How To Choose Insurance for Your Small Business
Getting the right insurance is essential for any business. The septic, sewer and portable restroom industry carries health risks, so it’s crucial to ensure you’re covered before starting. You also need to consider what coverage your business is obligated to have.
Let’s dive into why getting the right insurance is important and what you must consider when selecting insurance for your business.
WHY DO BUSINESSES NEED INSURANCE?
Primarily, insurance helps protect your business. Insurance offers a financial and legal safety net, helping to protect against accidents, complaints or legal action. Without insurance, the risk to your business is high. Trying to save costs by not investing in the right insurance can quickly become a costly mistake.
You also have to consider the unique nature of our industry. Working with sewerage carries public health risks. Unfortunately, accidents happen and should you be unlucky enough to have a crisis, you,
your business and your employees will be covered with the right insurance.
HOW TO CHOOSE INSURANCE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
There are several things to think about when choosing insurance. These include the following:
4 What insurance are you legally obligated to have?
4 What is your budget?
4 How many employees do you have? This will affect your costs as most policies will be per employee.
4 Does your business own property, vehicles and equipment? If the answer is yes to these questions, you should consider specialist insurance covering wear, tear and damage to these assets.
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Do your research and make sure you know what you need to be compliant in your state.
4 Do you provide products or services? There are different types of insurance covering complaints about your products or services.
4 Do you need specialist insurance over and above what is legally mandated?
4 Does the state you are in obligate you to have specific policies? State requirements can differ from those of the federal government. Do your research and make sure you know what you need to be compliant in your state. The answers to these questions will affect what types of insurance you invest in. Therefore, it’s worth spending some time working through these questions so that you can carefully consider the best way to protect your business.
4 Commercial property insurance – This covers damage done to any property that your business owns.
4 Business interruption insurance – Should something stop your business from operating, this policy will protect you and ensure that your business survives.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF BUSINESS INSURANCE?
ASSOCIA TION INSIDER
The costs of your insurance will vary widely depending on a number of factors. Costs can be affected by the number of employees, what is covered, the depth of coverage and what part of your business is protected.
WHAT TYPES OF INSURANCE DO SMALL BUSINESSES NEED?
The federal government requires every business with employees to have the following types of insurance in place:
SPOTLIGHT INDEX Shop around insurance providers and ask questions. This article provides a starting point on some things to consider. You may also save some costs by looking at policies that give blanket coverage across several areas, such as a business owner’s policy (BOP).
4 Workers compensation insurance – This type of policy covers you and your employees should anyone become ill or injured as a result of working for you. This is particularly important for the sewerage, septic tank and portable restroom industry, as dealing with liquid waste carries a public health risk.
4 Unemployment insurance – This covers your employees who become unemployed.
4 Disability insurance – This covers an employee disabled by an accident while working for your business.
Other types of insurance available to businesses include:
4 General liability insurance protects you against complaints and legal action from customers.
4 Health insurance – Although not obligatory for a business to provide, we would argue that in our industry, ensuring your employees are protected is essential. A good health insurance policy for your staff helps build trust and loyalty and, ultimately, a stronger company.
A recent article by Forbes sets out some insurance costs. It estimates that the average small business will pay just over $4000 in insurance annually. Not all of the costs listed will apply to the sewerage business, and health care insurance is omitted, but it does indicate a starting cost.
