The Winter Doldrums Are a Good Time to Take Stock of Your Portable Restroom Business

The Winter Doldrums Are a Good Time to Take Stock of Your Portable Restroom Business

By the end of the summer-fall busy season, I feel really burnt out and ready for the break winter brings to portable sanitation. My brain has been going 100 mph since March, I have been working long hours and I am really tired. If I feel this way, I can only imagine how my drivers feel. The quiet that comes with the impending new year is a huge relief.  

But after a couple of weeks, I’ve had way too much sitting still and I am ready to be busy again! As we are located in the Northeast, there is only so much you can do when there is snow all over the ground. 

As the phones quiet down, I use this time to plan. I look back on the year we just closed and see where we could have done better. Maybe construction in a certain state was down from the year before. Or we lost a municipal contract I would like to get back. This is also a great time to see what we did that was really successful and try to duplicate that again.

Planning to me usually means a giant to-do list. Once something is on paper, I am not worried about forgetting it, so I find this strategy really helpful. No matter what the thought is, I put it down on paper. When I am done, I have a really long list of everything from jobs I have to go after, such as new uniforms for my drivers and so much more. 

Once it is all on paper and my head is a little less full, I start to chip away at the list. This is usually accomplished by putting all the items on the list under different categories. For example, new driver uniforms would go under operations, new jobs would go under sales, etc. Once that is done, some of the work can be passed on to other departments.

But don’t think I am giving all the work away. When I am done, there is still a huge chunk of work for me. Unfortunately not all of it will get done that day or even that month. So I realistically start to plan, knowing that it will be a struggle after March to find time for these items.

I strongly believe in having all my systems in place by spring, because then everything becomes automatic, as we get busier. Sometimes, I will schedule all of my sales calls months in advance. That way I know all the customers who I want to reach out to have a scheduled call in our customer-relationship management system and I know no one will slip through the cracks. As I am planning these calls, I am getting excited about the potential work that will come our way.

Lastly, I like to use this slower time of year to meet with employees and help them plan out their upcoming year, too. Performance reviews are held during the winter months so every employee is starting the season fresh. I think it is best to let employees know what is expected from them for the coming year, what they need to work on and what they did great the previous year. 

This may sound like a lot of busy work, but I am laying the foundation for another successful year. Being a thriving company doesn’t happen by chance. It takes a lot of planning and strategizing. That is something we don’t all have time for during busier months. So grab this opportunity to set your company up for success! 

About the author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.


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