So here it is. Time to make our way to our offices and begin
scrambling around to try to keep our businesses on track and far away from the
headlines that so many others are making. Not only have we tried to step
lightly with our finances this past year, but we tended to cut out some of the
really good things that our industry has to offer. That hurts everyone in the long run.
I myself have watched as I make the choice to sacrifice one
element of my business for another. It is the nature of the game. Travel,
advertising/marketing and further education/certification budgets seem to
suffer the fastest and greatest in hard times--items that act as
cornerstones to our continuing advancements. On page 30, you will find,
?If Times are Good ... Promote, If Times are Bad ... Promote
Harder,? which addresses the issues of marketing and advertising.
As we plan our budgets and look at what really is going to
help our businesses, let's not forget these things. Let us not forget
that John Smith had a water problem and did not know what to do until he
received a flier or postcard directing him to your business for the solution.
Let us not forget the phone call requiring answers regarding contaminants in
the area, new and affordable technologies and maximum contaminant levels that
your staff was educated enough to answer instead of having to redirect them to
your competition. Let us not forget the new product you found at that last
trade show that your competition missed and, therefore, could not offer to your
It seems that the water treatment industry has not suffered
as badly as so many others such as the travel industry, retail business and, of
course, information technology. We have met with some bumps and bruises, but
all in all, there is great hope for 2003 and beyond.
As I do each January, I asked industry professionals to tell
us their thoughts on the future of the water treatment industry. What can we
expect? What changes will we see? What should we watch and follow carefully?
Beginning on page 12, take a look at what experts are saying from the
point-of-use/point-of-entry market to bottled water.
I hope that as we begin this new year, each of us looks at
it with eyes wide open and with fresh new ideas and innovation. Now is not the
time to hold back. Now is the time to tell our customers that we are still here
and offering the best products they will ever invest in for their families.