Do your research to get a clearer idea of how much insurance will cost your business. Shop around insurance providers and ask questions. This article provides a starting point on some things to consider. You may also save some costs by looking at policies that give blanket coverage across several areas, such as a business owner’s policy (BOP). BOPs cover
general liability, commercial property and business interruption insurance and are usually cheaper than buying these three policies separately.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BUSINESS INSURANCE
When insuring your business, there is a lot to consider, but working through what you need and speaking with insurance professionals will help set you up for a secure future. Properly insuring your business means that should the worst happen, you, your employees and your customers are protected, and your business survives to grow and prosper. For more information on how to protect and grow your septic, sewer or portable restroom business, subscribe to the American Liquid Waste Magazine today — the digital version is free!
https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/provide-shop-coverage/business-in-more-than-one-state/ https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business-insurance/ small-business-insurance-cost/
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7 Tips For Increasing Sales
At Your Portable Restroom Business in 2023
So, it’s 2023 and your business has made it through the recent years of the global pandemic, economic shutdown, supply chain catastrophe, and labor shortage. Now you’re staying the course despite financially crippling levels of inflation. Congratulations! Now what? What can you do next to further strengthen your business and help ensure its long-term sustainability?.
On the downside, the business sector is still in recovery and inflation is crushing both individual and business consumers, which naturally impacts service businesses like portable restroom rentals. On the upside, through the past few years, you’ve proven to be a highly resilient and even rather disaster-proof business manager.
So, you are likely to find some of the ideas below ideal for you at this point. These are fresh reminders of excellent operations and sales opportunities from current U.S. business experts.
7 SUSTAINABLE SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH TIPS FOR 2023
If your business is slowly recovering in the profit margin from the 2020 - 2022 economic setbacks, here are some general recommendations to
bolster sales and savings for your portable restroom rental business in 2023 and future years.
1. Implement Modern Point-of-Sale (POS) Tools. Modern POS devices are making old-fashioned cash registers obsolete. They do so much more than merely process real-time payments. The most recent software technologies enable you to manage not just transactions but your entire business operation from an intuitive dashboard. You can use the device remotely or at your primary sales location to track sales, schedule workers, track orders, manage inventory, even process receivables, payables, etc. Streamlining your management tasks in this way can make it incomparably easier to focus on growing sales and maximizing service quality.
2. Accept All Common Forms of Payment.
Customers in various age groups have their own generational preferences of ways to communicate and ways to pay. It makes it much easier to retain happy repeat customers when they are most comfortable and satisfied with their experience of doing business with your restroom rental service and other event services. In addition to paper and electronic checks, activate options for your customers to use their credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets. Providing this smoother transaction experience is one more thing you can do to accommodate people and help ensure that they will choose your service every time.
Go Paperless in Your Business.
There’s more to the logic of paperless operation than just the point about environmental preservation — though that is a critically important one for the planet and your business too. But, paperless operation is also about cutting waste to save substantial amounts of hours and money for paper management over time. Consider your current cost of buying, handling, storing, and managing the loads upon loads of paper that the average small business amasses over the years. It typically adds up to a shocking total cost of wasted time, lost productivity, and obtaining and maintaining excess square footage.
4. Prioritize Payment Security.
Naturally, when you begin to accept a wider range of payment types, the majority of the new transaction types are likely to be processed through the internet. Those activities, of course, come with the need for effective
security monitoring that is consistently successful in detecting attempts of fraudulent actions and preventing the success of those nefarious efforts. A breach in your data security can cost your business shocking losses in legal fees, lawsuit settlements, and judgments (including punitive damages if fault is found), customer attrition, and
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Consider your current cost of buying, handling, storing, and managing the loads upon loads of paper that the average small business amasses over the years.
brand damage. Use only frequently-updated high-quality data security tools and monitoring services to maintain PCI compliance and minimize your risk of customer data breaches.
5. Allow Work-From-Home and Flex Time. By now, after the shutdowns of 2020-2021, you have probably already figured out whether your business can benefit from having some employees working some days remotely. While in many cases, such as in retail sales, workers need to be onsite. But, if your portable restroom business can function as well with one or more staff members working from home, it can be a major cost saver in workspace rental, utilities, insurance, office equipment, furniture, and other areas of expense. In many cases, it’s also a major morale booster that has proven to increase productivity, despite concerns about some predictions to the contrary. In the current competitive employment market, offering employees this option can be an appealing feature.
