By Marcelle Dibrell
Staying up to date with the latest technologies is essential for a small business to succeed. Especially nowadays, as technology makes rapid advances, it can be increasingly difficult to keep up with the competition and ahead of emerging trends. That’s why it’s a good idea to create business development strategies for finding new ways to grow your business as the industry continues to evolve.
Joining a trade organization and attending industry conferences have long been the venues for learning about the latest products and services available to pool and spa small business owners. Monthly association meetings offer an ideal location to network with peers and learn about what works and doesn’t work for them. It’s also an ideal location to invite manufacturer’s representatives to discuss their most innovative products that are soon to be installed on the equipment pad of a swimming pool near you.
To learn about the most sophisticated products available to service professionals, industry trade shows offer some of the best opportunities. There, service techs can speak directly to manufacturer’s representatives as they explain the benefits of using whatever it is they are selling. Furthermore, pool and spa industry trade shows generally feature seminars on small business development tools, equipment troubleshooting, and water chemistry monitoring that all serve to expose pool pros to the ins and outs of the latest products.
And don’t forget to utilize your own team members (if you have employees) who may be just as hungry for information as you are, and may have an eye out for emerging technologies. It’s a good idea to set up regular employee meetings or some other internal forum where employees can share recent articles or industry news.
In the current digital era, the internet has provided a nearly boundless opportunity to access information.
For example, podcasts, such as the Talking Pools Podcast featured in the next issue of Service Industry News, are an excellent way to learn new things about the latest products as well as current industry events.
But another way to keep abreast of the latest trends is through social media. For example, Facebook provides a portal through which you can have a bird’s eye view of what your successful colleagues are doing, and it is also a great place to ask questions and get advice on tricks of the trade, as well as tools, chemicals, and equipment that others employ to keep their businesses running smoothly. Through LinkedIn, you can follow the pages of top executives from brands you like and use. Through Twitter, you can create a list of influencers in the industry to stay up-to-date on new trends and best practices.
You can also use Google alerts to stay updated, and it’s both free and easy. Through Google, you can set up Google Alerts to track a specific product or service area that interests you. Then you will automatically receive email notifications whenever Google finds a result on that topic.
And then, of course, there are industry blogs and newsletters, such as this very issue of Service Industry News, whose subject matter is — you guessed it — new products and services.
For this issue, we reached out to pool and spa manufacturers and asked them to provide details on their latest and greatest.
We’ve organized these product submissions into the following categories: Safety; Chemicals; Testing; Pools-Decks-Patios; Equipment; and Businesss.
LOOP-LOC Pool Covers
LOOP-LOC pool covers not only meet, but exceed, ASTM standards for Safety Swimming Pool Covers F I346-91.
LOOP-LOC covers have undergone extensive outside testing through Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and are the only mesh covers in the industry to have earned the seal of approval for safety swimming pool covers. The covers are exceptionally strong, using double-perimeter webbing and doublethick straps for extra strength.
They come in custom shapes fabricated with a computer-aided design to ensure a perfect, custom fit for any shape or pool size. It’s lightweight, so putting it on and taking it off is a breeze.
Its unique brass anchors recess flush with the deck when the cover is removed.
Its mesh construction lets rain and melting snow drain right through. LOOP-LOC is so durable, it’s backed by a 15-year, prorated warranty and so safe, it may reduce liability insurance.
Visit the company online at www. looploc.com
Coverstar Automatic Pool Covers
A Coverstar pool cover is the strongest way to prevent children and pets from getting into the pool unattended.
An automatic pool cover slides on and off the pool with push-button convenience. Coverstar autocovers deliver the ultimate in safety, elegance, and convenience; they’re not just functional, they look great on top of the pool. Besides the many safety benefits, an autocover can also protect the pool to help reduce maintenance needs and help pool owners save money on heating and energy bills. The Coverstar collection features four different models, and each one includes the standard features that make Coverstar covers safe and reliable. These pool autocovers are custom built to fit any pool, so no matter the pool design, Coverstar can construct a cover that fits. The company will work with you every step of the way to select the options that work best for you, from track and coping options, heat-sealed webbing, and 10 standard fabric colors to choose from. www.coverstar.com Smarter construction monitoring, alarm inspection and pool safety is now available with CamerEye
™ . Unlike
Camereye traditional monitoring cameras and outdated pool alarms, CamerEye is the world’s most complete AI-camera safety system built for the pool industry to monitor, detect and alert on what matters most — both on job sites and for customers’ pool safety after construction is complete.
CamerEye allows pool pros to better monitor job sites, improve quality control, reduce liability, and save time and money.
CamerEye then helps homeowners pass inspection with the first and only camera-based pool alarm to meet ASTM F2208-08 pool safety standards that can replace door alarms, floating pool alarms, and in-pool splash alarms. Pool owners can then have peace of mind knowing CamerEye monitors their pool 24/7, detects humans around and in the pool, along with distress and near-drowning behavior, and sends an alert and alarms within a few seconds. Discover the CamerEye difference today. www.camereye.ai FireFighter1 Fire Hoses for Swimming Pools
Access to pool water during fires is finally made simple with FireFighter1 hoses. Fire is a never-ending natural disaster that we have been trying to find multiple ways to mitigate. FireFighter1 Fire Hoses for Swimming Pools is the first easy and affordable solution designed to provide quick pool water access in the event of any fire emergency.
