Having been raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, Dave Parker had envisioned a bright future for himself as his ambitions led him to open his own successful business. Having always enjoyed working with his hands, Dave first took interest in the plumbing industry and it was his experience working in the field that led him to pursue water treatment technologies. At the age of 27, Dave opened Clear Flow Water Solutions, which he would later describe as the “greatest possible outcome” and it was the beginning of his professional career. An accomplishment Dave takes pride in is his ability to provide job opportunities to those interested in the industry. Although often busy being both a father and a husband, Dave aims to set a positive example for his children in the hopes that they will learn from his business success in the future.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I had always enjoyed working in the plumbing industry, however, the company I had worked for did not provide me with a positive experience, so I knew something had to change. I always thought outside the box and when the time was right I knew I needed to start my own company. I wanted to have as much control as possible over the outcome of each job, ensuring quality and efficiency.
How do you make money?
We see a profit by providing the best possible customer service and overall experience for every call that we receive. Word of mouth referrals are the best marketing strategy as they generate the most amount of business. A satisfied customer is also a return customer so we do our absolute best to provide the best water solution services.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
The first year I was in business I had to invest and profits that were earned right back into the business itself. However, this is just a minor challenge all new business owners will face, and the long-term results outweigh the short-term struggles.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted your own success? If so, how did you overcome any obstacles?
There were many instances where I doubted the success of the business, however I think that is where perseverance comes in. Approximately ten years ago, I did not possess the funds to market online or even develop a website. I was ultimately forced to go door to door and introduce myself to other local business that I thought that I could network with. It only took a few weeks before I started getting referrals.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works well to generate new business?
A useful marketing strategy is supporting local community events and providing sponsorships, this is a great way to brand your company name within your local community and acquire more business.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
A difficult decision I had to make recently was whether to downsize in order to make the company more manageable. There is also the possibility of hiring more staff and expanding but it comes down to what is best for the business. At the end of the day we must consider the future of the company and decide what will generate more profit without sacrificing the quality of the service.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Persistence is what makes Clear Flow Water Solutions successful. When running your own business, it is so easy to become discouraged as there are so many challenges that you must face trying to generate more business. However, despite and minor grievances it is important to maintain a positive attitude and you will eventually get to where you want to be.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Running a successful business is a significant accomplishment on its own, however, being in a position where I can share the wealth with others and provide job security is extremely rewarding.
What business books have inspired you?
Two books that have influenced me professionally are “Worst to First” by Gordon Bethune, and “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” by Richard Bethune. Both books focus on clear, simple solutions to any potential business queries.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
Updating our computers and software programs really helped to expedite things. It is important that any business remain up to date with technology as it ensures the best possible service.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Being able to look back on how much we have accomplished over the past ten years is very rewarding. I am always willing to challenge myself and taking on new business ventures, so the idea of continuously improving our services and expanding on our achievements excites me.