Do you want to start a porta potty business? If YES, here is a complete guide on how to start a porta potty business with no money and no experience. If you have ever considered starting a sanitation or rental related business in the United States, a business that to a large extent is not highly competitive, then one of your options is to start a porta potty business. A porta potty business is involved in renting and cleaning portable toilets.

It is a business that is doing reasonably well in the united states of America and Canada. The porta potty business is one that can’t go out of fashion because of the role it plays in the society especially outdoor events. Depending on the scale you want to start, the startup capital for this type of business can be considered as moderate. As a matter of fact, you can start your own porta potty rental business and then grow it big within a short period of time by re – investing your profits back to the business.

Prior to launching this type of business, it is necessary to carry out market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies. If you get things right before launching your porta potty rental business, then it will not be too long before you breakeven and start generating steady profits.

20 Steps to Starting a Porta Potty Business

1. Understand the Industry

The porta potty rental business is under the Portable Toilet Rental industry, and it rents out portable toilets to customers for specified periods of time. The customers that rent portable toilets include construction companies, live venue service providers and on-site remediation service operators.

Portable toilets are rented to provide conveniences during outdoor events such as weddings, parties, family reunions, church benefits, sports, association fund-raisers etc. Aside from the fact that the owners of porta potty rental business rent their toilets and make money, most of them as also engage in other services like septic tank maintenance, cesspool pumping and cleaning et al.

The Portable Toilet Rental Industry is indeed a thriving industry not only in the United States of America and but also in most countries of the world. Statistics has it that the Portable Toilet Rental industry in the United States of America, is worth about $1 billion, with an estimated growth rate of 3.1 percent.

There are about 3,518 registered and licensed porta potty rentals businesses in the United States and they are responsible for employing about 10,583 people. In the United States, only United Site Services, Inc. can boast of having a lion market share in the industry. The industry is still very much open for aspiring investors to come and launch their own porta potty rental business.

If you are an observer of the Portable Toilet Rental industry in the United States, you will notice that the industry has bounced back over the last five years. The US construction sector collapsed prior to the current period, and as work sites idled, demand for portable toilets stalled.

Demand for portable toilets has largely recovered since, as economic growth spurred increase in construction investments. Going forward to 2022, IBISWorld forecasts industry revenue will increase. However, environmental regulations are also expected to intensify, resulting in higher compliance costs for industry operators.

A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that the Portable Toilet Rental industry has a low concentration, with the industry’s four largest players, combined, accounting for just less than 20.0 percent of market share. The industry consists of a large number of small, regional firms.

Many of these privately owned companies that generate significant revenue, offer a variety of sanitation services and provide an assortment of temporary structures. Therefore, these companies derive only a small proportion of sales from industry relevant operations.

In addition, an estimated 48.6 percent of industry operators are non – employers, defined by the Census as self-employed individuals operating very small unincorporated businesses, which may not be the owner’s principal source of income.

As such, these non – employer firms account for less than 2.0 percent of the total revenue generated in the industry within the period in review. Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own porta potty rental business could be that the business is easy to set up and manage with minimal startup capital, minimal manpower and minimal working hours.

The portable toilets rental industry is indeed a profitable industry to venture into, even as the entry bar is not too difficult to scale through. The truth is that if a porta potty rental business has trendy portable toilets and is well positioned in an environment with high rate of outdoor events, they will attract regular clients.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of those that patronize porta potty rental businesses cut across all individuals, organizations and businesses that organize outdoor parties and events hence the demographic composition for porta potty rental business is all encompassing.

So, if you are thinking of opening your own porta potty rental business then you should make your target demographics all encompassing.

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

It is important to state that there is no known niche area in the porta potty rental business. Every player in this line of business usually rents out different sizes and shapes of portable toilets. But it is important to state that some porta potty rental businesses may decide to add some complimentary services to their business offering like;

  • Beach cleaning and maintenance
  • Cesspool cleaning
  • Testing and waste collection
  • Sewer or storm-basin cleanout services
The Level of Competition in the Industry

The level competition in the Portable Toilet Rentals industry goes beyond competitions with porta potty rental companies in your location as you will be expected to compete with other businesses like party supply rental stores that also rent out public toilets for outdoor events. So, it will be right to say the competition in the Portable Toilet Rental industry is relatively rough.