It was designed with fire professionals and pool owners to be fire grade quality, yet simple to use for almost every property owner. Pool owners simply add a 3-way diverter to the high-pressure side of their pool pump, glue the custom adapter that comes with every hose to the open port, and leave that available if there ever is an emergency. Quick connect your hose if there is a fire, redirect flow of water, turn the pump on and in seconds, protect property from fire and/or create defensible space. 50-foot FireFighter1 hose is only $369 and 100-foot FireFighter1 hose is $479. www.FightFireFirst.com.
Vendor opportunities available.
Clearwater Pool Systems
Clearwater Pool Systems has just released a brand-new product called “pH PURE”. If your tired of hauling muriatic acid around and paying those outrageous prices along with sodium bicarbonate, this might be the product for you.
The system uses CO2 (carbon dioxide) injection for pH control. It’s been safely and economically used on commercial pools for decades and is now available for residential pools. The cost of chemicals has skyrocketed and by using this system, you can switch over at the cost of about 1/5th versus using muriatic acid and sodium carbonate. The best part of the system is that it keeps the pool balanced all the time, automatically. The system will pay for itself in no time at all in chemical savings alone.
Consider the benefits of converting your customers over the CO2 injection for pH control and you might be asking yourself “Why wasn’t something like this available a long time ago?”.
Visit Clearwater Pool Systems in Booth 4146 at the PSP/Deck Expo or by visiting www.clearwaterpoolsystems. com.
Easy Care Products Specialty Chemicals
Easy Care Products makes a variety of specialty chemicals designed to kill and prevent algae and remove scale and stains, and among their most popular products is Algatec. Algatec is a synergistic algicide, water clarifier, and chlorine booster for all types of swimming pools. Algatec kills green and yellow algae in 4 to 24 hours and eradicates black algae (fungus) in 7 to 10 days. Algatec also strongly prevents algae growths in swimming pools. Algatec’s clarifiers create ultra-clear water in swimming pools. Its strong synergy with swimming pool, spas, and hot tub sanitizers helps boosts chlorine and bromine effectiveness up to 600% while reducing sanitizer usage between 25% and 65%. Algatec is compatible with all salt cell systems and helps improve salt cell performance. According to its material safety data sheet, Algatec is 30% Polyoxyethylene (dimethylamino)
Ethylene (dimethylamino) ethylene dichloride. www.easycarewater.com.
Jack’s Magic Flocculant
Using the Emerald Stuff or the Sapphire Stuff from Jack’s Magic Products as a flocculant is a straightforward and time-saving method to help rescue pools. This is an economical after-storm solution for areas prone to fires, mudslides, flooding, and hurricanes. Just 8 ounces per 10,000 gallons is strong enough to drop dust, debris, and other particles to the bottom of the pool, allowing you to vacuum to waste so your customers can resume swimming after 24 hours. www.jacksmagic.com.
Lo-Chlor L.L.C Lo-Chlor L.L.C., a manufacturer of specialty pool chemicals, has introduced a new product, Salt Master, to their full Performance Pool Chemicals line.
Salt water swimming pools are popular because salt pool maintenance is easier, more convenient, and less time consuming than traditional chlorine pools.
Lo-Chlor also understands that these salt pools need salt-specific additives to run optimally and efficiently. Just one weekly dose of Salt Master reduces the need for acid, boosts performance, and decreases the frequency of necessary balance adjustments and cell cleanings.
Salt Master keeps equipment in top shape and lengthens the life of salt chlorine generators, too. This special formula prevents scale buildup on generator cells, pool equipment, and surfaces. In fact, most salt chlorine generators can be operated at lower settings after using Salt Master for just a few weeks.
Lo-Chlor continues to expand its wide range of products to meet the demands of the pool service industry. www.lo-chlor.com
Industrial Test Systems Photometer
The eXact Pool EZ is great for anyone who desires an economical way of testing pool water. This patented, hand-held photometer provides 1-way communication from Apple or Android devices and allows you to share your results using the eXact iDip App. This eXact Pool EZ is also waterproof and has a permanent built-in cell, which makes it a simple and easy way to take a water sample at your convenience. It includes tests for 11 important pool water parameters (Total Alkalinity, Total Bromine, Calcium Hardness, Chloride (Salt), Free and Total Chlorine, Combined Chlorine, Copper, Cyanuric Acid, pH, Phosphate), that provide lab-quality results.
The Pool eXact EZ Photometer comes with patented eXact Strips, a quick and easy reagent system for analysis. Testing is simple: Dip an eXact Strip Micro into the water sample for 20 seconds using a simple backand- forth motion, discard the strip, and read the results instantaneously. www. sensafe.com.
LaMotte’s ColorQ 2x PRO 7 Kit
The waterproof, Bluetooth ColorQ 2x PRO 7 (Code 2086) photometer directly measures Free Chlorine (DPD), Total Chlorine (DPD), Bromine (DPD), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and Cyanuric Acid directly on a digital display. The compact meter is easy to use and features economical liquid reagents that measure 144 tests per test factor for Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine (Bromine) and pH. The Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and Cyanuric Acid tests are measured by using the LaMotte TesTabs tablet method and includes 100 tablets for each test. The ColorQ 2x eliminates the need to visually determine slight