6. Participate in Resource Sharing Cooperatives. Innovative alternatives in procurement are opening excellent options for small business operators who want to have access to the best equipment, tools, and even labor at lower costs. The incredible benefits of the new sharing economy can be game-changers for business owners who are attracted to the idea of simply accessing resources as needed, instead of owning them. Renting business machines and other equipment, working with freelance talent, and contracting with external billing, accounting, HR, payroll, and other services are all major money savers for many small businesses. Even using a shared workspace can be an extraordinary cost saver for compatible companies. With these options, for minimal commitments, you can have the latest and greatest operating resources.
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One sure way to make the best possible impression for your brand is to give back to the community. Everyone wants to help people who are helping others. To build a reservoir of goodwill in your market, choose a worthy cause and a reputable peer business and engage in hosting periodic events, or maintain an ongoing program to raise awareness and generate contributions. Be sure to include mention of this initiative to which your company is committed on some pages of your
Proving the Portable-Toilet Lead Marketing Strategy
Tidy Services is one of the oldest septic and portable restroom rental companies we have looked at in a while. Having gotten their start back in the late 1980s, they have seen the regulatory issues surrounding this industry change in ways that few companies of the kind can imagine.
Like a number of other septic companies we're reviewed lately, Tidy Services leads their marketing efforts with branding that focuses on their portable toilet rental service, pairing their portable toilet landing page with imagery of a lush, green, and inviting valley landscape. As we have discussed many times in the past, this is the cutting edge marketing angle for septic service companies these days.
We think it's pretty clear that septic service companies are leaning into the psychology of the consumer who is motivated by a need that only quick portable toilet rentals can serve. When your strongest customer demographic is people who have suffered a sudden septic system failure and don't have time to wait for repairs, portable toilets win the day.
DEMONSTRATING WHY PORTABLE TOILETS DOMINATE THE SEPTIC SERVICE INDUSTRY
For the reasons discussed above, portable toilets are the fastest way to deliver the most immediate relief for a need that is quite immediate in nature. As the decision makers at Tidy Services understand, this is key to securing a leading edge in the septic service industry in any market. But portable toilets do more than serve in septic emergency situations.
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...portable toilets are the fastest way to deliver the most immediate relief for a need that is quite immediate in nature.
the decision makers at Tidy Services understand, this is key to securing a leading edge in the septic service industry
As the head of Tidy Services explains, portable toilets are there to serve the emergency customer who has a septic failure. After conducting a search for their septic woes, they find landing pages that offer an instant solution, portable toilets, followed by a lasting solution, septic repair services.
"That's what brings them in," our contact explained. "You deliver what they need within the hour, and immediately schedule septic repair services."
But if that was all portable restrooms were good for, they still might not be the industry leading service that they have become. Sure, portable toilets are good for bringing in new domestic customers. But they are also the key to locking in big, recurring contracts.
Serving the construction industry is a big part of that.
Construction contractors have always been among the biggest customer bases for portable toilet rental companies. It is the only way to ensure that the needs of crews and management are taken care of in a way that does not interfere with the construction job at hand. Portable toilets have a relatively small footprint and ensure workers don't have to leave the site in order to use the facility.
Serving big events is the other half of the massive
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demand for portable restrooms. Concerts, weddings, conventions, and the like are all events where expenses are typically not spared. The people who put on big events are focused primarily on making the event big, serving a lot of people, and directing the attention of those people to the available services. Portable restrooms are an important part of that, and Tidy Services offers a range of portable toilet types.
After all, if you're running a carnival and people have to go off-site to use a toilet, there's a chance they might not come back. So like on construction sites, portable toilets are often about keeping people at the location served. This makes them exceedingly valuable to events.
We know we have beleaguered the point about portable toilets. But it's immensely important that septic companies understand how key this service is. Companies really do need to lean in on their marketing efforts leading with this type of service. For psychological reasons, it is a winner and for practical reasons, it can be a serious money maker.
