4th of July Portable Toilet Preparation

The Fourth of July is often the first real “test” of your operations readiness. Here are a few tips to keep your business on track for a successful season.
4th of July Portable Toilet Preparation
The Fourth of July weekend is often the first really busy weekend in the portable sanitation business calendar. Fireworks shows, parades and cookouts are added to a festival and wedding season already well underway. The holiday becomes the first real “test” of your operations readiness.

The Fourth of July weekend is often the first really busy weekend in the portable sanitation business calendar. Fireworks shows, parades and cookouts are added to a festival and wedding season already well underway. The holiday becomes the first real “test” of your operations readiness.

For the Fourth of July holiday or other busy weekends consider the following tips to keep your business on track for a successful season: 

1. Good preparation 

Full schedules, tight delivery windows, additional traffic concerns and festival demands leave little time and energy for interruptions and delays. Management should review delivery schedules and look for load-in times, locations or placements that might be challenging.

A call made in advance will pay off in the long run, whether you need to request an alternate or additional delivery time, confirm placement or manage expectations. Many event planners are willing to accommodate changes if you ask in advance, thereby giving them time to adjust their own schedules and expectations. 

2. Be consultative 

Sales and customer service representatives should be well trained on product offerings. Rich Vegter, senior vice president of sales and marketing for United Site Services, trains his sales and customer service representatives to be consultants able to educate clients on proper use and the quantity and style of equipment that will best suit the customer’s event. 

“For example, it is not uncommon for a customer to complain that hand-wash stations run out of water,” Vegter said. “Sometimes a simple explanation of how the product was designed along with some basic math will help to educate the client toward an effective solution. Case in point, a 40-gallon sink designed to accommodate up to 600 uses accompanies up to four portable restrooms, not 20 of them.” 

Professionals in the sanitation industry must understand what the products are designed to handle to properly educate customers on how it performs best. Providing the right balance of equipment for event sites will lead to a higher level of service, and ultimately to higher profits and industry growth. 

3. Map it out 

Ensure delivery location directions are clear and attach maps as needed. Event orders should have placement details and site contact information. Use an Internet mapping program to zoom in on the location and mark the placement of the equipment to help the delivery driver and save time. Note, however, that satellite images are typically several months old.

Send maps or map links to clients in advance to confirm set up and placement if necessary. A little preparation will keep deliveries running smoothly and reduce wait times for service technicians. 

4. Equipment inspections 

Truck breakdowns cause delays and interruptions in the schedule that cost time and money on a busy weekend. Operations teams should have equipment ready, trucks inspected, repairs completed and staff on standby for any last-minute occurrences. 

5. Crew incentives 

Working holidays can often be a damper to employee morale. A little appreciation can go a long way to keeping hardworking crews motivated. In appreciation of service technicians’ hard work, offer them refreshments such as ice-cold water or lemonade and some high-energy snacks as they are checking in and out for the day. Give recognition to those who go above and beyond in serving clients and demonstrating teamwork. 

6. Last-minute Lucy 

With every busy holiday weekend there is sure to be a “Last-Minute Lucy (or Larry)” who planned everything from the guest list to the menu to the entertainment — and somehow forgot to order the restrooms. Didn’t this budding event planner ever stop to wonder where all that lemonade was going to go? Be ready for this call, it’s the one equivalent to ordering plane tickets on Thanksgiving Day — there are no discounts. 

It’s also a perfect opportunity to follow up post-event with a request to get next year’s order on the books. Lucy will be grateful to the company that rescued her event from a bad situation and, hopefully, feel compelled to place next year’s order. 

7. Feedback 

Service technicians are your eyes in the field. Those eyes can provide valuable information about placement, equipment usage, and recommendations that can improve sanitary conditions for annual or ongoing events. For example, if a service technician reports that the portable restrooms were beyond the recommended capacity for either a cleaning service or upon pickup, take an opportunity to inform and educate the event planner.

Consulting with planners sends the message that the company cares about the success of the event and wants to invest in a long-term business relationship. 

8. Post weekend wrap-up 

After a busy weekend, hold a team meeting to discuss the company’s performance and address any concerns. Often, there are changes, unexpected delays, or unavoidable situations. However, a candid review of the team’s performance can provide areas for improvement and better preparation in the future. Managing loose ends from the weekend and communicating with customers will demonstrate professionalism and foster confidence among customers. In addition, service technicians quickly understand that management is paying attention and expects them to deliver on its high standards. 

9. Show appreciation 

Everyone wants to feel valued. A good old-fashioned note of appreciation to thank customers for their business shows that you appreciate them, and it builds business relationships. It is also a way to differentiate your company from the competition. 

About the Author
Beverly Lewis runs a marketing agency, the Beverly Lewis Group, dedicated to helping small businesses with marketing solutions. Having served as the director of sales & marketing for two portable sanitation companies, her unique background combined with an expertise in marketing is well suited for the portable sanitation industry. She believes that a company’s image is represented in every aspect of the company. She is an active member of the PSAI and was awarded the distinguished Sani-Award in 2008 for outstanding service. Contact Beverly at beverly@beverlylewisgroup.com or visit www.beverlylewisgroup.com.



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