NO MOUNTAIN TOO HIGH Colorado dealership blends business & industry knowledge for customized solutions Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning’s service area extends from northern Colorado to an hour south of Denver, treating a diverse array of water quality problems. After vacationing in Colorado three times, Tom Kinnane and Michelle Rucks knew they wanted to leave the East Coast and move to the mountainous region. By combining Rucks’ extensive business background with Kinnane’s more than 10 years of experience in the water treatment industry, the pair opened Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning in Longmont, Colo., in January 2017. “We vacationed in Colorado several times and we really wanted to live out here,” Rucks said. “So this was an opportunity to be in a business that we really enjoyed and saw a lot of value to and live in a great place that that we love to be.” Rucks is the the owner and CEO of Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning. The business’ website highlights the fact that it is “a woman-owned small business,” a point that several customers have commented on, Rucks said. Prior to the move west, Rucks had launched a successful gardening business and Kinnane had worked for a Hague Quality Water Intl. dealer in Maryland. “I’ve been in business for dozens of years, so between the two of us—Tom the master water man and myself for the business end of it—we thought we would start our own company so we could provide the very best water to Colorado,” Rucks said. For the duo, opening a business together was the ideal way to leverage each other’s strengths in the right location. However, starting a business has had its challenges, including navigating the regulatory landscape and establishing a customer base. Building a Business When Rucks and Kinnane launched Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning, their plates were full with tackling details such as regulatory issues, insurance and taxes in a new location, while also working to make a name for themselves in their service area. “When you first start, you almost have to do way more jobs than you’re capable of to get yourself to the point where you can afford to add some staff,” Kinnane said. Through a combination of quality service and rigorous marketing, the pair are approaching the point where they are looking to expand their staff. A large portion of the company’s marketing involves finding unique ways to get their name out in the community, including petitioning local businesses to allow them to set up a booth and sign in front of their establishments and talking with passerbys about their water quality. “Even if you don’t set an appointment or get a lead, it’s important for people to see us and see the name of the company,” Kinnane said. “They might not need something today, but they might need something in six months and see us at another venue or another farmers market and that’s when they come up and decide to talk to us and take advantage of our services.” […]

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