By Carrie on

Tips for Building a Brand that Stands Out

Building a Brand that Stands Out from the Crowd

There are over 20,000 liquid waste management companies in the United States. How does your company stand out among competitors in your geographical area? Building a strong company brand will help you to differentiate yourself from competitors.

Here are a few ideas to consider as you build your company brand:

 1. Communicate how important your work is to the community as a whole.

What steps are you taking to show prospective or current customers your vital role in a healthy local ecosystem? For example, consider sending postcard mailers that mention your company’s contribution to protecting the community water table. This also shows your customers how their decision to hire your company furthers the protection of the environment in their area.

 2. Let your passion show through.

Why did you go into business? What gets you excited to go to work? Whatever your reason, let your customers see it in all their interactions with your company.  People get excited about seeing people who do their jobs passionately—so share this passion with your customers!

 3. Communicate a consistent message to your customers.

Any interaction with an existing or potential customer is an opportunity to communicate your brand. Whether by phone, postcard, letter, a truck decal, or in person, every contact you have with your customers should send a consistent message about your company.

Always remember that the years of trust can be undermined in an instant by a rude operator or a poorly done job. Seize every opportunity to communicate your core values to your customers, and reap the benefits of a loyal customer base for many years to come.

4. Be honest about your limitations.

Your customers trust your judgement and expertise to protect their property and make the most of their hard-earned money. If you aren’t the best person or company to do a specific task, use it as an opportunity to be a trusted advisor to your client. Give an honest, “good neighbor” recommendation about who you think is the best person for the job.

5. Be a giver.

In a world fraught with so much hardship, show how your company is a force for good. Consider advertising that some percentage of the customer’s invoice goes to a philanthropic cause that you are personally passionate about. This is not a “check the box” kind of initiative—you should be able to communicate to your customers WHY you are passionate about that particular cause. For example, most customers will like knowing that by hiring your company, they helped to build a well in Africa, to help conserve a local park, or to assist struggling students, for instance. Invite your customers to join you in the joy that comes from genuine giving.

STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD!

There are lots of septic companies in your region, but nobody does things exactly like you do. Building a strong brand presents a clear picture of your company’s strengths to present and future customers, and ensures that when they need help they will think of you first.

 

By Carrie on

Big News! We’ve Come a LONG Way.

It’s been a while since we’veRoad for blog pixabay given a product development update. But we’ve been incredibly busy behind the scenes, working with customers and our developers to make some huge improvements to the Tank Track program. Some of these things may be exactly what you’ve been waiting for.

A year ago, we had a lot of great potential wrapped up in our basic introductory program. Now, we’re excited to offer software that combines simple design with robust capabilities. We hope this mature product will truly transform your office.

New Features

Here are just a few of the new benefits and features we’ve added:

  • All-New AUTO SCHEDULING: Schedule recurrent appointments with ease, at any regular interval, directly to the truck of your choice. AND change any individual appointment as needed without disturbing the rest of the series.
  • Beefed up SERVICE DUE NOTICE System: Create as many different task-specific service due notices as you need for each property. Does a property need pumping every six months, but an inspection every year? We can track that for you, no problem!
  • All-new REPORTING Section: Now you can generate pumping/dumping reports AND revenue reports for any time period. Gain deep insights into your business with just a few clicks.
  • New PAYMENT RECORDING System: Now we support an unlimited number of payments for each invoice, and make it really easy to identify invoices that are paid in full, unpaid, or only partially paid.
  • But wait, there’s MORE… We’ve made big improvements to the schedule, work orders, invoices, backup files, navigation, and more.

As you can see, there’s been a lot of changes to the Tank Track program. As we continue to grow and listen to our customers, we’ll continue to expand to even more capabilities. (Hint: our next projects are sales tax and portables…)

We invite you to see all the updates for yourself with a personal demo (over the Internet) at a mutually convenient time. We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Stay tuned for more detailed feature updates!

By Carrie on

How Much Is Your Time Worth?

HandwPen picjumbo.com_IMG_5992As a septic business owner, you have probably spent plenty of time considering how much to pay your employees. But, have you ever thought about how much your own time is worth? Your answer to this question could help you run your business – and your life – more efficiently.

Unfortunately, many business owners think of their own time as “free.” But the most insightful and successful business leaders put a high value on their time. Not only is time “the stuff life is made of” as Benjamin Franklin famously stated. It is also an asset that you can never get back after you have spent it. Money spent could be replaced by earning more money, but each hour of your time is gone as soon as it ends.

So, how much is your time worth? How much would you charge for your time if you were running your business for someone else? How much you would have to pay to hire an employee to replace you?

