A sign of change? (reflections).
Knowing the importance of, and need for, statistics in our industry, Pool & Spa News undertook our second major attempt at gathering data of its own earlier this year.
We begin reporting our efforts in this issue of the magazine, beginning on page 71. This survey reports information on portable spas involving the retailing and service sectors of the industry, including customer service issues; average profit margins on certain products; and sales techniques, such as whether mood rooms really work.
The survey was conducted by an independent market research company.
This time, we were pleasantly surprised by the participation rate of 41 percent. In general, statisticians aim for a minimum participation rate of 40 percent for data to be considered reliable. That number does change according to the type of study being conducted.
We want to thank all of our readers who so generously gave their time and information to help us with this survey. In the past, survey attempts by Pool & Spa News--and other organizations in the industry--have been plagued by low participation. The lack of cooperation has been a matter of public debate for some time.
Industry leaders, as well as this magazine, have put out many messages asking for more input. A lack of information casts the industry in a bad light to potential investors and lenders, who become suspicious of an industry where reliable data is not available. Without information, investors cannot determine whether the industry as a whole is in a state of growth or flux, whether a particular product segment is performing at its peak and which future impacts might weigh negatively against the industry.
We hope this survey is a sign of change--and that this will be the first of many other successful surveys, which will create a new wave of interest in statistical gathering.
Many of you approached our booth at a recent trade show to ask about one of our colleagues, Linda Mitchem. Linda used to head up our list rental business, known to the pool and spa industry as Baker Advertising.
She had been fighting a valiant battle with cancer for the past few years. Sadly, our vibrant and dedicated coworker lost that battle on New Year's Day. She is survived by a close-knit family of eight brothers and sisters, her mother, and a group of admiring coworkers.