Seasonal Pool Opening Checklist – A Successful Summer Starts Now

Seasonal Pool Opening Checklist

Summer is coming, and if you run a seasonal pool, it’s time to get ready. Follow our seasonal pool opening checklist and you’ll prepare for summer success. We’ve broken down pool management into three categories – Personnel, Programming, and Pool Operations. For each, we’ve detailed the key areas to focus on as summer approaches.

Personnel

3 Months Out

Three months ahead of your opening week, you should be well on your way to hiring a great summer team. That means, job postings should be listed, group interviews should be scheduled and you should have reconnected with staff from last summer to gauge their interest in returning in 2018. We recommend that you plan to over-hire, as seasonal teams rarely shape up exactly as planned.

2 Months Out

At this point you should have a good idea who’s making up your 2018 summer staff. Now is the time to start the HR process, assuring that your crew is ready to work on day-one. Make sure you’ve requested current certifications from team. If anyone’s expired, now is the time to set a plan to renew. Run background checks, begin filing working papers and request schedules of availability from your team. We like to request full-summer work availability at this point. It helps to avoid surprise family vacations in the middle of the summer and unexpected early-exits in August. Let your team know this is the availability you plan use to make your schedules.

1 Month Out

It’s time to train. Audit your existing staff manuals and update them as needed. Set a schedule for in-service training that will keep your team performing at a high level all season long. Release summer schedules and ask your staff to review them now.  If there are any early issues with the schedule, they can be adjusted easier at this point. Last minute changes to work schedules should be the responsibility of the individual, not the boss.

Don’t Forget

Keep communication lines open with your team with a great phone and email list. Weekly email updates from the boss will keep them up to date on important information all season long.

 

Programming

3 Months Out

Begin your program planning by evaluating your previous years successes and failures. If you’ve got competition, make sure you’re taking a look at their pricing structure so you remain competitive. Once you’ve gathered information, it’s time to put pen-to-paper to create your 2018 program guide. Work with your marketing team, designers and printers to create a production schedule. This process always takes longer than expected, so leave yourself extra time between steps for unanticipated slow-downs.

2 Months Out

It’s time to start marketing. Release digital and print versions of your program guide. Leverage social media accounts, summer activity fairs and local connections with school districts, day camps and parenting groups. These relationships can grow your programs exponentially. Finding the right community partners can drive participation more than traditional marketing channels. Figure out where parents in your community are finding out about great programs and make sure your summer offerings are showcased.

1 Month Out

Get your team together and set high expectations for coaching and instructional staff. Raise the bar with advanced programming, safety, up-selling and customer service training’s throughout the season. Consolidate upcoming classes and cut under-performing programs to promote efficiency. Make it easy for your staff to understand how a program is performing by setting public goals for participation.

Don’t Forget

It’s much easier to keep existing program participants than it is to go out and find new ones. Make sure you’re reconnecting with past participants and making it easy for them to re-enroll in your new summer programs. As a swimming lesson session ends, make sure you’ve got current participants signed up for the following program. With a bit of focus, August can be your strongest programming month.

 

Pool Operations

3 Months Out

Don’t be surprised when you pull back the pool cover. Now is the time to start peaking underneath with a flashlight to see how your winterizing efforts held up. Head into the pump room for a visual inspection of pumps, pipes, chemical controllers, filters and heaters. If a piece of equipment had a rough winter, now is the time to find out. You’ll also want to begin pricing out chemical providers. Don’t assume you’re getting the lowest price on chlorine, bromine, calcium or acid. These commodities are sold by lots of different chemical distribution companies. Accept bids from at least three suppliers for all of your heavily used chemicals. You’ll save big money come August.

2 Months Out

Inventory your equipment both in the pump room and on the pool deck. Set up a delivery schedule for your chemicals with your chosen providers. Make sure they’re updating SDS sheets for any new chemicals your purchasing. Review these documents to assure your staff is well trained to handle chemicals and make sure all personal protective equipment is available and in working order.

1 Month Out

It’s now time to get the cover off and get your pool water sparkling. Giving yourself a month to complete this process allows for extra time if issues arise. If you need to drain the pool water, scrub pool surfaces, repaint steps or install a new drain cover you’ll be happy that you started this process early. Head to the locker rooms to check for seasonal damage to plumbing and building structure. Inspect barriers to entry to make sure they’ve survived the winter. Your last few weeks should be spent cleaning, inspecting and calibrating equipment on and around the pool deck.

Don’t Forget

Your maintenance team will thrive with additional training and a strong preventative maintenance schedule. Click the links if these aren’t things you’re already doing.

 

It’s no surprise that our spring CPO programs are the most popular. Click here for the full schedule of spring classes for your team.