Teaching carries over to business

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Nicole Hahn thought she was getting out of teaching after she and her husband, Richard, created Clovis Pool, Spa and Patio. But she’s learned the teaching continues when running any successful business.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Nicole Hahn only thought she was giving up teaching to run the new business she and her husband created.

But the longer Hahn worked at Clovis Pool Spa and Patio, she realized that she was still a teacher.

“I just thought, the Lord is so good. I’m able to teach people what’s going on with their pool or spa,” she said.

Being a chemistry teacher helped prepared Nicole and her husband Richard to run their pool store.

In January, Clovis Pool Spa and Patio was given the Outstanding Small Business in Roosevelt, Curry and DeBaca counties award by the New Mexico Small Business Development Center.

Hahn attributes the award to the business’s good reputation with the community.

“Our customer service was a part of it. We make sure every job we do is a success,” she said. “Our customers are our friends. We know their families and who’s graduating and who went on vacation. We’re more than just a pool store, we’re part of the community.”

Clovis Pool opened in March 2003 and employs five to 10 people, depending on the season.

Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, director of the small business development center at Clovis Community College, said the center nominated the Hahn’s business for the award because they give back to the community.

“They are very consistent. They’ve established their role in the community. They are doing business and are able to contribute to the community as well,” she said.

Hahn echoed Taylor-Sawyer’s view.

“It goes beyond sponsoring teams. We want to give back. We thinking having a small business that succeeds helps Clovis,” Hahn said.

The vice-president, secretary and treasurer said the business could never have been a success without the help of the SBDC.

“They made a huge difference. It’s work. You have to research. They gave us the formula and we had to fill it in. But if they didn’t help us, we wouldn’t be here,” Hahn said.

SBDC helps small businesses start or expand by providing one-on-one business and marketing advice.