|The idea to start his own pool business came to Ed Kinney in 1972 while he was working for another pool builder. He finalized his decision, quit his job and started Kinney Pools.
Ed tells the story how, on the first day of Kinney Pools, his wife made a sign to put on his car to help advertise. Ed drove to the neighborhood 7/11 for coffee and before he got back home he already had a week of pool work scheduled.
Kinney worked out of his garage at first but then rented a building as the business began to grow. In 1976 he built a new building at 2155 Route 88 East in Brick, New Jersey. With business still growing, he expanded on the site in the 1980’s. Today, Kinney employs up to 25 people in peak pool season.
Although Kinney began with pools, he expanded to include hot tubs along with the in-ground and above-ground pools, supplies and chemicals. For a while he also sold outdoor furniture but made the decision to specialize in just pools and hot tubs.
When asked what sets Kinney Pools apart from the competition, Amber LiPira, General Manager replies, “We are family owned and operated. We have a huge brick and mortar store with a well-educated staff.” Melanie Durham, Assistant General Manager, concurs, “It’s about a 4,000 square foot building, with an 18 by 36 foot in-ground pool and 2 above-ground pools set up outside with a complete service area.” LiPira adds, “After so many years [in business] it’s hard to come across something we are unfamiliar with!”
As with most brick and mortar stores, Kinney Pools is beginning to see an increase in competition from internet pricing. When asked how they overcome this obstacle, Durham states quickly, “With Service!” She goes on to explain, “We back everything we do. If our customers have an issue with something we are right there the next day. We’re here to stay!”
Both LiPira and Durham are excited about 2016. They are already full-swing into the pool season and they know it’s going to go up from here. They are both looking forward to an increase in sales and building up the in-ground and hot tub departments. “We just want to keep our customers happy! That’s the most important thing!” adds Durham.
Kinney joined the Nordic Family in 1996 and feel the Nordic line is a great fit for the store and their customers. LiPira states, “[Nordic tubs] are a simple yet functional hot tub. The limited number of complaints and servicing required make this a perfect fit for us. They are resilient tubs!” Durham agrees and adds, “We also appreciate the exclusivity Nordic gives its dealers.”
If Durham could give advice to other dealers she states, “It’s all about Customer Service! We have a fantastic team that gives great customer service. Ed treats us like family and that makes us want to do our best for him and our customers.”
Contact Kinney Pools through the website http://kinneypool.com/ or find them on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/KinneyPools/?fref=ts
|Just south of Green Bay, deep inside Packers' Territory, is the suburb of DePere, Wisconsin. It was here, 29 years ago that David and Connie Kubiak made the decision to open Pool Works, Inc. David had worked for his family’s pool business but he and Connie knew the time was right to strike out on their own. Pool Works grew from small beginnings to currently employing anywhere from 20 to 40 employees in season.
Pool Works, Inc. offers full sales and service for retail and construction of pools and spas. “We are able to better serve our customers because we service our own products. We always go the extra mile” states Timm Seehafer, Retail Manager.
Seehafer has been with Pool Works for approximately 7 years and makes sure his sales team and his customers stay on top of the current trends in the business. “We hold Pool Schools for our customers, our techs are trained and certified and we attend shows to see what’s out there. We are all about keeping up with change!” states Seehafer.
Seehafer knows his customers depend on the personal, face-to-face, high-quality service his staff gives. This helps overcome competition from internet sales sites. “Internet competition is a big thing these days,” he states. “but Pool Works doesn’t really do a lot of advertising.” They do keep a presence on the internet with an interactive website and a Facebook page. “We also have a huge LED sign up along I-41 which pulls in a lot of traffic.” Their sales are typically generated through referrals or repeat business and , as Seehafer says, "the quality installations Pool Works does are the best advertisments."
Typical Pool Works, Inc. customers are long-term and repeat customers. Seehafer states, “Some of our long-time customers don’t say ‘which one am I getting’, they say ‘which one am I getting from Pool Works?’ Seriously!”
A concern he faces is overcoming the poorer quality work from some smaller fly-by-night construction companies. “Pool Works takes great pride in the high quality products we deliver. We sell based on the quality products we carry. It’s not always about the lowest price!”
Within the last year, Pool Works has invested in a remodel and expansion of their existing building at 765 Lawrence Drive. “This has all of us beyond excited!” says Seehafer. One of the beautiful features of the ‘new’ showroom is the poured epoxy resin ‘river path’ that winds through the displays. During the slower days of last winter, Seehafer and the Pool Works crew learned how to mix and pour the epoxy floor. “We are very happy with how it turned out!” he states.
Pool Works is a newer Nordic Partner, having just added the line in early 2016. However, Seehafer is happy they made the decision to go with Nordic Hot Tubs. “The dealer support is amazing!” he states. He also feels that the value is “huge” based on the features, build quality and attention to detail that goes into Nordic Hot Tubs.
If Seehafer could give advice to other dealers he states, “Evolve! Change! Do not be afraid to change and know that what worked 10 years ago will not work today!”
Pool Works, Inc. and Timm Seehafer can be contacted through the website. You can also find them on Facebook!
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