The portable toilet business is growing across the world, despite the millions of them that are currently in operation. This is because the world continues to need more portable toilets. From an outdoor event, to a construction site and everything in between, there are many reasons someone will seek this business out. Continue reading to learn how to start your own portable toilet business and find out if it is right for you.
Learn how to start your own Portable Toilet Business and whether it is the right fit for you.
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Start a Portable Toilet Business by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Portable Toilet Business
- Form your Portable Toilet Business into a Legal Entity
- Register your Portable Toilet Business for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Portable Toilet Business
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Portable Toilet Business
- Get Portable Toilet Business Insurance
- Define your Portable Toilet Business Brand
- Create your Portable Toilet Business Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
We have put together this simple guide to starting your Portable Toilet Business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What will you name your business?
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
What are the costs involved in opening a Portable Toilet Business?
You will need a large amount of cash up front to start your portable toilet business. Tools, equipment, and a storage facility are essential. Additionally, cleaning chemicals, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, soap, and deodorizer will be needed for toilet maintenance. It would be best if you also had a truck to haul portable toilets.
What are the ongoing expenses for a Portable Toilet Business?
You need a constant supply of cleaning chemicals, which is a large expense for your business. You also need a deodorizer for the portable toilets. In addition, you need to maintain all of your toilets, as well as whatever vehicles you have transporting them. You may also need special cleaners to remove graffiti from the portable toilets.
Who is the target market?
One of the great things about a portable toilet business is you have many different target markets. You want to know which market is yours so that you can appeal directly to that market. In addition, there may be a few target markets that are closely related, which can allow you to hone in on that group. Some obvious target markets are construction workers and construction sites, those creating fundraising events, concert venues, food festivals, trade shows, and event planners for outdoor events and venues.
How does a Portable Toilet Business make money?
The main way you will make money in the portable toilet business is by renting out toilets for a certain period of time.
How much can you charge customers?
The average rate is about $175 to $225 for a 24-hour rental of a portable toilet. If you want to offer a monthly service, you can expect to charge anywhere from $175 to $500 per month for each portable toilet. The price varies based on the type of toilet you are providing.
How much profit can a Portable Toilet Business make?
It is possible to earn well over $100,000 in profit as the owner of a portable toilet business.
How can you make your business more profitable?
While most of your money is made by renting portable toilets, there are other ways you can bring some extra revenue into the business. You can offer pumping and cleaning for portable toilets, even if they are not your toilets. Furthermore, consider partnering with event planners who will use your business while they plan large events for clients.
Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your Portable Toilet Business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a Portable Toilet Business
Once you have decided on your market, you can determine what type of portable toilet works best for that group. If your target market is construction workers, then the basic, no-frills portable toilet is the best choice. If your target market is outdoor weddings, then you want to consider an outdoor restroom. You want to market and appeal to each particular market differently. While the form of communication can be the same, such as emails or flyers, you want to change the messaging for each group.
How to keep customers coming back
You want to retain customers by providing quality service and sparkling clean portable toilets. You can attract customers by word of mouth. If you can get in with a particular venue that has a large number of outdoor events, you may be able to provide portable toilets for all events. You want to remain professional and provide excellent customer service.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
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Is this Business Right For You?
A portable toilet business is ideal for someone that does not mind a dirty and sometimes smelly job. It is not glamorous but can be incredibly lucrative. If you want to start a portable toilet business, this type of work cannot bother you. This business is for you if you are interested in taking the time to learn the industry and take the appropriate training to avoid health hazards.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a Portable Toilet Business?
You are going to need a crew of people to run a portable toilet business. You will not be able to do it all yourself. As the business owner, you will manage the daily activities of the business. Responsibilities include moving portable toilets from storage to the site location. The portable toilets must be carefully mounted, cleaned, and stocked properly for their next use. In addition to cleaning, the portable toilets need to be properly pumped.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful Portable Toilet Business?
Experience dealing with clients and working with large venues could prove useful as your business will need to build a customer base to get off the ground. Previous managerial experience would be helpful, and knowledge surrounding plumbing practices could also greatly benefit your business.
What is the growth potential for a Portable Toilet Business?
In the United States, the portable toilet business generates a revenue of around a billion dollars per year. It has the potential for 3.1% growth each year. The expectation is that as the housing market continues to grow, the portable toilet market will grow right along with it. All of those construction sites will need portable toilets.
Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a Portable Toilet Business?
It is essential to know that the portable toilet business is highly competitive. As a result, it may be challenging to start this type of business. You may want to consider buying into a franchise instead of starting your own from scratch — joining an established company may be easier and more lucrative.
How and when to build a team
You want to build a team as soon as you put the business together. It is important to have competent staff that can load, secure, and unload portable toilets onto the transfer vehicle. The portable toilets need to be cleaned properly to avoid hazardous waste concerns. The materials must also be disposed of properly. It is important that you have enough staff to handle all of the work.