Filtercon Technologies: Lessons from a Successful Small Business Owner
Sep 29, 2011 03:13PM
By Linda Sechrist
In today’s soft economy, many individuals are looking for ways to reinvent themselves. Bill Walling got a head start in 1997 when he donned a set of entrepreneurial wings and left his senior procurement position at General Dynamics. Now the founder of Filtercon Technologies, Walling’s gratitude for transitioning from employee to self-directed business owner grows daily, just like his client referral list. Ever more excited about his choice of businesses to represent, Walling thoroughly enjoys applying his technical background to learning about many current technologies that help people improve their water supply and their health.
Looking to transfer his career expertise to a business that relied on technology, Walling chose the perfect industry and the fascinating field of water chemistry, as well as a comprehensive list of products that few of his competitors offer. Well educated and knowledgeable about what it took to be a savvy buyer, Walling was challenged when his new water technology business required him to sit on the opposite side of the table as a seller. “I knew I needed to learn something new,” he says.
Walling’s learning curve included using education as a marketing tool to create recognition for how a home water filtration and treatment system could make a difference in someone’s overall health. Until he was called upon to do radio interviews with local radio celebrity, William “Bill” Kellas, Ph.D., the founder of the Center for Advanced Medicine, the idea never occurred to him. Kellas’ syndicated talk show, Health Talk – A Second Opinion, is a San Diego Saturday staple on KPRZ-1210 AM radio.
Walling jokes that until he spoke with Kellas, he considered his skin an armor that protected his inner organs, rather than a porous sponge that easily absorbs chemicals such as the chlorine used in municipal water systems. “I was among the majority of individuals who didn’t recognize that non-chlorinated water was important to the health of babies, as well as swimmers, who absorb chlorine through the skin and breathe fumes into their lungs,” advises Walling. He credits Kellas and Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, for his education on the vital role that clean water plays in health.
“I was fortunate to meet Dr. Batmanghelidj, who bought one of our systems to install in his Virginia home,” recalls Walling. “Until Batmanghelidj’s death, he continued to recommend our water filtration system, as does Dr. Mark Drucker, medical director of the Center for Advanced Medicine.”
Today, with 14 years as a successful small business owner, Walling is generous with his advice to those that want to follow in his entrepreneurial footsteps. “It’s great to take care of business at hand, but staying ahead of competition requires keeping up with industry trends,” notes Walling, who realized several years ago that clean water was going to become a huge issue, particularly when it came to emergency preparedness. “People who own our disinfection equipment got to fully appreciate their foresightedness during San Diego’s September blackout, when some residents had to rely on bottled water or boil their water for at least a week,” he says.
Confident about leaning into a successful green future with green jobs and non-polluting green products, Walling is glad he made the leap to business owner. Reflection on his life-changing decision results in one sure maxim that applies to anyone who considers establishing or buying a business intended to help the planet’s eco-systems: People need to feel good about their investment in products or services that help the environment. “Our products don’t use salt or chemicals, and our clients don’t need plastic throwaway water bottles; they can fill up reusable ones from every tap in their home,” he states.