The Top 8 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Portable Restroom Business

Workers inspecting a row of portable restrooms

If you are trying to break out into the portable restroom business, it is important to do some research first. While portable restrooms are certainly a necessity, especially with the outdoor event season starting up again, there are some key things you should consider prior to jumping right in. After all, high demand isn’t the only reason a business is successful. 

Here at FlowMark, we specialize in manufacturing high quality industrial vacuum trucks, so we know the sanitation business. We have compiled a list of eight important things we think you should know. Keep reading to learn more! 


1.) Diversity of the Business

When you think of a portable restroom, where do you typically think of it being set up at? Many people might default to thinking about large outdoor concert venues or carnivals and fairs. While this is certainly true, there is a lot of diversity to this business. There are outdoor weddings, golf courses, city events, and more! Also, remote construction sites or oil field drilling locations might require the use of portable restrooms. Don’t limit yourself to one service or one customer base! Having a variety of services available will increase your profit margin, even during the fall and winter months. 


2.) Invest in Top Quality Products

Because portable restrooms are typically located outdoors, it is important to invest in a high quality product. These portable cabins will be exposed to all kinds of elements and weather conditions so it is imperative that they can hold up and remain durable. This will also increase your return on investment. While it might cost you a little bit more up front, not having to constantly replace parts or pay to have maintenance done is always a good thing. 


3.) Long Term vs. Short Term Cabins

Did you know that there is a difference between long term and short term cabins? While short term cabins might be your most commonly thought of, such as being used for the weekend at an outdoor concert venue or summer carnival, they aren’t really your money makers. This is due to the fact that they have to be transported and cleaned after each single event. However, you still want to offer this service to customers. 

That being said, long term contracts are the way to go. It might take you a bit to score a more long term rental, but once you do, you will have steady profit flow. Just make sure to service your restrooms by hiring an industrial vacuum truck service and keep on top of the routine maintenance schedule.


4.) Know the Event Details

When setting up your portable restroom company, you need to know the ins and outs of your state’s regulations and requirements when it comes to the person per restroom ratio. Customers are going to rely on you to be a knowledgeable resource for how many cabins they are going to need based on event size, length, and whether or not food or alcohol is being served throughout the duration. You don’t want to undersell your service and leave the customer out of regulation. On the other hand, you don’t want to oversell and cost your customer more money than necessary, as this can dissolve your company’s reputation. 


5.) Set Up a Quote Structure

Just as mentioned above, setting up a quote structure requires many factors to be taken into consideration. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Portable restroom type (luxury vs standard)
  • Quality of cabin
  • The size of the crowd at the event
  • Layout of the event
  • Duration of the rentals
  • Transportation and service fees
  • Mileage for travel

While these are just a few examples, you will figure out a structure that works best for you. Don’t be afraid to reassess and modify as needed!


6.) Prepare for Dirty Work

If there is one thing that is true about the portable restroom business, it’s that it does require a bit of dirty work. While not every service will be horrible, you are bound to come across some less than enjoyable things. This is especially true if the event served alcohol, as that always tends to make things more difficult. Make sure you have a good partnership with an industrial vacuum truck company that can help you handle these services and get your cabins back to tip top shape.

A portable restroom at a construction site

7.) Good Pay Out

Yes, the work is tough and dirty, but there can be a good pay out. After all, people are willing to pay top dollar to have proper disposal of waste. If there is one thing that can ruin an event, it’s having poor access to restrooms. If people leave the event (or worse!), the hosts of said event are going to lose significant money. So while the work might not be for everyone, that’s a good thing! Those who stick it out and provide good, quality service can expect a hefty paycheck at the end of the day. 


8.) Partner With an Industrial Vacuum Truck Service Company

A huge part of keeping up on maintenance of your portable cabins is making sure that they are clean and ready to go after each use. Clients expect the restrooms to arrive at their venue or location pristine and in excellent condition. In order to do this, you will need to have them serviced by the best vacuum trucks in the business. Shop around for quotes from independent contractors and talk about what types of trucks they have. If they run their business with machines made here at FlowMark, you are more than likely in good hands. 


Wrap Up

Starting off in the portable restroom business is no easy feat, but the payoff will be more than worth the effort. While this isn’t a comprehensive list, these tips should help to give you a leg up and get started. Continue to do more research, especially in regards to your specific state or region. Become knowledgeable and well versed in requirements to better meet your customer’s needs. Build a clientele that trusts you and hires your services again and again, and you will surely be successful.