We’ve been selling seasonal heaters, aerators and pond nets for years and years. Our Purchasing Department ordered 20% more inventory this year to handle our business’s projected growth. We are currently seeing a 50% increase in sales across these seasonal categories! It’s a great problem to have and has the department scrambling. With only a 12 week window for the majority of these sales and the production and shipping times from Asia being what they are, their efforts are probably going to be futile. Aquascape will miss some sales and worse, inconvenience customers because of our lack of inventory. So goes the life of running a business. Not being able to keep up with demand is a good problem to have but a problem nonetheless. Remember, all business is, is fixing problems! This post isn’t about heaters, nets, and bubblers or even fixing problems. This post is about Pond Stars, reinvention and you.
We recently learned one of our long time competitor’s sales are reportedly 70% off their peak. Aquascape was far from alone with our self-professed struggles during the economic downturn. But today our sales are rebounding and the future outlook is as bright as it’s been in years. Why? Aquascape has reinvented ourselves since the downturn and if you’re reading this you probably have too. The world entering 2015 is vastly different than it was entering 2008. True? A lot has changed in six years. Many of Aquascape’s former competitors are gone or are a fraction of their former sizes. For you, if you’re a contractor or retailer you probably have experienced the same attrition of competitors gone from your local market. If you’re still around and your sales are growing again today, you almost certainly have reinvented yourself to achieve those two accomplishments. Yes?
In 2008 we had a sales team on the road calling on accounts. In 2015 we have a marketing Army generating content to reach those same accounts and find new ones. Back in 2008 we hosted events, went to trade shows and did customer visits. We still do all of those things but far less often than we used to. But today we blog, tweet, and Facebook. Our Aquascape On-line Academy has 2,500 users and is growing and expanding rapidly. Same with our YouTube channel which we started in 2008 and have surpassed 6,000,000 views with. We even have our own Reality Show, Pond Stars, that we are just starting to see the results from. Which brings me back to my original question/thought; Is Pond Stars, which debuted this fall, the reason why we are seeing the dramatic spike in seasonal items right now?! Or is our sales growth a result of our continued efforts with social media? How much has the growth in our YouTube channels and on-line training contributed to our increased sales? My best guess as to why sales are spiking is it’s all of these factors and probably even a few more!
It’s exciting to see the fruits of our efforts paying off. And as much as I’d like to be able to quantify fully each and every effort we make to grow sales, I will settle for seeing sales grow. The one thing I won’t settle for though is standing still while the world changes. I’m more than happy to leave the standing still for the competition!