Rich Anderson, Founder and CEO of ClearView Water, LLC, is sole proprietor of the full- service dealership that is located along the Front Range of Colorado. His jump to business ownership came as a result of industry downsizing in 2009.
Anderson spent his entire professional career in the service business. He got his start in water treatment through Aquion Water Treatment Products (AWTP). The company had been in communication with him for a few years, and was interested in hiring him. He had previous experience with the company’s CEO and the Chairman of the Board in another industry. After a few more conversations, he was convinced it was the right path to take. Anderson joined the company as VP of Sales. “It was a great experience to work at that level and my first time working for a manufacturer versus a service business,” he noted.
When his position was eliminated in July 2009, Anderson was faced with making life changes. It wasn’t his best day but the world didn’t end either, so he took a few days off. Early in the day he was to start his job search, he didn’t even want to turn on the computer in his home office. This was not a good sign! Anderson took a day trip to Red Rocks, and sat in the ampitheatre, thinking of what to do next. Questioning himself intently over the next 90 minutes was the most important time of his life. “I totally opened myself to what I’m looking for, what I want, who I am, what I stand for, what I won’t do, and jotted them down,” he recalled. “It only took about 90 minutes or so, but when I left that park, I had the sketch for the business and went from there.”
ClearView Water launched on August 1, 2009 and started selling product by the end of the year. “We spent months developing our brand, our messages and my service partners,” Anderson said. The company’s brand is built around authentically serving people, helping them lead healthier lives and empowering them to make better choices about their water. Anderson views the industry as another avenue to help people and their families.
He revels in how the industry positively impacts so many facets of people’s lives every day. “In a nutshell, we empower families and businesses to make better choices about their water and water services.”
Anderson works with three plumbing companies to handle all of the installations and service and will have one sales representative soon. He handles all marketing, sales and operations, and plans to add two sales representatives in the first part of 2010. “For everyone’s safety, I don’t turn wrenches! Our skilled service technicians (contractors) handle all of that.” ClearView has one company vehicle to cover the Front Range region (approximately 12 counties) that runs from Fort Collins south to Castle Rock, with the primary service area in Denver.
Although POU drinking water and whole-house filtration are the bread and butter of the business, ClearView is now beginning to expand into offering filtration units for businesses. “We want to eliminate the unreal waste and carbon footprint associated with any bottled water use or water delivery service,” Anderson said. “We’re passionate about actively making our world and environment a better place, namely by helping people understand they can make better choices.
“In Colorado, people are generally passionate about health and wellness. It has been cool to bring water quality into that conversation. I have a total blast doing it—it has been unbelievably fun to start with a dream and build from there. Plus, I wear Keen’s everyday to work versus Cole Haan’s. I’ll take it.”
With hopes of a more vibrant economy in the future, Anderson keeps a clear- headed focus on what direction to take. “As tempting as it is to open up new service and sales lines, I limit us to the core business right now. I believe it is important for a new brand to establish itself and what it wants to be known for before expanding. I’m sure our customers will start asking for more services over time. When it makes sense for us to expand into new offerings, we’ll be happy to meet the needs of our customers and the market.”