In celebration of International Women’s Day, we invite you to learn more about the inspiring women leading Energy Center-Manhattan Pool. Throughout this month, discover their powerful stories and the impactful contributions that have led them here. Today, we’d like to introduce you to the co-owner of Energy Center-Manhattan Pool, Kimberly Weber.
Q: What is your educational background and how it has influenced your career?
A: I have a degree in business with an emphasis in accounting. It has been very helpful in understanding how decisions affect our bottom line or in conversing with our bookkeeper or accountant.
Q: How did you first get involved in the pool and spa industry?
A: My husband and I were considering another business plan when it came to light that Energy Center-Manhattan Pool was for sale. It was a 100% dive in — sink or swim. I didn’t always have the answers at the time, but always made sure to find out and get back with the customer.
Q: What has your career path been like and how did you get to where you are today?
A: Since purchasing the store, it’s been long hours and hard work — never ending learning with the wide scope of products as well as a broad range of responsibilities.
Q: What drew you to co-owning Energy Center-Manhattan Pool?
A: My husband has always been a vision person. He was excited about the opportunity and that was contagious.
Q: Can you tell us about the concept and process of creating the business and what inspired you to become co-owner and co-creator?
A: We actually purchased the company from another couple who were ready to pass the reigns onto someone else. My husband and I had made plans to own our own business someday since our dating days. We both had grown up on a farm and knew what hard work meant. We felt that with our work effort and drive we could be successful owning our own business. The secret was finding one that the numbers made sense and fit our interests.
Q: Can you discuss some of the challenges you faced in establishing and growing the business and how you overcame them?
A: For years we struggles and were frustrated with the hyperbole of 1 step forward 2 steps back. At one point we took a Dave Ramsey Entreleadership class and it made the difference. We learned several concepts within the class and book that we still adhere to today. Anytime we feel ourselves slipping, we go back to what we consider the basic systems.
Q: Can you describe your role in the day-to-day operations of the business and how you work with your co-owner to ensure success?
A: I am usually buried in paperwork, between work orders, purchase orders, human resource items, marketing, planning, etc. Since the conception of ownership it’s been getting together at the end of the night with my husband and co-owner in the hot tub or over a glass of wine, talking. We discuss experiences and how to resolve any issue or planning our next steps.
Q: Can you talk about a time when you had to make a difficult decision in your professional life?
A: I think the most difficult decisions are when I have to consider whether or not to let an employee go. Often I find myself seeing their potential or believing that they are capable of learning what I need them to learn (if they were willing to put forth more effort). It’s difficult because I know at times they rely on the wages, especially when they have a family to support. It’s a balance between being a good steward and running a healthy business.
Q: How do you stay motivated and maintain a good work-life balance?
A: I haven’t always had balance, as I worked crazy long hours. It’s only in the second half of ownership, as we’ve hired quality people and I’ve learned to delegate more, that I’ve found balance. Now I work out consistently, I pray and read daily, and I make a point to take time to travel with my husband, taking trips that aren’t always work related. And I try to set aside time for my grown up family, as well, by having them all over for dinner or planning a family vacation.
Q: Can you talk about a time when you had to take a risk in your career and what the outcome was?
A: I think bringing in something new that you haven’t had, where you’re not just replacing an existing item, always seems risky. Whether its a new product line, a new software company, or purchasing new equipment (will it pay for itself) — they are all large risks. Also, developing new positions within a company feels risky. Things have always worked themselves out, but every time, hours of thought are put into weighing the potential outcomes that might occur from my decision.
Q: What do you consider to be your biggest responsibilities and accomplishments?
A: I think my greatest responsibilities lie in answering to customers and employees. In the end, whether someone feels they were treated fairly or received the service that meets their expectations, it is on my shoulders. Did I train someone well enough? Have I provided the resources necessary? Have I created the proper environment? My husband and I have owned the business for over 20 years. We’ve surpassed the average life of most businesses and are proud that we have a legacy company for our son, Hayden, to continue serving our community and employees.