Whether opening a food truck or developing a new phone app, no startup business has a problem-free beginning. While the issues a new portable restroom operator can encounter may seem bigger or messier than other companies, remembering that most of these issues are just minor mishaps is important to completing your first year and eventually succeeding in the industry.
The first step to handling emergencies begins before the emergency itself — being prepared. A bit of foresight can go a long way. If you can do some backup planning for emergencies you expect to occur, you’ll thank yourself if you ever have to deal with them.
Pre-empting the small emergencies you might encounter is always a good idea. Stock up on cleaning supplies and keep them in every truck. Get to know a reliable mechanic or repair shop in your local area who is knowledgeable on the type of trucks in your fleet, should one break down unexpectedly.
Do your best to predict the issues you’re likely to face, ensuring you’re covered for most problems. This is half the battle when it comes to tackling small emergencies.
However, not every problem can be planned for. You’re inevitably going to encounter an issue for which you’re unprepared. The most important thing to remember when faced with a small emergency is that it happens to everyone. Stay calm, take things in your stride, and work through the issue. It will get resolved. Overreacting will only make a problem worse.
With a broken-down truck, see if you can have another one in your fleet that can cover the route by running at night as well as day. You could also ask another portable restroom operator to cover your route until you’re back up and running. Remember that even if they charge a premium rate, this is a short-term problem. It’s a small setback, and it won’t be the death of your company! Don’t rush into a big decision like purchasing a new truck without giving it serious thought and research.
Learn from small emergencies and come through trying times stronger. If you can keep a calm head and think your way through an issue, the next time something similar comes up, you’ll be prepared.
If an employee doesn’t show up for work on the day of a large event, don’t let it defeat you. Take it in your stride and be proactive. You may need to readjust your planned work for the day, such as putting aside the cleaning of routed units to ensure that you get the event work completed. Another option is taking a helper with you for deliveries instead of doing it all by yourself.
Every successful portable restroom operator and every successful company, period, has faced emergencies small and large. How they handle them is what proves their mettle. Try to remember that the majority of issues you’ll face are mere growing pains and experiences you’ll quickly learn from. Working through small emergencies readies you for the next one, and, over time, they’ll grow fewer and fewer.