A survey conducted on behalf of the ...
Household Water Specialist, Inc., Covington, Ga., serves a 14-county area, mostly mid-state, offering a full line of residential products and specializing in problematic well water.
Distinguished by its emphasis on reliability at a reasonable price and with a personal touch, the business comprises Lee Lundy, self-proclaimed “owner/service tech/installer/floor sweeper/and anything else that comes along;” his wife Kellie, accountant; Office Manager Dianne; and Mr. Haney, the company’s 10-year-veteran service technician and installer. Lundy plans to expand his staff in the near future with an additional service technician/installer.
The establishment of Household Water Specialist dates back to 1986, when Lundy’s father, a Sears employee, replaced the water heater at the family’s 100-year-old farm house and took note of the surrounding paper-thin copper piping. With the help of a colleague who operated a water filtration company on the side, Lundy’s father installed a manual pH filter at the home and assumed a part-time job selling and installing filters.
In 1989, Lundy’s father launched his own water dealership, and Lundy and his brother spent evenings, weekends and summer vacations working in the industry. Despite his father’s passion for his work—he once remembered to pack water filtration books but not clothes for a family vacation—Lundy said the family business was never forced onto him or his brother, who both went on to study non-water trades at their father’s recommendation.
When his father was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, Lundy went part-time with his corporate IT job to help run the family business and fulfill his father’s dying wish—to take good care of his “filter friends.”
Knowledge in Action
Lundy, a Water Quality Association (WQA) member, is currently a Certified Water Specialist II and Certified Installer. “After my father passed away, I felt that I needed to prove to our current and future customers that I knew what I was doing, instead of someone that just inherited a business that didn’t have a clue,” Lundy said, adding that he recognizes these certifications are not worth the paper they are printed on unless a holder puts the underlying information into practice.
For example, having seen both well-balanced and wholly profit-driven companies come and go during his tenure, Lundy felt compelled to educate shoppers. Household Water Specialist’s website, therefore, offers bulleted lists advising potential customers on what to avoid and what to ask when shopping for a water filtration system.
“Each bullet has a distinct story behind it,” he said, “from the people that had a horrific experience with a salesman that refused to leave until they bought from him to the scare tactics that some salespeople use. If you can’t sell it honestly, find another occupation.”
Recipe for Success
Using his multi-ingredient recipe for success—family knowledge passed on, lessons learned through the WQA and personal experience—Lundy has managed to operate his business such that it has not suffered amid ongoing economic downturn.
“When you show value in the products and services you provide, people will buy,” Lundy said, noting that his company extensively field tests all products before bringing them to market.
Lundy ultimately attributes the longevity and steady growth of Household Water Specialist to its solid foundation and refined people-and-profits balancing act. “Profits keep the business running, but without the people, the profits never come in.”