Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa

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How to Thrive in Today's Ever-Changing Retail Landscape

Courtesy of Pinch A Penny Pool Patio and Spa

Despite shifting consumer behaviors, the modern marketplace presents many opportunities for a business today to survive—and even thrive—where competitors are falling short. Here we'll highlight key strategies every business owner could benefit from in an e-commerce-heavy era.

The Expert Advantage

One of the most valuable differentiators a business can bring to today's market is industry-leading expertise. When customers can trust a retailer to provide them with knowledge and guidance, the result is more loy-alty and more repeat visits and purchases.

Take Pinch A Penny Pool, Patio, and Spa: a needs-based business that offers pool retail, service, and repair. It's grown from a single warehouse in Clearwater, Fla., in 1975 to more than 250 locations across the Southeastern U.S. and Texas today. "Pinch A Penny customers don't come to us for commodity products," Pinch A Penny Chief Development Officer Michael Arrowsmith says. "They come to us because we're experts in water chemistry and swimming pool care – areas where most consumers need expertise and guidance."

Customer is (Still) King

Just because consumers are making many purchases online doesn't mean the art of good customer service is a thing of the past. The best business advantage of a physical retailer is the ability to engage with their guests face to face and build an on-going relationship as a trusted advisor.

And that doesn't include reading from a script. It means knowing, expecting, and understanding your customers' needs and wants. It means being helpful without being pushy, genuine rather than rehearsed, and able to listen as well as advise. What's more, a business owner is also a valuable contributor to the community at large.

Multiple Eggs, Multiple Baskets

Another key strategy to protect your business' performance in a fluctuating market is to have multiple revenue streams. While it's key to maintain focus on the core business, there are many opportunities for extensions and add-ons that are well aligned with your principle product.

Pinch A Penny, for example, has sustained growth largely because of a business model that does this well. "Our focus is to provide as many of the products and services a pool or spa owner might need," Pinch A Penny President John Thomas says. That extends to spas, outdoor furniture, and grills, as well as maintenance and repairs.

Rewards of Franchising

A franchise business can be another way to effectively compete in an online world. It allows the Franchise Owner to buy into an established brand, and because there are already strong systems set in place, there's no need to reinvent the wheel, tackle start-from-scratch marketing, or learn by making key mistakes.

Take a brand like Pinch A Penny, for example. Having more than four decades of success and recognition, the Franchise Owner, even with no industry experience, is able to go through a world class training program, dive right in and leave the stressors of a startup behind. It's a huge benefit worth considering, whether you're looking to expand an existing portfolio or exploring a first-time venture.

All in the Family

Last, but absolutely not least, is the value of a family business. Consumers and employees alike haven't lost the appreciation for a family-run operation, something that simply can't be recreated in the digital arena. In fact, according to a survey by ComScore, 93 percent of shoppers say they prefer small and local retailers.

"We take a family approach to our business, treating our franchise owners as such. We believe that in doing this, we have happier employees and, ultimately, happier customers," Arrowsmith explains. "We take responsibility in providing every individual who's a part of our business with all the necessary resources to carry on the tradition of quality, reliability, and expertise in a fun, family-oriented atmosphere."

If you'd like to learn about Franchising Opportunities with Pinch A Penny, call 727-232-4386 or visit

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