Rich Anderson spent years in the corporate world, most recently as the vice president of sales for Aquion Water Treatment Products, before becoming founder and CEO of ClearView Water LLC, in Denver in 2009.
In Colorado, Anderson says they are fortunate to enjoy a relatively high quality of water. Taste issues are predominantly in the Denver metro area and hard water issues start cropping up in the suburbs, the Front Range and toward the Rockies.
As far as challenges presented by the economic downturn, Anderson started the business in the midst of it, so “[he] really wouldn’t know it any other way,” he said. “I’m not a headline watcher, either. We are successful because we build strong relationships each day and those turn into strong business.”
One way Anderson sees ClearView Water standing out is in the area of marketing. “We are absolutely transparent in our marketing,” he said. “Zero blind ads, surveys and sweepstakes promotions.
“The industry as a whole is still locked into some pretty antiquated marketing vehicles,” he continued, “but that is changing.”
ClearView Water also maintains a strong social media presence. “Social media, e-marketing and blogs are great ways to keep visibility high and let Google know who you are,” Anderson advised.
And while he notes that a great website is important because it is your company’s home on the Web and shares your capabilities with the market, it can never replace the human element and connection that people are looking for.
Anderson’s corporate background has informed his current marketing strategy, for which he credits two marketing professionals, Steve Good and Mark Vance. “I took many of their lessons with me on this new venture,” Anderson said.
Along with transparent marketing, “what you see is what you get” is also true for the company’s sales and service. “I’m personally on site for every new installation to ensure the transition from ‘sale’ to ‘new customer’ is absolutely smooth,” Anderson said.
Approximately 75% of the company’s business is in the commercial market, with the residential market bringing in the remaining 25%. Residential business is more profitable in the short term, Anderson said, but the focus of his business is on the commercial market because of the long-term profits there as well as the customer loyalty.
A surprising amount of ClearView’s work is actually sold over the phone, and that includes whole-house systems, Anderson said. “I take that as a great compliment to the trust equity we’ve built up in the Denver metro area.”
In order to continue growing, “aggressive goals are the name of the game,” Anderson said. “We grew installations over 1,200% in 2010 and are tracking to increase over 300% this year. When we hit budget in 2011, we’re really going to be positioned well for the future. Plus, we have a lot of fun along the way, as well!”
Association and community involvement offers many benefits, and Anderson said he especially appreciates what the Water Quality Assn. does for the industry on the regulatory side. Locally, ClearView Water is an active member of Behind The Moon (a Denver-area networking group), Chamber of Commerce of Highlands Ranch and the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce.
As for the future of the industry, “I see great things,” Anderson said. “The awareness around water quality is only rising, and the public’s push back against bottled water usage is really driving attention toward point-of-entry and point-of-use systems.”