain removers,” says Simons.
Other options include recommending filter cleaning during winter, or seeing if customers are due for a sand change.
“There are truly a variety of diverse things that can be accomplished in winter but the first step is the always the one where you convince yourself that you are going to follow them through,” he says.
More suggestions are at Lo-Chlor’s recently launched advice-based website at www.lochlorsolutions.com.