Based on Water Technology’s 2015 Benchmark Survey (click here for the results) and comments from financial experts, the water industry is trending in a positive direction. The majority of respondents on the survey indicated their 2015 revenues had increased during the last fiscal year, with 67.9 percent indicating increased revenues and 24.5 responding that their revenues were unchanged. Average revenues ranged from $1,095,000 per year in the West/Mountain region to $2,779,287 in the Northeast.
The move toward servicing restaurants continued in 2015, with 60 percent of respondents indicating restaurants as the No. 1 commercial or industrial customer served. However, this is down from 80 percent who served this market in 2014. Second to restaurants were office and institutional drinking water systems, with nearly 52 percent stating they serve this segment.
In 2014, the economy was the primary business concern for water treatment dealers and professionals. A little more than 42 percent of the 2015 respondents indicated that business growth was their biggest concern, with the economy a close second at about 46 percent.
With the residential water treatment industry largely dependent on the housing and home improvement markets, their health directly affects the water treatment industry. Analyzing some key housing and overall economic statistics from experts and our Benchmark Survey can help us determine how water treatment businesses are progressing so far in 2015 and where dealers and other professionals can look in the future for further opportunities.
Upturn in the housing market
In general, the U.S. economy is improving. According to Andrea McCullion, senior vice president – sales and marketing for Foundation Finance Company, the economy and housing markets have improved enough for homeowners to again invest their resources in their houses. "We are seeing far more applications from new homeowners than we have in the past couple of years, and the lending programs available for water dealers today are far more numerous than they have been in the past five years."
These increases indicate, McCullion says, that lenders have more confidence in the direction of the economy and the housing market.
"The residential market seems to be on pace for a successful year based on the number of applications for credit that we see and what dealers are telling us," McCullion notes. "For a successful rest of the year, dealers need to continue to invest in marketing and to take advantage of the … financing programs available to help them overcome any buyer cost objections."
A bright future
As we move into the second half of 2015, the industry has many opportunities to grow. Its adoption of new technology and flexibility as professionals enter new markets allow for continued optimism, expansion and future success. Thank you to all our readers and digital audience for participating in the 2015 Benchmark Survey and helping us provide market trends and information to the water industry.