In the course of my professional groundwater consultation, assisting drill firms to sell or update their drill rig and/or support equipment, one glaringly evident fact is most are operating as Mom and Pop businesses as they always have. Many do not have someone available to answer phone calls from potential customers and the caller may or may not leave a voice message. Many drillers never return calls from potential customers, losing them to their competitor. The phone answering device or system is the full extent of modernizing their drilling business.

Meanwhile their well drilling competition has moved into the 21st century.

This means the competitorÕs offices are computerized. Their personnel are trained in modern drilling methods, with certification availability, followed with continuing education classes.

Successful business operation requires that there is a heavier burden to stay legally cognizant of all local, state, and federal laws. It is as important to have a competent legal advisor/representative as it is to have a family doctor. It is necessary to insure the legal advisor is versed in the operations and requirements unique to the water well drilling profession.

More importantly, take time to establish a fundamental bookkeeping system with competent office staff and invest smartly in a computer system.

Now a word concerning insurance. Next to the legal advisor is the importance of a top-notch fleet insurance agent, whether through the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) or someone local. Insurance needs to comply with state regulations. Check this out.

Someone in the office must be expert in workmanÕs compensation and health insurance. Regulations change swiftly and one needs to shop around for an insurance agent who will work independently with the drill firm.

Challenges facing the 21st century are some we have not comprehended yet, but if your firm has met the challenges as stated, you can more likely weather the unknown. The true requirement is to stay involved in groundwater industry meetings at state and national conferences. The professional knowledge gained is immeasurable. The workshops available cover all the information that impacts your industry, and is free for the cost of attending the conference. Attending conferences means making new friends and introducing your family to the basics, breadth, and vision of your drilling business, while sharing some very valuable quality time with them.

Meet the challenges of the 21st century by making the first challenge a personal one; choose to work smarter not harder; establish more professionalism in your business; so your business and not your competition is setting the drilling standard in your community.