You’re in the water treatment business because it’s profitable and adding specialized POU equipment can increase those profits.
However, without a proper water cooler business plan and sound operating procedures, you won’t get very far. How do you develop your plan and procedures? Keep reading for all the steps!
Establishing a Water Cooler Business Plan
Determining your target customer is critical in this process because you will select equipment based on your customers and their specific geographic locations.
Tightly grouped customers help keep costs down and reduce service response time. Get detailed information from equipment representatives that include:
- Initial cost per unit
- Time allotted to install the units
- The level of monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual service you’ll provide
Add in the cost of possible parts they may need to exchange, additional equipment to keep on hand, and the technician’s time. With that information, you can determine monthly equipment rental fees.
Regulations and plumbing codes surrounding installation and sales of POU coolers will vary between states. So, do your research and be selective about who you hire. Potential employees should be knowledgeable in refrigeration, electrical, and hopefully plumbing.
Why does it matter? Poor hiring decisions will come back to haunt you in large damage claims because of sloppy installation.
Take advantage of organizations such as the Water Quality Association that provides specialized training in all aspects of water treatment methods, including classes in ethical sales methods.
Develop relationships with your equipment suppliers as they are your single most important resource in providing online technical guidance, selection of product, or in-house training.
Attention to detail is crucial when installing POU systems and developing your water cooler business plan. Your installation practices are your company’s billboard, and customers will be watching, making a list of questions for you along the way.
We recommend organizing fittings in a large tackle box, neatly labeled. Keep your most used tools during installation in a separate pouch for quick access.
If the technician is organized, they can complete the job quickly.
- Keep tubing neat and on the roll. Tubing comes with a plug. Once you’ve cut your tubing, place the plug back into the unused tubing to prevent foreign particles from entering.
- When connecting the POU cooler to a potable water source, try to locate the cooler within 25 feet of the water source and within six feet of an outlet.
- Check the amperage rating of the outlet and verify all appliances on that particular circuit won’t throw the breaker once the POU cooler is added.
Maintenance Issues to Consider
If your company has just taken over an account, be wary of using an existing water line. You have no idea how long it’s been there, and you should always document previous damage to keep on file.
- Install a separate shutoff for the POU; identify the shutoff with a tag and inform the customer of its purpose.
- Develop a plan in case a boil-water alert is issued. Instruct the customer to shut off the water and not use it until the alert is lifted. Depending on the severity, supply the customer with bottled water.
- Reverse osmosis systems require a drain. Make sure you use quality drains and locate them on the correct side of the P trap.
- When running water lines, use quality tubing and remember that heat and sunlight can contribute to tubing breakdown. You may want to use black tubing with UV protection.
- Consider municipalities that add chloramines to drinking water. Chemicals can impact all parts of the POU system you installed. If you use the wrong filter, chloramines can rust stainless steel in hot tanks.
Most importantly, add a separate pressure regulator and a leak detection device.
Once you’ve completed the installation:
- Don’t forget to set your yearly inspection and filter exchange.
- Make sure you provide the customer with a written record of the filter exchanged and wipe down the cooler with a quality cleaner.
- Exchange the cooler and return it to your shop for cleaning and sanitation, for older models.
- Consider using coolers with built-in ozonation or UV (sanitization systems) to prevent biofilm formation.
- Thoroughly inspect the float mechanism, as all filtration coolers are equipped with a float mechanism.
- Shut the water off, put on latex gloves, pull out the float mechanism, and inspect it.
- Check the water lines, clean off the condenser, exchange the drip tray, and wipe down the cooler with a quality cleaner. Replace any parts that look worn immediately to prevent service calls and water leaks.
The Bottom Line
By following our suggestions when developing your water dispenser business plan. And, you’ll be better organized, prepared, profitable, and your customers will be pleased with your reliable service and professionalism. When in doubt, seek out professionals; combined expertise and wisdom are invaluable to become and remain successful in this endeavor.
Waterways Premium Water Dispensers designs and manufactures innovative beverage dispensers that combine stylish appearance with unique operating features to provide customers with many product choices to satisfy their beverage dispensing needs.
Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today!