Once you have a rate in your mind, you can use it to help you decide what business products or services might be worthwhile to you. For example, let’s talk about some hypothetical septic business owners:

  • Bob typically spends eight hours each month mowing the lawn and maintaining the grounds around his office. A local landscaper offers to do this weekly work for him at a rate of $200 per month. If Bob did not value his time highly, he might have declined the offer in order to save money. However, Bob is a successful businessman who values his time at $50/hour. The eight hours he typically spends on the lawn each month are equal to $400 to him. Bob decides to hire the landscaper, paying $200 in money instead of $400 in time each month. He invests his extra 8 hours per month into reaching out to new customers, which brings more revenue into his business.
  • Sandra spends eight hours each month making personal calls to customers to confirm their upcoming appointments. She receives an offer from a company that will auto-call each customer at a rate of $500 per month. Sandra values her own time at $30 per hour. She decides to continue making the calls herself because the time she spends on the task has a time “cost” of $240 per month, which is significantly less than the price of the new service.

When you are considering using a software service such as Tank Track (or any other), you can use the same technique to decide whether it is worth investing in that service. Ask yourself, “how many hours each month do I think I might save with this program?”  Then, compare the value of the hours you will save to the monthly cost of the program you are considering. Also, consider the value of the activities you might do with the hours you have saved each month. Will the software equip you to use your time more effectively or more enjoyably?

As a successful septic business owner, you probably already value your time as your most valuable asset. Unfortunately, it’s easy to let your time be consumed by office tasks and paperwork. But, you can choose to make your time a priority in your business.

What steps can you take today to take back some of your valuable time?

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Would Tank Track help you save time? Check out our demo videos and see what you think.

By Carrie on

Septic Business Owners: Do You Ever Have Enough Time?

If you’re like most septic business owners in our experience, you never have enough time. Not only are you managing the physical part of the job and directing employees, you are also dealing with the customers who call and handling all of their records. You’re keeping track of when properties are due for service, sending reminders, tracking your disposal stats to meet reporting requirements, and scheduling your company’s appointments. In other words, running your septic business is keeping you running all the time.

If you feel like you can never escape the paper piles long enough to do the “big picture” stuff for your business (marketing and budgeting, anyone?), you are not alone. Most of the folks we’ve talked with in the industry have the same thing on their mind: “How can I streamline my work load to have a life beyond the paper piles? How can I take back time to make my business more profitable, and to enjoy my life?”

If you’re striving to be one of the leading businesses in your area, you may have considered using some kind of software to make your office more efficient. But until recently, most of the software options available for septic service companies were complicated: tons of advanced features for dozens of industries, with a whopping up-front cost. As leading business owner in our area told us, “I shouldn’t need a computer degree to run my business, and I don’t have three weeks to stop work and learn how to use a program.”

Making Time

So how can you get back more time and still stay ahead of the competition, without breaking the bank or investing a month into learning software that does everything but make you breakfast? That’s where we come in. Tank Track is certainly not the fanciest software out there—if you’re looking for the most complicated features available, we won’t be the answer for you. But, if you’re like many leading septic industry professionals, you may be a good fit for our software. It’s been designed over the last year with input and guidance from septic business owners like you, who showed us exactly what they need for running their businesses more smoothly.

How can Tank Track work for you?

  • It is designed specifically for the septic industry, not for dozens of others
  • You can access it securely online from anywhere (it’s technically a “web app”).
  • You can import your current contact and property info quickly, as long as you have a well-organized spreadsheet from Excel, Quickbooks, or another program
  • You can stop re-writing addresses; just enter or confirm contact info in the program, and it will print out correctly on invoices
  • You can easily schedule appointments, keep track of property details, see who is due for service, and confirm your pumping and dumping totals
  • You can quickly download a daily backup file with your up-to-date customer info for extra peace of mind
  • You will love how simple it is to use
  • You can finally take back your time and work from anywhere. After all, you only live once, right?

If you’re wondering if your business might be a good fit for Tank Track, check out our gallery of demo videos to see the program in action. Then, get signed up! We’ll be happy to spend time helping you get set up. Sign up by June 30th, 2014, to have your price locked in for life!

By Carrie on

Septic Co. Software: 3 Reasons Why a Monthly Subscription is Great (#3 is Our Favorite)

HiResWe have some pretty exciting launch date news coming out soon (sign up for our free e-newsletter if you want to be in on the surprise.) But since we’re not ready to spill the beans on that quite yet, we’ll tell you a little story about an unhappy septic guy, and what he taught us.

We were exhibiting at a regional gathering for septic service professionals when a friendly looking man approached our table to ask some questions and to see us demo a rough version of our software (we were there to get feedback). He was excited about what we showed him, and seemed to love the design and the extra time he could gain from making his business more efficient. That is, until he learned that our program would be offered via a monthly subscription.

He became upset, and nearly shouted, “I would NEVER consider using software that I don’t own.”

As he walked away, we realized we needed to share with you the reasons that we have chosen a subscription model rather than an old-fashioned software download.