But no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make a headway in the industry. Just ensure that you have standard and well – equipped portable toilets suitable for outdoor events and you know how to reach out to your target market.

There are over 3,518 porta potty toilets scattered all around the United States and even in the same location where you intend starting yours. So, if you choose to start your own porta potty rental business in the United States, you will definitely meet stiff competitions amongst porta potty rental companies.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

You will agree with me that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and general public than others. Some of these brands have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.

These are some of the leading porta potty rental companies in the United States of America and in the globe;

  • United Site Services, Inc.
  • John’s Sanitation Services Company
  • Miller & Company Porta Potty Rental Services
  • Apple Valley Pumping Service
  • A & B Portable Toilet Rental Services
  • ADB Construction & Septic Services
  • Gary’s Pumping Service: Portal Toilet and Septic Tank Professionals
  • Kelly Phillips Sanitation
  • Sludgebusters Septic Service
  • Nix Sanitary Service
  • Bell’s Septic Tank and Portable Restroom Rentals
  • Allstate Septic Systems
  • KAMLOOPS Septic Service Ltd
  • Coyote Enterprises, Septic and Portables
  • Mike’s Sanitation Services Company
Economic Analysis

The fact that you are looking towards launching a business and maximizing profits means that you must ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.

Starting a porta potty rental business is not as capital intensive because all that is required of you is to construct or purchase standard portable toilets in various sizes that can easily be dismantled and assembled within a short space of time, get sanitary supplies and trained employees and also the cost to successfully run the business.

You will also need a warehouse facility or a secured space to keep your portable toilets and also a truck to convey the portable toilets to and from event venues and also the waste generated after use. You can decide to rent out the truck or include it as a premium service to those who rent your portable toilets.

In summary, if you are considering starting a porta potty rental business, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting a warehouse facility and purchase of portable toilets and trucks, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base, you are sure going to maximize profits from the business.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

Ordinarily, if you want to start any business, you should be guided by your overall business vision and mission statement. But if you are looking towards starting a porta potty rental business, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get the franchise of a porta potty rental business to buy.

Besides starting a porta potty rental business from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small scale businesses.

With porta potty rental business, you should just try as much as possible to secure a warehouse facility that is close to a major road, purchase the needed portable toilets and sanitary supplies and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet cum event planner’s apps when it comes to marketing your business.

Please note that successful porta potty rental companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

Please note that if you decide to start your own porta potty rental business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established porta potty rental companies. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.

Some other challenges you are likely going to face are economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

If you are considering starting a porta potty rental business, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow. From a broader perspective, you have the options of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship for your porta potty rental business.

Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale porta potty rental business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital in a small neighborhood.

But if your intention is to grow the business and have chains of porta potty rental outlets across the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietorship is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.

Setting up an LLC for your porta potty rental business protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.

Here are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your porta potty rental business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.

If you take your time to study the various legal entities to use for your porta potty rental business, you will agree that limited liability company is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.

Please not that upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your porta potty rental business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

When it comes to Choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own porta potty rental business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • Red Ribbon® Porta Potty Rental Services, Inc.
  • Outdoor Team™ Porta Potty Rental Service, LLC
  • Glass House™ Portable Toilet Rental Services, Inc.
  • Alpha Team® Porta Potty Rental Service, LLC
  • Green Frames® Portable Toilet Rental Services, Inc.
  • Andrew Tim & Family® Porta Potty Rental Services, Inc.
  • Lamar Merinda© Porta Potty Rental Services, Inc.
  • Stanley Hazel™ Portable Toilet Rental Service, LLC
  • Perry Whyte™ Porta Potty Rental Services, Inc.
  • Inglewood InnerCity® Porta Potty Rental Service, Inc.

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

The practice in the United States and of course in most countries of the world is that you can’t operate a business without having insurance policy cover. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your porta potty rental business.

Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own porta potty rental business in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Workers Compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

If you are considering starting your own porta potty rental business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

When it comes to porta potty rental business, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you can be allowed to start a porta potty rental business. All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of porta potty rental business and perhaps becoming a Certified Public Health Inspector.

On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to effectively manage and grow your porta potty rental business, then by all means try and pursue such certification.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations.

