With 33 stores across Ontario, Water Depot is swiftly becoming the province’s water treatment solutions provider of choice.
“I thought to myself that no one in this industry is doing it right, and someday, someone is going to come along and do it right, and I’ll be out of business. I came to the realization that I could start something totally different than anyone else has done before, and that is franchising the stores that specialize in water treatment,” recounts Peter Strain, Founder of Water Depot.
Providing Diverse Solutions
Water is the solvent of life. When that solvent becomes contaminated, even by microscopic particles or bacteria, the results can be disastrous.
Water Depot sells many different types of water softeners that safely remove minerals in our water without the use of toxic chemicals. With soft water, homeowners can use a third of the recommended amount of detergent in their washing machines and dishwashers, and still receive better results. Healthier hair and skin are other added benefits.
By softening water, Water Depot has helped restaurants by reducing their soap and detergent costs by 60 to 70%.
Water Depot also provides other products depending on customer needs. With Water Depot’s iron removal systems, customers are able to remove iron, rusts, and bad tastes or unpleasant odours from the water. Using their reverse osmosis units, customers will experience cleaner, tastier, chemical-free water. Where bacteria is a larger concern than the presence of trace minerals, Water Depot’s ultraviolet disinfection technology can be used to destroy the bacteria.
“The great thing about our market is that everybody is a customer. Everyone has to drink water, whether it’s filtered drinking water, removing iron and aesthetics, or whether there’s a health issue because of bacteria in industry. All of those people are our market,” Strain says.
Water Depot is the only water treatment solutions provider in the province to operate using the franchise business model. The vast majority of their franchisees— 90 to 95% — were customers or friends of customers who heard about the business opportunity.
“I think there are only two reasons people fail in business: lack of capital and lack of knowledge. By becoming a franchisee at Water Depot, it is our responsibility to make sure that you are properly capitalized and make sure that we’re the guiding hand, educator and provider of instruction,” Strain tells us.
Running a franchise is a good idea for those with an entrepreneurial spirit, who still seek a little bit of added support. Strain believes that the best trained team wins, and Water Depot’s franchise owners are well supported with good products and a sound marketing strategy based on putting customers first.
Strain explains why good marketing is so crucial with the following comparison:
“Having a great product is like winking at a girl in the dark; it makes you feel good, but is of little effect. It’s the biggest challenge of any company to be able to market their product, and we’ve been so successful because we have a marketing plan that works.”
Backed by much needed products, good marketing and a commitment to their clients, Water Depot has rapid growth plans for the near future.
“Our goal in the next three to five years is to become dominant in Ontario. We have over 30 stores, and we think we have the potential to have approximately 75 stores. Then, our plan is to branch out to Quebec and the western provinces,” Strain remarks.
Looking to the long-term, Water Depot may also explore opportunities for expansion into the United States.
“I think that too many businesses stretch themselves too thin. But certainly after five years, when we’re dominant in Canada, I could see that happening,” Strain remarks.
Customers Come First
Any customer who enters a Water Depot franchise is met with treatment and service that goes the extra mile.
“Most people don’t realize that taking care of your customers, even if it means reaching into your own pocket, is the best long-term strategy. That’s what we’ve done. We take care of our customers.
We really believe in treating our franchisees, and our franchisees treating our customers, with the utmost respect. We model the golden rule, which is to treat others the way you would like to be treated,” states Strain.
This sense of dedication, to both providing a great product and valuing customers, also applies to Water Depot’s interest in helping to solve issues that affect the Canadian community. Water Depot locations have collectively raised over $3,500 for the Canadian Cancer Society by donating five dollars per unit for rentals to the organization. Water Depot Kitchener has also sponsored the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Telus walk.
“Our theme has always been to ask ourselves the question ‘how can we be better or different from other competitors?’” reveals Strain.
Water Depot’s business strategy has certainly been effective in distinguishing the company and spurring their swift growth as they continue to provide corporations and homes with solutions for safe, clean, high-quality water.