The Shinholser Effect

Steve Shinholser at Pondemonium 2013Steve Shinholser, of Premier Ponds in Maryland, was awarded the “Businessman of the Year” award at Pondemonium last month. He also gave a keynote presentation that’s making quite the ripple with his fellow pond brethren. What Steve showcased was the phenomenal success he’s had implementing a business System. He stays busy, charges top dollar and is having fun running his business while not allowing his business to run him. Any questions on why he won the award and was the first ever customer keynote at Pondemonium?

What Steve has successfully done is to implement a System Based procedure for running his business. For guys who are either in a Hands-On or Working with Others business mode his message is spot on. There are four stages all businesses can be categorized into; Hands-On, Working with Others, Systems Based and Strategic. The majority of businesses operate in the Hands-On or Working with Others stages. Hands-On are usually owner operators along with a couple of guys that they tightly control. The majority of Aquascape customers fall in this category. Working with others is the next stage and it’s represented by an owner who has others he directs to do the work. Systems based is the next stage that typically occurs when a company grows to 20 or more employees. It usually only happens when an owner realizes he can’t manage everything and implements systems for others to follow to assure uniform results.

Steve implemented a Systems Based approach with only five guys. He’s now an inspiration for many others who realize they too could do the same. Aquascape revolutionized pond design and construction with our own Systems Based business model of building a pond with 20 products in 20 steps. We’ve preached for years that owners need to work “On their business, not in it.” Steve and his operation are now the poster child for doing just that which leads me to my final point.

Aquascape operates in the fourth stage of operations which is Strategic. It’s our job as the manufacturer to strategically create opportunities for our customers. It’s why we asked Steve to share his Systems Based approach at an event we strategically created to get you to the next level called Pondemonium. It’s why we have our own R & D construction, maintenance and retail operations to test best practices and products and pass along the results to you. WE ARE YOU! It’s why we continuously innovate our products for a changing world whether it’s rain water harvesting that turned threats into opportunities, or even our IonGen™ that eliminate consumer’s worst problem…algae! And, it’s why we are dedicating immense efforts to first land, and now create, a killer Reality TV Show to solve our customer’s biggest problem…LEADS!

In my first year of business I built every pond on my own. I hired my first foreman my second year and built every pond with him and a couple guys I played football with and employed seasonally. With Ed Beaulieu I was able to move to a System based approach, which just like Steve we continue to execute our R & D, construction, maintenance and retail operations with today. I strategically wrote this blog to inspire you to go through the same progressions. With Steve as living proof you’re back and pocketbook will appreciate it!