It’s tough to run a financially solvent pool. Pools that make more money than they spend are a rarity. Simple changes and considerations can help you become one of the few. Below, we pair easy cost-reduction techniques with proven revenue enhancers. We’ve got easy, quick and effective ideas for each. Set your pool up to turn a profit, and never turn back.
Preview Days – You’ve got great programs. You know that, but does everyone else? Why not show them with a live preview. Focus your next marketing blitz on bringing prospects in for a complimentary session. Pull out all the stops on your preview day to make your program magical. Be ready with special one-time-only offers to turn prospects into participants.
Easy Re-Enrollment – Your current clients don’t need to be resold on the program, just re-enrolled. Make that process easy for them. You already have their registration details. Make a simplistic re-enrollment form and get it into the hands of your participants before the end of each session for the easiest sale you’ve ever made.
Refer a Friend – Not only do refer-a-friend promotions grow participation, they increase enjoyment and lead to better retention numbers. Create special days when friends are always welcome (example: Bring a Friend Friday) and have registration forms on-site to enroll new participants.
Wrap Programs – Are the parents of your participants sticking around throughout the entirety of certain classes? That could be an issue. They’ve done the math and figure they don’t have enough time to leave, take care of an errand and get back in time for pickup. You can fix this programming glitch by offering pre/post class services. Dryland activities, child watch, snack sessions and open swim periods can extend your programming timeframe just enough to make a class more convenient. As your numbers grow, the extended time makes it easier to justify incremental increases in program costs.
Program Timing – If your swim lessons line up with the most popular workout times, group exercise programs and yoga classes at your facility, you have a heck of a chance to cross market. Sync your youth programs with popular adult activities and advertise to your new captive market.
Bus Them In – Talk to the transportation director at your local school district. What are the logistics behind making your facility an official drop-off site for after school programming? This is often a proposal that takes months to orchestrate, but the long-term revenue benefits are easy to see.
Mom Groups – The buying power of moms is huge when it comes to swim programming. They’re making many of the programming decisions for the household. Make sure your marketing initiatives speak to them. Most areas have Facebook parenting groups dedicated to sharing the best children’s activities. Be sure to connect with these groups and feature your offerings on their pages.
Activity Fairs – Every area has youth activity fairs. As a youth programmer, your presence is required. You’re missing out on great connections with potential clients if you’re not setting up a booth and putting your best people out in the community for quick connections and marketing ops.
Proprietary Product Purge – Take a walk around your pump room and note any chemicals that have brand names. Do a quick scan of their chemical composition. Many pool products are common chemicals. Replacing a brand with its generic counterpart can be a great cost-saving opportunity.
Shop Around – It’s always a good time to assess your ongoing costs and request competitive quotes from multiple vendors. Start with your most detailed expense summary and note all frequently purchased items. Do a quick search for local and national distributers and request competitive quotes. Make sure to let your current vendor know you’re in the market. You may be surprised how low their pricing can go.
Dig for Discounts – Commercial aquatic operators buy lots of product. That gives us lots of leverage to drive down pricing. Sometimes all you need to do is ask. Bulk buying, scheduled deliveries, payment plans and extended contracts are typical ways a supplier can decrease their costs and pass the savings on to you.
Don’t Overdo the Oxidizer – It’s not unlikely that chlorine or bromine will top your chemical expense list. Closely track your sanitizer levels to make sure you’re responsibly dosing. Fine tune your chlorine usage to make sure you’re always meeting the state minimum, but not to excess.
Cut the Staff – This one’s simple, but effective. Be quick to send staff home when they’re not needed. Schedule on-call staff during the summer months and only use them when they’re essential. Want more staff management tips? Click here.
Fix That Leak – Water loss can seem like a minor problem. It’s easy to open the fill line every morning and act like there’s no big issue. The unfortunate reality is that pool leaks are tremendously expensive and replacement water is only the beginning of the cost. The loss in chemicals, the additional energy associated with reheating and the long-term structural damage to your pool is quietly costing you lots of money each year. This isn’t a problem you should be willing to put up with.
Tech Improvements – Shop the trade shows and you’ll find plenty of new tech options that are made to save you money. Many of these products have a quick ROI. Advanced chemical controllers, salt water chlorine generators, energy efficient motors, heaters and lights all seem to have proven returns for astute operators.
Preventative Maintenance – We’re big on PM. We talk about it all the time. If you’re not taking great care of your equipment, you’re costing your facility money down the road. Here’s how you can get started.