If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own porta potty rental business in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Tax Payer’s ID/Tax Identification Number
  • Public Health Inspection/Sanitation Clearance Certificate
  • Business Plan
  • Copy of license for the warehouse facility and/or a recent inspection report
  • Employee Handbook
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Building/Warehouse License

13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

From the economic analysis conducted earlier, launching a porta potty rental business can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale with just a handful of portable toilets and one staff. Securing a standard warehouse facility, purchasing trucks and various sizes of standard portable toilets suitable for events, are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital.

So, if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a large scale porta potty rental business with the ability to rent out several portable toilets to different customers at the same time.

When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your porta potty rental business;

14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

When it comes to choosing a location for your porta potty rental, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the demand for portable toilets and of course the frequency of outdoor events. Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your porta potty rental company, it will give people easy access to locate your office and also for you to quickly transport your portable toilets when ordered by clients.

It cannot be overstressed that the location you chose to open your porta potty rental business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people and businesses with the required purchasing power and flair for hosting outdoor parties and events.

It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for a business such as porta potty rental business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your porta potty rental business.

Before choosing a location for your porta potty rental business, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.

These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your porta potty rental business;

  • The demography of the location as it relates to outdoor event centers
  • The demand for portable toilets in the location
  • The frequency at which outdoor parties and events are done in the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of porta potty rental businesses and any other business such as party rental companies and banquet hall rental companies that are also into renting out portable for public and private parties and events in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community

15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

On the average, there are no special technology or equipment needed to run this type of business but you will definitely need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.

As regards leasing or outright purchase of a warehouse facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location/facility for such business.

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard porta potty rental business, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Warehouse Manager/Admin Manager, Rental Manager, Sales and Marketing Officer, Accounting Clerk, and Truck Drivers and Assistants.

These are some of the key employees that you can work with. On the average, you will need a minimum of 3 to 6 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard porta potty rental business.

The Services Delivery Process of the Business

Normally, a porta potty rental services company list out the sizes and types of toilets that they have for rent and other complimentary services that they offer. When a event manager or organizer or customer approach them, they agree on the prices of the portable toilets to be rented, payment is made, and deposit are also made. The deposit is compulsory because it is used to replace any damaged components of the portable toilets that was rented.

In most cases, once the payment and deposit are done, the porta potty rental company use their truck to convey the toilets to the venue of the party or event, and also set up the toilets. After the party or event is over, the porta potty rental company will evacuate the feces and urine, clean, dismantle and convey the portable toilets back to their warehouse.

16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

From a general perspective, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a porta potty rental business, then you must employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for the portable toilet rental industry.

Your marketing strategy will center on hygiene, convenience, quality, and pricing, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers rent public toilets from you, they will get neat and easy to use public toilets and excellent service.

The truth is that, if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers. These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your porta potty rental business;

  • Introduce your porta potty rental business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to event planners/event managers, sport organizations and entrepreneurs and start – ups in the neighborhood where your porta potty rental company will be located
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across, so that those on the social media or those who read blogs will know where to go when they need to rent public toilets for outdoor parties and events within your location
  • Create a basic website for your business, so as to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your products.
  • Join local porta potty rental and party supply rental associations for industry trends and tips
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise your business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)

17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products

One key factor that will help you rent out your portable toilets at rock bottom prices is to purchase your toilets and sanitary supplies directly from the manufacturers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from the manufacturers, the cheaper you tend to get them.

Another strategy that will help you rent out your portable toilets at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.

You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.

18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

The availability of various sizes of portable toilets, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry.

Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to offer free transportation for your portable toilets. Over and above, ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly qualified and your portable toilets can favorably compete with the some of the best in the industry.

19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your products and services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products.

Statistics has it that one of the major reasons why clients source for alternative service provider or product is when there is a drop in quality. Another reason is poor customer service. If you can continue to make available different sizes and shapes of standard portable toilets, free transportation, and your customer service delivery is top notch, then you won’t struggle to maintain loyal customers.

Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.

With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).

20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be.

If your intention of starting a porta potty rental business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national brand by opening chains of porta potty rental outlets, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.

No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your porta potty rental company;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and events and lifestyle magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your porta potty rental business
  • Install your Billboards on strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your porta potty rental company
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • List your porta potty rental in local directories/yellow pages
  • Advertise your porta potty rental company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your porta potty rental store is located.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and trucks are well branded with your company logo
Ajaero Tony Martins