Richard Townsend


Aqua Pool & Spa Inc.

Manteca, Calif.

We have two offices in California — one in Sacramento and one in Manteca — that are 40 miles apart. Each covers a market that spans a 100-mile radius.

But this year we ventured beyond our usual build area. We’ve even gone as far as 100 miles outside our territory to capture a client.

Increasing the sales territory keeps our people busy. And we try to pinpoint potential jobs with higher margins to justify the travel expense.

We seek out affluent neighborhoods and more challenging projects that require sophisticated engineering, such as pool installations on hillsides. We’re targeting projects that are somewhat off the beaten path.

The fact that our work is 100 percent in-house guarantees quality and reduces cost by eliminating the middleman, namely subcontractors. We’re a large company with a strong infrastructure, so that helps as well.

For distant jobs, we send our crews in the most fuel-efficient cars we have. And we always try to recycle and reuse our wood, steel and plumbing instead of throwing them out.

We also boosted our advertising this year, and sent direct mailers to our existing customer base. We network with architects and commercial builders. We’ve even traveled 300 miles to a project for a general contractor we work with regularly.

I believe in pursuing every avenue and maintaining those types of relationships. We’re grateful for every bid we receive.

We’re always trying to differentiate ourselves by developing new and unique pool designs.

We spend multiple hours with our clients, whether it’s in our huge Manteca showroom or in the field, where we may show them some of our existing projects.

At the moment, we’re focused on enhancing our customer service and fostering those relationships that will help generate referrals in the future.