Optimistic Outlook

Minimal impact from minimum wage hike: Pool & Spa News readers are relatively unfazed by President Barack Obama’s proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, up from the $7.25 per hour that has been the law since 2009. “Most of our employees are at $10 an hour or more already,” says Jeff Hunt, who manages projects at Cox Pools in Florida.

Exceeding expectations: The long, tough recession may have finally ended. More than half (51 percent) of survey respondents said their pool business performed better or much better than expected in 2013.

Obstacle course: The pool market is gaining steam, but survey respondents still have plenty of worries. Here’s what pool firm owners think will be the biggest challenges in 2014 for their businesses:

Top priorities: Revenues may be climbing, but survey respondents haven’t forgotten the bruises of recent years — they say controlling costs will be the most important priority for their business this year. Here’s what they are watching:

Positive thinking: It’s still early in 2014, but Pool & Spa News readers project a strong year, with higher revenue expected at 72 percent of survey respondents’ firms. Here’s the breakdown:

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