When most of you read this, the 2021 pool season will be about to kick off in earnest. There are so many unknowns this year: Will this pandemic go away? Will you be able to get the products you need? Will your costs go up dramatically? Will a natural disaster hit your community?
We cover a few of those topics in this issue. We talk about how to raise prices without losing customers on page 41, and how the surprise freeze in Texas is impacting the industry at large on page 45. It also feels like we’re never not talking about COVID.
No matter the answer to those questions, most of them are out of your control. You can’t fix the global supply chain, or stop hurricanes, fires, tornadoes or floods. And clearly none of us can do anything about the coronavirus.
It will surprise exactly none of you to learn that I like to read. I set a goal this year to read 50 books, and I’m 18 in (humblebrag). Another reading goal I set was to make it through the Bible in a year. I’m either going to irritate you by getting preachy or for taking the Bible out of context, but I just finished the book of Joshua. One of the main themes is to be strong and courageous, and while I read it, business ownership and the 2021 pool season often came to mind. When I think about this season and all of its unknowns, it’s going to take strength and courage to overcome all the obstacles of this year. You’re going to have to make decisions without having all the data. You’re going to have to deliver bad news to customers. You’re going to feel like your customer service is suffering because of things outside your control. But remain strong in doing your best and gather your courage when confronted with the unexpected. It’s an old business trope, but it’s true: Focus on what you can control. Don’t let the unknowns cloud your vision and cause you to stress, worry and lose sight of your goals.