Top Three Reasons to LOVE Your Monthly Subscription:

  1. Lower Up-Front Costs: One of the biggest frustrations we’ve heard about with septic software is that the up-front cost is too high, and it feels too risky to try something you might not like. By using a subscription model, we can offer you the benefits of very low up-front cost.
  2. Don’t Wait Years for Fixes and Updates: With the “old” software model, you might pay thousands of dollars to buy the software, and then put up with any annoying problems it has for years before finally giving in and purchasing the updated version of that software for thousands of dollars more. Instead, as a monthly subscriber to Tank Track, you will get updates as quickly as they are available. As bugs in the program are discovered (and they will be), you will get the “fix” right away.
  3. Get New Features Sooner: If you “buy” software, you have to pay a separate, large fee to upgrade to a newer version with additional features. With our monthly subscription, you won’t have to limit yourself to outdated features until you can afford to purchase the program yet again. When we roll out new features, they will be added into your subscription package without any “upgrade” needed. We’re planning some pretty great additional features for later this year (such as smartphone apps, tablet apps, offline mode, and QuickBooks integration). If you are a subscriber, it will be pretty sweet to wake up every few months and find more benefits added to your account for no extra cost.

To be clear, the subscription model won’t be a perfect fit for everyone. Not all septic company owners are ready to let go of their old-fashioned software that they can buy and “own.” If that describes you, that’s OK; Tank Track isn’t meant to be for everyone. It is meant to be only for the folks who really want it, and who want to take their business to the next level of efficiency and profitability with a subscription-based web application.

[And, while it’s true that you won’t “own” the platform (software), you do own all of the information you put into it.]

If we could re-do our conversation with that disappointed septic guy, we would have shared with him these 3 reasons that the subscription model would help us to serve him in the best possible way.

Hopefully, we’ve done a better job of sharing that vision with you!

By Carrie on

About Our Project

Well, you’ve had a chance now to see our new website, which gives you a good idea of how our new program is shaping up. When we started out to define this project, we wanted to make sure we didn’t do what lots of people do: make something we think is cool, and then try to sell it. Chances are, if we did that, nobody would need what we made.

Instead, we tried to approach this like detectives. We talked to LOTS of folks in the septic services industry and asked them what they wanted us to make. That really helped to simplify things, and to give this project a direction and a focus. They told us that they wanted some kind of computer program that would help them:

  • Be more efficient in the office, and be able to spend extra time on the more important things such as reaching out to new customers, planning a budget, etc.
  • Stay organized with scheduling and client property info
  • Keep track of as-built plans, tank cover location, etc.
  • Save time during annual reporting periods
  • Stay on top of reminders

The other request was that they wanted something that would be easy to set up, and easy to use. As one person told us, “I don’t have three weeks to stop running my business and learn some fancy program.” So, we have tried to make something functional, practical, and also easy to use.

It’s still under development, and we’re anticipating the release of the final product in the near future. Stay tuned!

By Tank Track on

Webinars

It’s our pleasure to present you with some exciting news. No, it’s not about our upcoming product launch. (Tank Track septic business software details are still under wraps while we work on some finishing touches.)

The news is…. you are cordially invited to our first ever Tank Track webinar. (If you’ve never done one, it is a live seminar online that you can “attend” via your computer.) Actually, you are invited to each of THREE webinars, all totally free for septic business folks, and all accessible to you from the comfort of your very own home or office computer.

You’ve told us that one of your biggest challenges is reaching people with your advertising, because the phone book advertisements you’ve always used just aren’t working well anymore. So, we’ve invited Allen Voivod, who is an expert in advertising on the internet (especially social media), to share some of his top tips.

The three webinars are coming right up, and spots are limited, so reserve yours right away. Here are the details:

Sign up here.
Please pass on this invitation to your friends and colleagues. See you there!

By Tank Track on

Hello world!

Hello!

Thanks for visiting us here at Tank Track. This blog is the place to be if you want the inside scoop about our soon-to-be-released software program for septic service businesses (more on that later).

But even more importantly, we aim to provide a ton of free tools to help your septic business become even better. You are looking for ways to become more competitive, efficient, and effective. You’re trying to stay in touch with customers and be found by new ones in a world of constantly changing media. We’re here to support you in your mission.

Please sign up for our email updates so you can be the first to know about our brand-spanking-new software program, which is launching very soon! (Can you tell we’re excited??) And, we’ll also email you invitations to use our free resources as they come out, including webinars, videos, print materials, social media stuff, and more.

Thanks for coming by!

Sincerely,
The Tank Track Team

P.S. We’d love to hear from you (for real). Shoot us an email at info@tank-track.com and let us know what kinds of free tools you could use for your septic business. And, tell us about the most frustrating problem in your business. Unlike most software companies, we will write back!

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