Septic Tank Cleaning Companies: What Do You Need to Set up Your Own?


Do you know what it takes to start a septic tank cleaning services business?

Have you ever dreamed of running your own business? Maybe you have had a long career in the septic tank cleaning industry and think it’s time to strike out on your own.

Being your own boss as a lot of advantages. You have the freedom and flexibility to call the shots. You work when you want, not on your boss’ schedule.

To be successful at it, you need to be skilled in a lot of other areas besides cleaning septic tanks. You need to know how to market your business and then develop long-lasting relationships with your clients.

Want to know the details of what it takes to build the septic tank cleaning business of your dreams? Read on to find out.

What’s Your Experience?

This is an industry where experience matters. You’ll need to know the legal requirements of owning a septic system. State health departments and some municipalities typically oversee the usage, installation, and servicing of septic tanks to meet environmental standards.

Be careful about this though. If you worked for another septic cleaning company in the area, you’ll want to make sure you didn’t sign a non-compete agreement. Some companies will make employees sign this type of agreement before working for them.

You’re basically agreeing not to compete against them for a period of time after you leave the company, usually between 1-2 years. That means you can’t poach their customers, work for a competitor, or start your own septic tank business.

The more informed you are, the better you can help your customers. If you have no industry experience, you might want to consider partnering with someone who does have experience. You could get that experience yourself by working for a septic tank cleaning services company.

You’ll learn about the industry, see how this type of business is run, and learn about the main customer challenges.

Location Is Everything for Septic Cleaning Services

There are over 60 million homes in the U.S. that turn to septic tanks rather than connect to public sewers. That seems like a lot of homes that are potential customers.

You’ll need to do your research to pick a good location for your business. You don’t want to set up shop in an area where the vast majority of people use septic tanks. California, for instance, has only 10% of homes that use septic systems.

Meanwhile, New England and the Southeastern U.S. have much higher concentrations of homes connected to septic systems. Over half of Vermont has a septic system.

Create a Business Plan

When you do have experience in the industry and you’ve seen the operational side of a septic tank cleaning company, you’ll have an idea as to what you’ll need to get started.

You may have a lot of ideas in your head. To get things going, put them down on paper in the form of a business plan.

Should you need to get a loan or grant for your business, you’ll need a formal business plan. Otherwise, putting things on just a few pages will suffice.

The most important questions you need to answer in your business plan are:

  • What is your business?
  • What service will you sell?
  • Who will you sell to?
  • What’s your competition like?
  • How much are your operating expenses every month?
  • How much do you need to be profitable?
  • What’s your plan to grow revenue every month?
  • How will people find out about your business?

Those are the main questions that you need to answer before starting your business. Be sure to have them on paper because this is your roadmap to success. You’ll also want to revisit this document every 6 months and revise it.

Buying Equipment

A septic tank cleaning services company isn’t like most businesses. You have to invest in a lot of equipment to get started. That makes your risk that much greater before you sign up your first customer.

You want to get something that can handle the workload, and something your business can grow into over time. That needs to be balanced with what you can actually afford. You’ll want to learn more about buying a truck for your company before you make the investment.

Promoting Your Septic Tank Cleaning Services Company

You’re going to have to find a way to get customers to your business. Just because you start a business doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically have customers.

At first, you’ll have a rush of customers, who will be your friends and family. After about 6 months, that dries up and you’re left having to really work on your business.

There are dozens of ways to market your business that are inexpensive and fun

You can choose digital marketing tactics like SEO and pay-per-click ads to get started. If you’re in a rural area, there’s a good chance that internet access may be difficult for many homeowners. You’ll then want to use other tactics like direct mail campaigns to homeowners in your area.

No matter what you decide to do, your marketing message has to speak directly to the problems your customers have. They also need to be relatable.

Gaining Customers for Life

When you do get customers in the door, you’ll need to keep them happy. That starts with your attitude and body language as you interact with them.

You want to be sure you’re responsive to any questions they have as well.

People expect a high level of service from every company they work with, including yours. If you don’t give them top service, they’ll go elsewhere.

Start Your New Business in the Septic Tank Cleaning Industry

Starting a new business is a scary thing. It’s also exhilarating. You’re your own boss, but with that freedom comes a lot of responsibility.

You’re now responsible for paying for equipment, employees, health insurance, and paying back loans. That’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders.

With the right plans and consistent execution, you can have a thriving septic tank cleaning services company.

Want more information about starting a business? Check out this guide to managing your business data.

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