Starting and growing any business can be challenging. An advantage of a vacuum truck business is that the services it offers—sucking liquids, particles and waste and transporting them to an appropriate disposal location—are easy to communicate and understand. A downside is that it may be hard to differentiate your services from the services of the competition. Because of the specific nature of the vacuum truck business, identifying, winning over and retaining the right customers is key to the business’ growth and success. Below are a few strategic steps to the success of your vacuum truck business:

Step 1.

Build your brand by focusing on what you want your vacuum truck business to be known for. Safety? The fastest turnaround time? The most affordable prices? The most thorough cleaning? After you choose your claim, use your website and marketing materials to communicate it clearly, along with all of the services you offer. Communicating and upholding a consistent claim over time will clearly differentiate you from the competition, and you can use it as a negotiation tool when you are talking to customers who have been using someone else’s vacuum truck services.

Step 2.

Promote your business creatively. In order to grow your vacuum truck business, you need to attract new customers. To make a customer switch from one of your competitors to you, offer them a first-time customer discount. To encourage business in the slowest times of the year, offer discounts or add a complimentary service such as leaf sweeping in the fall. On your website, display “before” and “after” photos of sites you have cleaned up with your vacuum trucks, to make potential customers visualize the effects of your services.

Step 3.

Make the most of your website. Individuals and businesses that need liquid, environmental or toxic waste cleaned up are very active in looking for vacuum truck services. That means that the visitors of your website only need a little nudge to order your services. Don’t give them a reason to skip your website -- make your website simple, list clearly the nature of your services, without too many technical details, and display your contact information in a prominent place. Don’t worry about listing your prices – once you have the potential customers on the phone, you can discuss and negotiate prices.

Step 4.

Always exceed expectations. Once you land a client, let your work speak for itself. Always strive to satisfy your customers completely. Delight your customers not only with safe, quick and thorough cleaning but also with punctuality and respectful staff. After you complete the job, send the customer a thank you card. If the customer will need vacuum truck services again, don’t hesitate to follow up with a phone call and schedule the next appointment. Providing an all-around quality service will get you many repeat customers and positive word-of-mouth referals.

Step 5.

Don’t forget your long-time customers. They are your biggest asset—they bring you regular business and spread the good word about you. Treat them well. Offer them discounts when they refer someone to you and always give priority to the jobs they need done. That way, they will keep coming back to you.