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Bill Kent

With less money expected in many aquatics facility budgets, industry manufacturers and distributors are bracing for what may be a tight summer.

?As a distributor, the marketplace is shrinking and price competition is increasing,? says Bill Kent, owner of Team Horner Group in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ?The predictions we?ve seen suggest a downturn for another two years.?

Whether those assessments turn out to be accurate, Kent says the souring economy likely will force a shift in the way Americans look at finances business and personal.

?I think our culture encourages overspending to a point where it becomes out of balance, he explains. As a result of the financial crisis, he adds, ?there?s a changing attitude about credit and carrying debt.?

Given this newfound perspective, Kent advises taking a hard look at the financial situation of your operation, with the goal of minimizing any outstanding debt. ?[Operations] that are highly leveraged will have trouble; those with strong balance sheets will be in a better position to survive,? he says.

What if you?re in a position where you simply need more funding to operate perhaps you need to replace major piece of equipment? ?Decide on your priorities and look to manufacturers for potential options that will work within your budget,? Kent says.