Welcome to the first installment of Patch's weekly feature, called Meet the Owners. In this feature, Patch will highlight business owners from East Hampton, Montauk, Wainscott, Amagansett and Springs. We are kicking off the series with owner Greg Darvin, an East Hampton resident who runs a company that specializes in creative design, installation and maintenance of pools and spas.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face as an East Hampton business owner?
Our biggest challenge is inferior quality competing companies giving our potential clientele on the East End unrealistic pricing on products and services that they can not deliver on.
Q: What makes your business unique?
I feel that my level of skill and the precision that we provide is a unique quality among my industry. As well my creativity in design and construction is a unique quality that not all companies possess.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy the design aspect and being creative. As well, I really enjoy the process of each project from the design to the construction and the finished product. I enjoy collaborating with the client, the architect and designers on each project, as well as problem solving with unusual circumstances that arise.
Q: What are the trends in your business or what is your most popular item?
The main trend I have noticed is customers who want to create more than just a swimming pool, they want to create an entire holistic space or a backyard oasis. Also living and working on the East End we are able to work with some of the most sophisticated products in the world as a result of clientele who desire the best products for their homes.
Q: What advice to you have for someone starting a business?
Regardless of the industry you are in or what you are producing or the service you are providing, the key to a successful business is the infrastructure. I would encourage anyone starting out to focus on the basics of running a business. Your skill or product can be outstanding, but if you don't have the basic business management skills to keep you operating, you will ultimately fail. I also recommend to start out slow and not to accumulate a lot of debt. If you get yourself in a hole to start with it can be very difficult to get out and begin to turn a profit.
Q: Do you have any future plans for your business?
The business is beginning to move in the direction of design consultation outside of our area. I have done a few projects nationally and internationally and look forward to expanding in that aspect. It allows me to focus on the aspect of the business I enjoy the most which is creating the design and adapting to the particular location and elements.
Q: What do you like the least about your business or what would you change if you could?
I would say my least favorite thing in my business is constantly being pushed in a direction to cut corners with scheduling and budget. I never like to compromise quality especially with the creation of something that is as permanent as a pool that will be part of a home for many years. Usually cutting any corners causes more problems than its worth.
Q: When do you hope to reitre and what do you plan to do in retirement?
I am still too young to consider retiring. I love what I do and if the direction of my company continues to go in the direction of international design consulting, then that's perfect for me as my other passion in life is traveling to locations around the world.
If there is a business owner that you would like to see Patch interview, e-mail Taylor.Vecsey@patch.com or shout out the business name in the comment section below.