Abundant Networking Opportunities Push PROs to Profitability

Whether it’s social media or rubbing elbows at a trade show, mixing with others in the industry can set you up for success.

Abundant Networking Opportunities Push PROs to Profitability

Jeff and Terri Wigley

We are privileged to begin this column that’s meant to help everyone in the portable restroom industry. We owned our company, Pit Stop Sanitation Services in Atlanta, from its inception in 1995 to its sale in 2017. Being retired, we now want to give back to the industry that we know and admire.

We learned the most about our business from asking questions of other professionals, from actively participating in industry associations, and from simply learning by doing. Experience is the key to a successful business, and we all have that to share with each other.

Our goals are:

  1. To serve readers with answers to your questions.
  2. To share information that will be helpful and useful to others.
  3. To do this in order to improve our industry.        

So let’s get started with our topic of discussion: 

Question: What are some ways in which we can be more connected to other PROs in our area and throughout the country?

In the age of the internet, portable restroom operators are not as isolated as they once were. There are several ways to expand your knowledge and connect with others in the industry. Here are a few suggestions:

Read this magazine cover to cover! Really. Articles in Portable Restroom Operator are interesting and informative and written with you, the operator, in mind. Even articles that don’t seem like they are of interest now may prove beneficial in the future. Start a library, either with the actual magazines themselves or by creating an online file of stories you find helpful. You can also go to www.promonthly.com and grab links to the stories to save.

Get involved with your state’s onsite wastewater association. Most states and Canadian provinces have trade associations that help members stay current on local rules and regulations pertaining to disposal of wastewater. Disposal is a major concern in our industry in terms of fees, permits and regulations. We’re sure there will be plenty of questions concerning regulations and disposal in future columns.

For example, check these out: Go to the Georgia Onsite Wastewater Association website at www.gowa.wildapricot.org and read “What GOWA does for the industry,” and visit the Florida Onsite Wastewater Association website at www.fowaonsite.com and read their mission statement. Both organizations are also members of the NOWRA - National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, which has 20 state water associations as members and can be found at www.nowra.org.

Network through a national or regional association. The oldest and largest industry association is the Portable Sanitation Association International. Founded in 1971, the PSAI is composed of more than 400 member companies, both large and small, throughout North America and the world. The group holds an annual convention and an annual educational conference. Its certification program is recognized as state-approved in 10 states, and CEUs are also available. Information can be found at www.psai.org

In Canada, turn to the Ontario Association of Sewage Industry Services. Established in 1991, OASIS has more than 150 member companies who work in the province, throughout Canada and North America. The group plans an annual conference and provides a wealth of information on its website, www.oasisontario.on.ca.

Portable Sanitation Europe Ltd. is headquartered in the United Kingdom. This association offers support to members through an education program, member referral service and an annual convention. This association keeps abreast of all issues concerning portable sanitation in Europe. PSE has an excellent working relationship with the PSAI. Find out more at www.pse.org.uk.   

Utilize social media. The PRO magazine website allows you to leave comments or start conversations about topics addressed every month. Through the website, you can also access PRO’s Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel and LinkedIn page. Leave comments, ask questions and interact with other portable sanitation professionals. Look up your supplier partners online, track their social media pages and get involved in conversations. Do the same for the PSAI and other professional organizations that can help you. Search for portable sanitation groups that use these platforms.

Attend a trade show. The Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show is held annually in February and is the premiere conference in our industry. Sometimes referred to as the Pumper Show, attendees see the latest equipment in our industry, meet suppliers, attend educational classes, and interact with fellow pumpers from throughout the country and the world. Conferences held by other associations also broaden attendees’ knowledge of our industry.

Arrange site visits with other PROs. We have visited countless companies in our journeys throughout the years, as well as hosted visits to our company. What better way is there to learn than by sharing information with a fellow PRO? One of our best visits was in St. Louis with Clyde Sansom back in 1995. We then returned the favor to Sansom on several of his trips through Georgia throughout the years. Arrange to meet with a fellow operator while traveling around the country. 

SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS

Please use this monthly article to ask perplexing questions or raise issues that are important to your portable sanitation company. We will happily research the answers to those inquiries. Whether through our own personal experience or asking contacts who we have met throughout the years, we are committed to sharing information that will help everyone in our industry.



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