To diversify or not?

This article will look at diversification in the wet leisure industry. Is it a good or bad idea? What possible areas could you diversify into, or should you remain loyal to your core business?

Have you thought about diversifying your pool business?

Your pool business has various assets such as your customer database, your premises, your sales force and work force. You might have thought at some time that the best way to get the most from these assets is by diversifying into other areas. Perhaps by selling related products like gym and fitness equipment or offering other services that your workforce is equipped to handle?

On the other hand, you might think that sticking to your core business is the best way to go; simply becoming better at marketing what you do already.

‘Jack of all trades’?

You might be thinking of adding other sorts of products to those that you already sell. It might make sense to offer other leisure equipment or perhaps you see it as more attractive to explore the field of spas, saunas or steam rooms?

You could use your workforce to go into general building work, landscaping and ground works or garden water features and ornamental pools.

All these things offer a chance to make extra profit and do extra work, but what do they do to the image and reputation of your business? What do customers find the most attractive, someone who specialises in one particular thing and is an expert in their field or someone who is willing to try their hand at anything?

Perhaps it depends on how far you diversify? If people can see logic to other areas that you go into then they may well feel comfortable with your pool business diversification.

It might also be true that if you study your customer database and begin to offer goods and services that your existing clients are most likely to buy, then that will show the most benefit. If you diversify too far you might find that you have to attract a completely new set of customers and carry the cost of all that entails.

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‘Master of one’?

On the other hand, you might choose to specialise. If you look at your business accounts, you may well see that one or more areas of your existing business are less profitable than others.

Perhaps rather than diversify and add to your areas of business, you should move away from these less profitable sectors and specialise.

That might sound foolish, to close down a part of your existing business, but it may have its own rewards. If you specialise in just one area of the pool industry, you can focus all your efforts to being the clear leader in that field. It is certainly true that the more focussed your marketing activity, the easier it is to make it effective; specialisation also allows you to target one particular set of potential customers much more accurately.

Right or wrong?

There is no right or wrong answer that applies across all pool businesses. Each one is different and their circumstances and resources will push them towards one path or the other.

However, in everyone’s case, a good head for marketing and a sound business plan will make the decision easier and clearer to take.

At Wet Leisure we are committed to innovation and knowledge within the wet leisure industry. For more information on marketing and promoting your business check out the other articles on this website, join one of our many industry specific groups or speak to a member of our team.

Do you have something to add? Agree or disagree with our suggestions? Add your comments in the box below…

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