2003 Spring Volume No. 1

Staying with the Basics by Ed Cooper, President, PolyJohn Enterprises Corporation

For nearly four decades, the portable sanitation industry has experienced rapid growth. From the humble portable wooden outhouses, like those that C. W. Harbart (p. 14) and others first built, to the high-tech polyethylene plastic units we have today, the industry has continued to move forward and change for the better.

Today, thanks to all of us in this business, Americans can expect to find portable restroom facilities whenever they leave home to work or play.

Portable restrooms are such a common sight that my grandchildren play a game whenever they travel in a car to see who can count the most units between their home and their destination. Truly, if Clark Kent had to make a quick change into Superman nowadays, he wouldn’t look for a phone booth; he’d probably step into a portable restroom.

The fact that our work is everywhere is something to be proud of. However, it also creates new challenges that we all must face head on.

Where 10 years ago, a medium-sized town might have one portable toilet company, today, there are five or six all competing for the same business.

There are even signs that the rapid growth we have come to rely on may slow down.

These changes will bring tougher competition, which can be a good thing, because it makes us all better. However, with competition comes the threat of losing. Like being in sports, those who don’t practice and learn the best techniques can get cut from the team.

As a major producer of portable restroom equipment and supplies, we at PolyJohn want to help all our customers make the cut. The better our customers do, the better we do.

That’s why our mission and focus is about helping you Earn More, Sell More and Service Better. In fact, I have made it a company-wide mandate. It’s why we reorganized our customer service department, gave our regional representatives new tools and authority to help customers, and implemented a formal Total Quality Management system in our manufacturing facility.

Our goal is to help you achieve all your goals, whether it’s growing into a regional giant, or simply earning enough from your family business to put your kids through college.

In a competitive field, small business owners must learn to perform business basics — marketing, customer service and accounting the same as their larger competitors. In turn, large companies must be as nimble and customer-focused as their smaller rivals.

Whatever the size of your business, the portable restroom industry experts at PolyJohn are here to help.

That’s why this issue of JohnTalk is filled with articles written by our employees in different specialty areas of the company. Our managing director has written about developing good people. Our chief financial officer has written about finding true costs, and our Vice President of Business Development has written about promoting your business.

We’ve filled this issue of JohnTalk with a lot of useful information to help you Earn More, Sell More and Service Better. Future issues will be filled with even more.

We believe that if we give all our customers the same help, the playing field remains level and those with the best business practices will continue to be successful. And that’s good for the entire industry.

As competition increases, it’s time to refocus on those business basics — marketing, accounting and excellent customer service. We believe that if you do, the best is yet to come.


Ed Cooper

The better our customers do, the better we do.

Industry Info

Click here for a listing of companies offering Trucks & Accessories, Decals, Financing, Restroom Trailers, Trade Publications, Marketing, Restroom Manufacturing/Sales, Billing/Routing Systems and Insurance.

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