It’s summertime in Chicago and it couldn’t be better—the weather is warm, the beaches are bustling and the Cubs are leading all of major league baseball. Although us Midwesterners are enjoying the season and all of its accessories, I am reminded every time I read through a newspaper that there are regions of this country that are facing serious water woes: they are running out of it.
I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, but yes the economy is down. These are tough times, especially for small business owners whose majority of revenue is generated through the residential market. With housing starts at all-time lows, you might very well be feeling the negative effects rippling though your business.
But luckily it’s not all doom and gloom. For water treatment dealers who practice smart business techniques and put in some extra effort, it’s business as usual.
There are an estimated 78.2 million baby boomers in the U.S. today, and of these about 7,900 will turn 62 each day this year. This means roughly 330 Americans reach retirement age every hour, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Trends are always changing, but are you keeping up with them? While technological advancements inevitably improve our way of life—just as microwaves allow us to cook up meals in only a few minutes and cell phones enable us to communicate with one another from any location at any time—the initial acceptance of technology is often met with some resistance.
Is green really the new black? When former Vice President Al Gore leapt into the ecological spotlight in 2006 with the film An Inconvenient Truth, many people in the U.S. and around the world took note. As celebrities began to preach the word of the environment and corporations changed product packaging and advertising campaigns, it became clear that a new way of life was upon us.
Many small business owners such as water dealers like you often find it a struggle to gain new business. While some remain content with the status of their business and clientele, many wonder what else they can do to expand their market reach.
After digging a little deeper, we usually find that these dealers thrive on referrals alone. If you rely on word-of-mouth customers, it is no wonder that you serve the same customers again and again.
Water disinfection technologies are becoming evermore important as the quality of drinking water declines, especially in areas of the world where access to safe drinking water is limited. Millions of people worldwide continue to die each year because of contaminated drinking water, and microorganisms and bacteria such as Cryptosporidium and E. coli remain a challenge to water systems everywhere.
With 2007 behind us, now is the time to take a look at some of the issues that may have an influence on our industry in the coming year. While it is difficult to try to predict what the new year will bring, I believe it is important to look back at the events and issues that came into play last year in order to better prepare for the effects they will have on the water treatment industry in 2008.
While many of us in this industry are far removed from the days of attending school, we should never stop learning. The education process merely begins in the classroom, as some of the most valuable information comes from our experience in the field or by talking with others who share their experiences with us.
This past October marked the 35th anniversary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Act. This legislation certainly changed the landscape for national water quality issues by establishing a basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into U.S. waters and giving the EPA authority to implement pollution control programs. The act also continued requirements to set water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters.