Paying for Pool Safety Equipment
The world is in financial crisis - we all know that and most of us are feeling the effects of it right now. The truth is that not everyone who lives with or uses a pool is rich; but every pool should have Pool Safety Equipment. At the very least you need a barrier like a Fence, a Safety Net or a Safety Cover. Sometimes, that can create a temporary problem. Young families and single parents, to name two financially vulnerable groups, might not have the funds to make the pool safe - yet they are the folks who need Pool Safety the most; there is almost always a young child at risk.
Quality Pool Safety Equipment is made to a very high standard from hi-tech materials and is never cheap; so here are a few suggestions to help you to raise the money you need to make the pool safe. First thing you do is: -
Start a Pool Safety Fund
The basic concept is to get people interested enough in your Pool Safety Fund to come to your home, or an outside venue, and spend some money or make a donation of cash, time or a service that they can offer.
Here are a few ways to raise money for the Pool Safety Fund - there are many more ideas out there and if you think of a good one please let us know. Any or all of the events outlined below may be of interest to your local newspaper or radio station - so tell them about it well before it happens and they might do a story on your event and boost attendance. Make some posters and put them up in your neighbourhood.
Car boot sale - Rent pitches or stalls in your car park or garden/field (or even in the street if necessary) to family, friends and neighbours to sell their surplus stuff. Sell your own surplus also and soon you'll be on your way to affording that essential pool safety equipment!
Clothes swap - Much the same as a car-boot sale but with just clothes, shoes and accessories; Ask people to bring unwanted quality items, in a clean condition, and charge an entry fee or a commission on sales, or both.
Auction - Donated goods and 'promises' of people's time, labour and skills can auctioned off to raise funds quickly. Ask your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to donate to the auction; any service or skill that you can raise some money on. (A particularly useful skill is a Bookkeeper to audit the Fund). Ask your local pool company, the ones you do business with, to donate a free pool-clean, basic service and/or inspection report to the highest bidder. They should jump at the chance of getting their foot through the door of a potential new client.
Ask your local car service business to donate something of similar desirability; maybe a wash-and-wax-job on the highest bidders car? Your local Supermarket might donate a trolley-dash as a fundraiser (just for the publicity, especially if yours is a Community Pool). Ask every local business you can think of to donate something; including the likes of MacDonald's, Dairy Queen, Burger King, local shops, etc. Don't forget to involve your local Radio station - they love a human-interest story. Ask a local Celebrity to attend - maybe a local Radio DJ?
Don't take a direct 'No' as an answer until a 'prospect' has said it on 3 different occasions - but don't be too pushy - give reluctant donors enough time to find a way to persuade themselves to help you. The more interest you can generate, the more local people you can involve - and the better your chances of getting the Press involved, so the quicker you'll reach your goal. Brush the kids hair ready for the Press 'Photo Opportunity'. Have all your sponsors in the photos, if possible.
Host any or all of the following - Raffle, Murder Mystery evening - Jumble sale - Wine tasting evenings - Karaoke evenings - Quiz nights - Coffee mornings - Hair beading/plaiting party - Theme or Fancy Dress parties - Live music events (local bands will often play for beer and pizza, or even for free, in a good cause)
Fundraising Kids can: - babysit - mow lawns - wash cars - run a lemonade stall - or old toy sale - go carol singing - hold a Kids Theatre performance
Fundraising Adults, of all ages, can offer: - moving rubbish - gardening - professional services - being the 'duty-driver' for a friends night out - private lessons or tuition - hairdressing - massage - free round of golf - laundry - bake-sales - cleaning windows - painting - hand-made greetings cards
Safety Equipment costs money, but if you can reduce the price of equipment and installation just a little bit - you'll make the pool safe that bit quicker, so shave a little where you can but don't ever compromise on quality.
So, here are a few ways to get a discount on Safety Equipment: - Find out if any Grants are available to offset the costs of Pool Safety Equipment. Ask at your local pool-shop and local government offices. Get several Quotations for the work and get the best start-price you can.
Once you've got a start-price, offer the supplier or installer (let's call them 'they') any deal you can think of to get a better price. 'They' really, really want to somehow find a way that you can afford their product but there is one other thing that they want even more than that - further business.
A switched-on businessman understands the importance of a personal recommendation when he's trying to make his next sale. Companies know what each 'lead' costs them in hard cash - so if you bring them more business you can discuss a commission-based discount. Any businessman would be foolish to refuse such a deal; and most businessmen are shrewd enough to see the merit of this approach.
This could include having a small advertising board outside your home for a month or two after the installation, or carrying their advertising on your car for a few months. Or perhaps you could deliver a couple of thousand of the supplier/installer's publicity in your immediate residential area? Offer to make a home-cooked meal for the installers when they are fitting the equipment - they may well agree to a cash discount equal to the price of such a meal.
Buy online; it's often cheaper to buy quality brands on the internet but it's harder to get a deal because their margins are smaller. It's always worth a try though - if you ask for a discount you might just get one but if you don't ask you definitely won't get one!
So, that leaves one more option - beg! Don't be ashamed - we need to make your pool safe as quickly as possible!
Ken Walker, MyPoolGuru.com