It’s a brand new year, and that means everyone is looking forward, setting resolutions and goals on how they — and their businesses — will seize opportunities in 2015.
As we do each January, the editors of WQP asked several industry professionals to provide their thoughts on the year ahead in the 2015 Industry Forecast.
As has been the trend in the past few years, the contributors noted that although the water quality industry will face challenges in the coming year, many opportunities will present themselves as well. Dennis Warwick, owner of West Carolina Water Treatment and WQP’s 2013 Dealer of the Year, had some especially interesting advice for those looking to seize opportunities in 2015: Expect the unexpected.
Warwick explained that, like many dealers, he often comes across certain water contaminants and issues that are endemic to the local water quality, and therefore is most comfortable selling systems to resolve those particular issues. “You can become so comfortable that it almost seems odd when a customer has a need for something else,” he writes. “This is exactly the situation that I have found myself in more often lately.”
Warwick sees “unusual” customer requests as opportunities — a chance for his dealership to differentiate itself from the competition by being able to handle “outside-the-box situations.”
Dealerships across the country are likely to continue seeing a greater variety of requests from their customers. In recent years, consumers have become increasingly interested in and informed about their water quality. This trend can be seen throughout the industry, from the increasing requests and questions that dealers receive about water quality to the ever-more-numerous commercials I see on TV for water filters and treatment systems.
The new year is an ideal time to get your dealership ready to handle any water treatment issue that comes its way. Education is a key factor, beginning with staying up to date on the latest news reports — this will not only keep you informed on the latest water issues affecting the U.S. and your region, but also clue you in to what your customers are hearing and may be concerned about.
Training sessions, seminars and conferences also are crucial to being prepared. Many vendors provide training, and may even be able to hold training sessions at your location. Getting involved with the Water Quality Assn. or your regional trade association and attending trade shows and conferences also are excellent ways to stay informed on the latest water quality trends and issues.
As you set your company’s goals, keep education at the top of the list — this key factor will not only allow you to prepare for the unexpected, but also to seize every opportunity that comes your way.