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OPINION

Facts, Figures And Statistics To Maximise Opportunities Golden Coast’s Managing Director Jamie Adams explains the importance of the annual Wet Leisure Survey – an initiative the company carries out in association with the British Swimming Pool Federation (BSPF) – and urges businesses to participate in it

“T

he annual Wet Leisure Survey is an excellent initiative for our industry to get a snap shot of what business owners are experiencing and to identify any trends that may be happening.” I didn’t say that. It was Chris Hayes of the BSPF, but I am sure you know that I agree with him and I’d like you to feel the same way too. When we started the survey back in 2011, I wasn’t sure how successful it would be. To be honest, I felt that I was working in a fragmented industry that was still dreaming of a busier, sunnier past and refusing to look to the future and move on. I don’t feel that way now. In no way am I suggesting the Survey has changed the industry but I do think that it has recorded how the industry has changed over the years and helped us all feel that we are not working in a vacuum. Managing a business can feel like a lonely task but people have told me that reading the Survey Results makes them feel that they are sharing the same challenges as other’s in a similar position. It helps them see their own business within a wider industry perspective and it helps them make the most of the opportunities that the industry has to offer. That all sounds like a good thing. So what is this Survey all about?

Q1. WHICH REGION OF THE UK DOES YOUR BUSINESS OPERATE FROM? Each year’s Survey has typically contained about 18 questions, most of them a simple tick-the-box multiple choice and usually the questions also give respondents the opportunity to leave their own comments as well. In the first half dozen questions, the

Survey asks people to describe their business. Where it’s based, how many employees and which sectors of the wet leisure industry does the business operate in. There are two reasons for this. If you are collecting data that you want to analyse and draw conclusions from – business trends or areas of growth – then it is good practice to know roughly what sort of people are giving you those answers. The first six questions also give an interesting picture of the sort of businesses that are operating in our industry, the shape of them if you will, and what trends are affecting them. For instance, over the six years of the Survey, there have been changes to the typical size of business – how many employees – and when you set those changes alongside other economic factors it’s possible to see how businesses have been affected by good summers and bad, periods of recession as well as growth. It’s important to remember that all Survey responses, whether they are on a paper form or online, are completely anonymous so no one can see how any individual business is doing.

Q7. ON THE FOLLOWING SCALE, HOW DID YOU FIND BUSINESS CONDITIONS THIS YEAR? Of course, this is the one that gets people’s attention. “How was it for you?” If you have a friend in the business, it’s the question you ask them when you meet up for a pint. Now imagine how interesting that question becomes when you get people from all over the country answering it. The Survey digs down into how good, or bad, a year has been. Have we refurbished

Each year’s Survey has typically contained about 18 questions, most of them a simple tickthe-box multiple choice and usually the questions also give respondents the opportunity to leave their own comments as well” 80 December 2017 SPN 80_SPN_Dec_17_Opinion.indd 80

more old pools than built new ones? Are swim spas showing increased popularity? What about saunas? That sort of industry wide picture can help you decide where to focus your business efforts over the next year. And that’s what the Survey is all about. It’s about growing the industry so that everyone who works in it can profit.

USING MARKET INFORMATION TO GROW THE INDUSTRY Other industries have facts, figures and statistics that are available to all and they help people make better decisions and grow better businesses. We should be the same. But what does Golden Coast get out of it? Nothing apart from a stronger, bigger and more profitable industry for us to do business with. We have always believed that for us to succeed our customers have to be doing well and this is one of the ways that we try to help them.

YOU’VE CONVINCED ME. WHERE CAN I FIND A SURVEY FORM? At least I hope that’s what you are thinking right now. The BSPF will send you a Survey form through the post if you are a member. If you go to wetleisure.com then you can take the survey online there. You’ll find a link to the form on the home page. Golden Coast will be promoting the Survey to our contacts and customers and there will be links to the online Survey in Facebook ads and in our newsletter and there is a link to the Survey on the home page of goldenc.com And, thank you. The people who are most important to the success of the Wet Leisure Industry Survey are the ones who fill it out. The more people who respond to the survey, the more accurate and useful the results are. And that will do nothing but help all of us. Jamie Adams is Managing Director of Golden Coast, the current Chairman of Pool Industry Promotions (PIP) and a board member of the British Swimming Pool Federation (BSPF).

www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk 28/11/2017 23:56

SPN (Swimming Pool News) December 2017  

Informing the pool and spa industry since 1959. Covering the UK's wet leisure market, SPN (Swimming Pool News) is the UK's longest running a...

SPN (Swimming Pool News) December 2017  

Informing the pool and spa industry since 1959. Covering the UK's wet leisure market, SPN (Swimming Pool News) is the UK's longest running a...