It was an incredible honor to be asked by Pool & Spa News to present a bi-weekly blog regarding the business side of the pool industry. I hope that I will give you things to contemplate and things that might help you in your business. After years of paying “tuition” in the day-to-day operations of a pool business, maybe I can offer some insight on what to do and what not to do.

Business encompasses so many facets that I felt I should begin at the root of business. Ethics in business is that thing that differentiates you from competitors and gives you integrity.

A case in point is warranty. Anyone who has been in the pool business knows that warranty costs can add up rather quickly and drain the bottom line. It is therefore imperative to set aside a percentage of income for these warranty items. You are not required to replace any warranty items that come up two days after they have expired. However, ethics leads us to take care of it because it is the right thing to do. That customer will be happy and probably refer us to their friends because we did the ethical thing.

If you do not handle your business in a fiscally responsible way, you might be forced to hold to the actual warranty date. I look at warranty as a form of advertising. If our customers are happy, they will tell their friends and family.

To quote Pierce Pritchett, “Your ethical muscle grows stronger every time you use it.”

In what ways have you been presented with issues that ethics came into play? How did you handle it?