17 Apr The Story of Pro Float Inc. Part Two
Every business has a story. We decided it was time to tell ours. If you missed it, read Part One of this three-part series to learn more about how Chris Petrovics found and fell in love with floating.
We left the story of Chris when he decided to construct what would be the first of many float tanks. It took him 10 months from start to finish – that includes extensive research on float influencers like John C. Lily and Joe Rogan, brainstorming, tons of elbow grease, and loads of encouragement and moral support from Donna.
Most product developers will understand what happened next; Chris had to resolve some key issues with his initial design to make it functional and sellable. After an interview with Float House in Vancouver in 2014, he was recommended to attend a float conference in Portland OR that weekend and made a mad dash to find tickets. Chris managed to get his hands on a pair, so he and Donna drove down to Portland – and it’s a good thing they did.
The conference was a turning point for the couple. The floating community welcomed them with open arms and gave them the encouragement they needed to really get a business rolling. They learned how small the industry was and knew that meant there was an opportunity for them to make a real impact while also learning and growing and enjoying their work.
Soon after their return from Portland, the decision was made to begin development of a sleek float pod.
At this point, Roger M. was brought into the mix as a customer relations manager, while Marian S. offered extra help on the product design side. Because of some excellent social media strategy and crowd-sourcing apps, Pro Float was able to pre-sell our pods based on our illustration, ideas, and reliability.
Though a pod was developed, it didn’t hold up during our testing phase. This was tough. We had built so many strong relationships with customers who had purchased our pods pre-sale and didn’t want to lose their trust. In the end, we decided to be honest about the inefficiency of the pod but ensured that a cabin we would soon build would be better anyway. Thankfully, our amazing client-base gave us their confidence and trust, so we continued our pre-sale, now promoting our Pro Float Cabins.
We set up a manufacturing facility in Chilliwack, B.C. and added some new employees (we welcomed Woz at this point). It wasn’t easy building the float cabin, but by the time the float conference rolled around in 2016, we were ready to present a cabin we were incredibly proud of. It was the first conference Pro Float was able to attend, product in hand, and it was a great success. We acquired new clients and learned a lot more about the sales side of the floating community.
In Part Three of the story of Pro Float, we’ll dive a bit deeper into the customer side of our business, and finish the tale of Chris, Donna and the rest of us here at Pro Float Inc.