For this reason, it was refreshing to find Tidy Services, a company that clearly understands the need for this marketing angle. Indeed, they lean into it hard from the
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MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT ON COMMUNITIES AND ENVIRONMENTS AROUND THE WORLD
first glimpse of their landing page. Interestingly, Tidy Services keeps their restroom trailer content on a different part of their website than their portable toilets. It could be that portable toilets and restroom trailers serve different customer demographics. It could be that Tidy Services distinguishes between those who engage with portable toilet services and restroom trailer customers. Or it could be that they focus primarily on the domestic septic-emergency customer. Unfortunately, we didn't get that far in our conversation.
FOLLOWING UP WITH A LASTING SEPTIC SERVICE SOLUTION
With all of that taken as read, it stands to reason that as important as portable toilets are as an immediate solution, it is equally important to have a lasting solution waiting in the wings. For a company like Tidy Services, that means traditional septic service.
"This community is the central point of the original 13 colonies," our contact explained. "That means these communities are some of the very oldest in the country. We have some very old septic systems out here and the biggest service sold is cleaning."
Naturally, portable toilets are a key lead-in for a company working in a market like that.
THE GEAR BOX: Some Counties Are Changing Regulations for Septic Systems
One county in Illinois is looking to reverse a number of regulations controlling how and where septic systems can be installed and how they function. If these changes catch on in other parts of the country, it could mean big changes in how companies like yours do business. Whether those changes will be good or bad for septic service companies will take time to see. But we will watch the situation closely as it develops.
In some areas, the changes have already gone into effect, simplifying septic installations and repair for entire communities.
SWIMMING HOLE SETBACK REDUCTION
The first and most controversial of these changes is the distance septic units will need to be installed from public swimming holes. The previous distance of 150 feet is being reduced to 25 feet. While this opens up a heck of a lot of opportunity for builders and homeowners, it has definitely set off sparks over concern for local bodies of water.
One local official from North Peoria said, "If you look at the state code, there isn't a setback distance to swimming bodies of water. The reason for that being that discharge is disinfected before going to the ground surface."
The good news is that testing requirements for public bodies of water in Illinois are still pretty strict. Therefore,
if contamination levels become too high, or God forbid, become detectable to the human senses, there may still be time to reverse it.
Still, it will ease construction limitations on developers.
INSPECTIONS NOW OPTIONAL FOR REAL ESTATE
At present, real estate professionals are required to perform inspections on septic systems before a piece of property may change hands. That too will change after the regulations are revised. At present, Tazewell county is the only county in Illinois where this requirement is still on the books.
This may indicate a disturbing trend for property buyers, and for the rest of the country if this trend spreads. For one thing, property buyers will have to pay for their own septic inspections before they buy. Many new homeowners are likely to be unaware of the importance of septic inspections prior to a new purchase.
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At present, real estate professionals are required to perform inspections on septic systems before a piece of property may change hands. That too will change...
For the septic industry, it won't change much. It may mean less business for septic service companies until the need for inspections before buying property is more wellknown. But when public awareness catches up, it will only change where this type of business comes from, not its value or the demand.
Our local contact on this issue said the same thing. He said, that the intention of this change is to make septic inspection the responsibility of the buyer. Granted, there may be circumstances where such inspections are unnecessary, particularly when the changing of hands is between family or partners.
But the one effect of this change that's certain is that it will make the real estate market tougher for buyers and easier for sellers.
In Tazewell County, ground zero for changes of this kind, the public had the chance to hear the full list of regulatory revisions on February 13th between the hours of 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. at the Tazewell County Health Department building.
For the septic service industry, Tazewell county may be the testing ground for regulatory changes that will affect the public. For septic service providers, the changes are something of a mixed bag.
Certainly, the relaxation of swimming pool easement requirements will make construction decisions simpler. Also, real estate agents and property sellers will love not having to have their tanks inspected.
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