12 Ways to Become an Agile Portable Restroom Rental Business

Across the national portable restroom, rental services spectrum and the broader business sector, company owners are making differing predictions of what local markets are going to do in 2021. This is while many are still reeling from the shock of the 2020 economic shutdown and the global health crisis. The one thing most do agree on is that the events of this year have cast a spotlight on the need for businesses to become more agile.
There are already varying levels of agility from one business to another, but all competing companies alike are dealing with the accelerating pace of changing demands across the portable restroom rental consumer and B2B markets. Understanding what it takes to sustain a business in this industry now involves more than offering great products and services at competitive price points.
Those who will last through the current unusual challenge of the pandemic period and far beyond will prove to have greater agility than less adroit organizations. Here’s some advice to help you achieve the necessary agility in your business to sustain it through unexpected changes and keep growing.

What Does it Mean to Be an Agile Business?

What is an agile company? In the simplest terms, it’s a company that empowers people to adapt quickly as needed in response to unexpected internal or external changes, to maximize competitive advantage. That definition also states the benefit of agile operation.
In the most agile enterprises, the empowerment is applied across the entire organization, from top leadership to marketing and sales, to production, to customer services, and all others to the greatest extent practical.

Ways to Make Your Business More Agile

Business today is all about doing things faster–making decisions faster, identifying trends faster, making mistakes faster, and getting products to market faster. To make your portable restroom rental business more agile, you’ll first need to identify the actions that will help prepare your team members to embrace an agile mode of operating. Here are a dozen tips for developing a more resilient team that embraces agile operations:

1. Clearly communicate your vision.

The more clearly people understand your vision and plans and why it’s important to conform to these, the more easily they can do what is expected. Paint the picture of how a more agile operation would function and benefit employees and customers.
For an initiative to succeed, people must be engaged. Help employees assume ownership of their role in the process, by allowing them the freedom to make decisions to the extent feasible.

2. Focus on top priorities.

Prioritization is the central principle of agile operations. The typical lengthy list of priorities can be very distracting when trying to manage a business with greater agility. Reorganize your To-Do list by plucking out the three or four highest-priority items and placing them at the top.
Write those several tasks on your digital or physical team communications board, as a constant reminder of the current points of focus. As one item is completed, elevate the next highest from your regular list into the shortlist.

3. Hire people with agile traits.

Recruiting talented workers makes having an agile business possible. Ideal candidates for employment in agile workplaces tend to be strongly goal-oriented, adventurous, innovative, and perform well in a variety of roles. People who only feel secure working in more traditional ways are less likely to be happy in or contribute well to the success of an agile business.
The success of Agile depends on the level of mutual trust and cooperation among your team members, and their innovative problem-solving abilities. Cultivate an agile culture through routine face-to-face meetings, open discussions, and using surveys and other anonymous feedback tools.

4. Increase autonomy.

It is too difficult for an organization to function with sufficient agility if employees are required to have every decision approved by management. Empower workers to make as many decisions on their own as practical for your various operations in your portable restroom rental business. Emphasize training in soft skills, to enable more team members to perform well interacting with customers.
Further, value the quality of outcomes over the details of where and where people are doing their work. Increase flexibility for people to work remotely with complete access to all the necessary digital information and tools.

5. Delegate More Responsibility.

A fundamental step in increasing small business agility is training talented employees to take on as many tasks from management as possible. This frees up owner-operators to focus on income-generating, brand building, and other pursuits that directly increase revenues and referral traffic.
Train and coach workers who show high potential for supervisory roles, and create an environment that allows them to thrive in their roles. Give them the autonomy and opportunities they need to exercise their decision-making and team leadership potential.

6. Encourage continuous innovation.

Innovation is a time-tested approach to increasing a company’s benefit to its customers and its bottom line. Today’s evolving portable restroom rental industry is no place for an entrepreneur who does not embrace the spirit of innovativeness in his or her team members.
To compete successfully in the exciting highly-dynamic periods to come requires thinking outside the proverbial box. Continuously strive to identify and develop better methods of over-delivering on service quality, and to roll out new products that enhance your standard offerings and the array of supplementary options.

7. Reallocate resources as needed.

Announcing that you are aiming to increase agility, but then failing to provide the needed tools and other resources to achieve the set goals will naturally discourage people and cause them to abandon the concept before they can get started on trying to implement any actual changes. So, consider how you will allocate financial and other critical resources for agile initiatives.
Decide what you will invest in. Be transparent about your plans and what the process will entail. Look for any areas of functioning in which you’re not realizing an acceptable return on investment, and determine whether or not it may make sense to disengage from it and reappropriate the resources to agile initiatives.

