3 Areas for Water Lab Business Growth in 2021

As COVID-19 continues to have long-lasting effects on the economy, it's hard to know which segments of your business will thrive this coming year. For continued growth, it's important to both nurture your existing customer base and identify emerging opportunities. Some of the services you offered in the past, such as testing pool water for hotels, may still be on hold. Instead of stressing about lost revenue, look at opportunities for business growth.

For water labs, there are surprising pandemic silver linings, including opportunities to expand your service offerings. Identifying trends in the industry will help you know where to focus your marketing during this turbulent time. Read on for three promising segments.

1. Wastewater Testing

Many communities have begun testing wastewater to get ahead of potential COVID-19 hotspots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests weekly sampling of wastewater to screen for the presence of SARS-CoV-2.

The data on wastewater surveillance is still emerging, and governmental agencies such as the CDC could change their recommendations throughout the year. Stay on top of the news and keep your clients informed on wastewater testing developments in your local community. This will help position your lab as a leader and trusted partner during a challenging time.

2. Legionella and Other Bacteria

The pandemic has helped people realize the importance of health and safety, especially in public settings. While all the focus has been on viruses, make sure that your clients know your lab's testing capabilities for other microorganisms that can cause respiratory infections, such as waterborne bacteria. More people are now aware that Legionella can cause severe pneumonia, for instance. Fortune Business Insights reports that the Legionella testing market size is expected to grow due to both increasing prevalence of Legionnaires' disease and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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When people get sick with COVID-19, they are often also co-infected with respiratory pathogens, according to the journal ACS ES&T Water. In fact, 50% of patients with COVID-19 who died had secondary bacterial infections. Legionella and COVID-19 co-infection can be fatal, especially for people who have comorbidities or immunosuppression. Legionnaires' disease outbreaks are most often reported for hotels, long-term care facilities, and hospitals, so help these facilities by sending them an email to suggest your testing services. This could be even more helpful if they're reopening after being empty for a period of time.

3. Residential Water Testing

Nurture your relationships with real estate professionals or developers this year. Although the real estate market is still unknown, it's likely that we can expect more housing sales as the vaccine rolls out and people are more comfortable visiting and welcoming people to properties. Plus, new construction is expected to grow this year, according to Housing Wire. Now that many companies are emphasizing remote working arrangements, pay attention to your real estate connections in suburban and rural markets, where rising home sales could mean there will be additional needs for drinking water testing.

All the time spent at home in 2020 gave people a new appreciation for their homes, especially concerning outdoor entertaining. Many people are renovating their homes and adding pools and spas with water that will need to be tested. CNBC reports that there was three times the demand for pool and spa installations in 2020 compared to last year. Use this opportunity to acquire new residential clients that will become repeat customers in the years ahead.

Believe it or not, water labs have many unique opportunities for business growth in 2021. Follow the market and be prepared to pivot as the pandemic and the economy change throughout the year. Meet customers where they are and be prepared to handle all kinds of possible scenarios. Target your marketing efforts at the clients who are likely to need your services this year. During such a challenging time in history, lab managers play an important role in the community by ensuring safe water for public health.

  • Keep tabs on opportunities for testing wastewater in your local community.
  • Help residential facilities prevent Legionnaire's disease outbreaks as buildings reopen.
  • Capitalize on high demand for new construction, home renovations, and pool installations.



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Kelly McSweeney
Science and Technology Writer
Armed with a master's degree in writing and a decade of professional work in scientific publishing, Kelly McSweeney writes about science and technology innovations. She translates complicated topics into stories that capture the curiosity of everyone from casual readers to technical experts. Kelly has degrees from Emerson College and the University of Vermont, and has worked on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics publications at Wiley, In Compliance magazine, and Pearson. Her articles about the latest research are published by ZDNet, Northrop Grumman, and Wiley.