Three Questions to Ask Before Expanding Your Portable Restroom Business

A little bit of planning and introspection goes a long way when moving your business into a new service area

Three Questions to Ask Before Expanding Your Portable Restroom Business

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When starting your portable restroom business, one of the easiest decisions you make should be setting your service area. You start out with the cities and towns closest to your yard. But how do you decide when it’s time to move beyond that initial service radius?

As time goes by, you might pick up a new construction customer that has job sites outside of your boundaries. Do you tell the customer you will only do 50 percent of their work — the work located in your service area — or do you grow with them?

The decision to grow requires some thought but, most important, you have to answer these three questions:

  1. Do you have the manpower to grow right now? Not just in terms of technicians, but trucks and portable restrooms, too.
  2. What is the cost of growth? Would you have to buy more equipment? Does it cost more to dump in this new service area? Is the customer paying enough to justify your technicians driving farther?
  3. Do you want to grow? It isn’t for everyone, so take the time to work through this.

I was lucky enough to come into this industry with a company that was determined to grow, even when it wasn’t always in our best interest. At its core, A Royal Flush is a true sales company. The previous owners, Bill Malone and my mother, Debbie Russo, were salespeople at heart. The sale was the most important thing we did each day and we celebrated those sales every chance we could. Obviously operations and finance played a part in this, but deep down the sale was everything.

Because we were always after the next big construction job or the next huge event, we grew almost blindly at times. In the early years, we would go after a county bid, win, and then have to scramble to get equipment and permits so we could do the work. While I don’t recommend some of the things we have done, I do believe that through trial and error we became the company we are today.

Looking back, I would say that we should have looked more into the cost as we grew. The background details like the cost of a certain dump or the cost of a bridge toll can really eat away at profit. We didn’t always look into those details enough in the beginning.

Growth is really exciting and, as a salesperson, I almost always say yes to a job. But growth when you aren’t prepared can hurt your company name. Hopefully you can find that sweet spot right in the middle.


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