Southwest Florida Business Today featured our story in its special Business Survival Success section in the April issue. Here’s a link to find a free distribution point. Click on the image of the page, to read a larger version (will open in a new window). The text is also flowed beneath the image for easy reading.
Our Business Survival Success Story – Elemental Stone and Waterworks, Inc.
by John Comito, owner and designer
By the end of 2007, when Elemental Stone and Waterworks was christened in my family’s living room, I had a broad base of skills in various trades, including frame carpentry, trim carpentry, windows and doors, remodeling, soffit and fascia, kitchens, and pool tile.
I had recently worked on some large projects involving faux stone work, including one major job in Virginia Beach. It was a long way to travel for a young laborer, it was a fun trip, and the photos of that hotel pool grotto and lagoon we built are rather impressive. But my heart wasn’t in it. Shooting concrete into plaster casts to approximate a stone-like look just didn’t come close to the colors, textures, durability, and endless options that natural stone provides. You could call me a romantic. Fortunately, however, Elemental’s uncompromising commitment to using only the finest-quality materials and time-tested techniques has earned us an avid base of customers for whom only the best will do.
That’s not to say we only do large, luxury home jobs. But we do refuse to lower our standards to simply “get the job.” We strive to clearly communicate what’s entailed and we stand by our work. If we’re not the right contractor for the job, we are the first to say so, and we also maintain referral and subcontractor partnerships with other providers who uphold similar values of integrity and providing the best possible service.
Wherever you work, it’s important to have a small town mentality. Companies who operate against the interests of their customers or referring companies can’t last long. It’s not the easy way, and it’s not the fast way, but I firmly believe that communicating, doing right by people, enhancing the lives of our clients and engaging in structured, trust-based networking (like in our BNI group) are all ways to ensure business survival success. Finally, cultivating a list of happy clients who are eager to provide a reference by phone or email, maintaining top-of-mind recognition and a personable brand on social media, and being willing to step in and go above and beyond when another contractor has dropped the ball are all essential parts of a business success insurance policy. Oh – and having an online portfolio of our projects that even non-potential clients enjoy looking at doesn’t hurt.
At Elemental Stone and Waterworks, Inc., our tagline is Setting Dreams in Stone. We started at one of the most precipitous times in our region’s economy. And we never forget that our homeowners’ dreams and our commercial clients’ image are worth our utmost attention. I don’t think we’d still be in business otherwise. We’re grateful to continue to accomplish our mission of “Elevating quality of life with the aesthetic arrangement of elemental materials.”