8. Set the agile example.

People are more inclined to understand, accept, and emulate actions of a good leader demonstrating high standards than to process and interpret instructions about how to think and behave differently in the workplace and then accurately adopt those.
Your team can see what your real priorities are by the activities and objectives in which you seem most invested. Build their trust and confidence in leadership, and inspire them to buy into agile goals, by communicating with all groups and individuals frequently, and be transparent and truthful.

9. Measure and Monitor Results.

Metrics for all revenue channels and activities that support those should be monitored, and scrutinized for underperformance. So, in addition to allocating financial resources, management time must be allotted to staying informed on the progress or lack of it in any area of agile operations.
Measure the team’s progress in individual and group processes. Expect progress that results in acceptable ROI within a reasonable timeframe. Decide which outcomes you will measure. Include both quantitative and qualitative metrics to evaluate your success.

10. Reward achievement.

Hold team members accountable for progress and ultimately for the success or failure of their projects. Start by ensuring clear and thorough communications of all expectations. Make sure you have heard all their concerns and have a complete accounting of their needs. Make sure they have a clear understanding of timelines, quality, and other benchmarks for fulfilling those.
Consider what you expect of each individual and group, the consequences of failure to the business, and the extent of the benefits to the mission from their success in the effort. Consider appropriate rewards for achievement, based on the extent of the necessary effort, and what its success will mean to the enterprise.

11. Share an inspiring purpose.

As an entrepreneur in a service industry, you’re likely to have the desire to help make a positive difference in your community and the world, in addition to building a successful business for your family and yourself. That sensibility fits well with a key component of job satisfaction for today’s workers.
Most employees these days want to work for a company that makes a social, environmental, or other positive impacts in the world, beyond just making a paycheck for themselves and/or a profit for themselves and other stakeholders in the business. Explain your community impact goals for the company regularly, and help team members become involved in realizing those goals.

12. Expect the unexpected.

We’ve all heard the maxim, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” But, despite the best planning, the only certainty you can rely on is that reality will impact your plan and force you to make adjustments to it and adapt to those changes. Hence the need for improving agility.
The solution is to develop a company culture of adroitly pivoting as necessary, in response to unexpected occurrences and emergent needs. Anticipating that issues will arise and embracing that reality is a flexible mindset that frees professionals to rapidly process oncoming changes, adjust budgets, reallocate resources, and move forward deliberately and with confidence. So, train for agile then practices it!

Obstacles to Agile Development

People in some roles may be unprepared for shifting quickly as needed for optimum agility. For example, support functions such as accounting, HR, legal, and others may find greater difficulty in adapting to agile policies or practices. Such business units are more likely to be developed according to operational structures that are less readily realigned with updated agile operations systems.
Consider migrating to unified cloud technologies in telecom services, relationship management, data handling, and other business platforms. This change will allow your company to inexpensively dissolve data and information silos for full transparency across departments, and it will cut costs over the longer-term. Further, switching to the cloud will enable all team members the access they need for agile handling of customers’ rapidly changing demands.

Conclusion

There is a clear imperative for all modern businesses to strive to become more agile. To succeed with an agility-building strategy requires assembling a team of strong talent, communicating clear goals and priorities, cultivating a collaborative and mutually supportive team dynamic, empowering the employees as much as reasonable, allocating resources, obtaining feedback, monitoring progress, and making adjustments as needed. It also requires inspiring people to buy into the mission and vision.
In this industry, in which so many companies offer a variety of portable restroom rental and ancillary products and services, there may be a broad scope of small to large decision-making every day. The more authority workers have over their activities, the more experienced and knowledgeable your team has the potential to become.
Continue to assess agile development needs throughout your organization. Identify what still needs to be done to increase the agility of your company. Foremost, exemplify an attitude of agility in confronting emergent challenges, and foster a culture of embracing change. You can make significant gains toward greater operational agility by implementing just that last suggestion alone.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to expect to make your portable restroom rental services business ideally agile immediately. You can adapt gradually. Just set your goals for what you want to achieve and how you will recognize success when you reach it, and start working to accomplish the improvements listed above, marking off each one as a major milestone after your team has mastered it.

BY BOBBI JACKSON

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