Septic Tank Business Tips: How to Start and Grow a Successful Business

Are you thinking about opening a septic tank cleaning and pumping business?

If so, you’re in the right place. We’re here to help you ensure everything is on track and give you the tools to start and grow a successful business.

The U.S. Septic tank industry reached $5.3 billion in revenue in 2020; the numbers are only going to increase from here. What could be a better time to enter the industry?

What is a septic tank business? A septic tank business makes money by charging customers to clean and maintain their septic systems. A residential septic tank needs to be cleaned every two to four years, depending on the size of the tank and the number of people using it.

Before marketing, determine your initial start-up costs and the money you will need to run a profitable business. For your business to see long-term success, you’ll need to know your competitors, build a business plan, and expand your team.

This article will provide information on how to start a septic tank business and the best septic tank business tips required to grow a septic tank business.

How to Start a Septic Tank Business

Starting a septic tank business is easier than you think. All you need is the right equipment and knowledge of how to use it. Below, we will explain what you must do to start your own septic business.

1. Work out a plan for your septic tank business

Work on creating a business plan for septic tank cleaning

To become a successful septic tank pumping company, it’s essential to have a strong business strategy. Choose a septic business name, and describe the precise cleaning services you’ll offer, such as cleaning or septic tank pumping. This plan should outline your company’s mission and goals for the future. It should also include a summary of your operation, including a description of your organization, to show potential stakeholders that you have a clear path to success. 

Then, develop plans for how you’re going to reach your goals. For example, you could set objectives for a new septic company to turn a profit in the first year of operation. You can also create a strategy to promote your firm, win clientele, and offer as many services as possible to achieve this goal.

2. Get the lowdown on startup costs and requirements

Before starting a septic tank business, you should know your costs well. One significant expense is buying the pump truck and other equipment. This includes purchasing specialty trucks, like vacuum trucks ranging from $100,000 to $160,000. 

As a new business, you’ll also need to plan for operating expenses. These include essential elements like renting disposal locations for storing waste and sediment, business insurance (general liability insurance), and license renewal fees. Some costs are recurring monthly; others might not renew as frequently. For example, the office space rent is a regular expense, while technicians with commercial driver’s licenses must renew their licenses every four years.

3. Analyze the current competitive landscape

Researching the septic tank cleaning and pumping businesses in your area that provide raw sewage services can be a great way to get a sense of the local competition you’ll be facing. Pay attention to their operating environments, the cleaning services they offer, customer feedback, and their pricing strategy.

Suppose you notice that nearby septic firms fail to clean drain fields, for example. In that case, you could add this service as an incentive for customers dissatisfied with local companies’ costs or availability. Or, if customers are unhappy with the cost or availability of local companies, you might entice them by providing longer hours and lower prices.

By doing this, you’ll get a clear picture of your area’s competitiveness and what you need to do to attract clients, grow sales, and boost profit margins.

4. Decide on a service area

Choosing a service area is one of the most critical steps in setting up your business. The service area you select determines the types of jobs you should accept, and it also affects how much fuel your employees use commuting from their operations base to task sites.

To determine your service area, start by choosing the typical expense and profit associated with offering each service. Take note of how much fuel your employees use commuting from their operations base to job site. The amount of time they spend on the road will affect their fuel expenses and put additional strain on septic tank cleaning service vehicles.

5. Get a Licence

If you’re planning on opening a septic tank installation and pumping business, knowing what you need to do to operate as a legal entity is essential.

The requirements vary by state. For instance, Texas requires permits for different tasks: job sites evaluations, septic tank installations, and routine maintenance. It’s also worth noting that Michigan permits homeowners to install septic tanks, but technicians must hold valid licenses for service and driving. 

Seek advice from local professionals or the regulatory authority to find out what you need to do in your area.

6. Get a team together and invest in tools

The US septic, drain & sewer cleaning service industry has grown 3.1% per year on average between 2017 and 2022. You’ll need to hire more technicians if your septic tank cleaning service wants to remain competitive. 

To save money and time on training, look for qualified experts with previous septic work experience; though more seasoned technicians won’t need training, keep in mind that they will want a higher wage rate. 

If this isn’t feasible, you can hire technicians with less experience and spend time training them. As the team expands, which will likely include dispatchers and HR administrators, things will run smoothly as long as everyone is on the same page.

One of the most important things you can do to ensure your septic system is running smoothly is to ensure that your crew has the appropriate tools for the job.

This means having a septic pump truck on hand, as well as tubes, hoses, septic locators, and probes. You’ll also need cleaning and maintenance gear for septic tanks, such as brushes and tank scrapers.

7. Create a marketing plan

Create marketing plan for septic tank cleaning business

A marketing strategy lays out your objectives and the plans you’ll use to achieve them. Determine your goals first. Your objectives for a new pumping business would be to spread the word about it and draw in new clients. You should aim to boost sales and expand your clientele if you want to expand your company.

It’s time to devise and plan the marketing techniques you’ll employ to achieve your goals after establishing them. You can increase visibility by, for instance, setting up a social media presence and registering your company with Google. Additionally, you can use conventional techniques like going door to door and handing out flyers or business cards.

You should also decide how much money you’re willing to spend on each marketing tactic before implementing it to track how well they’re working over time.

Manage and Grow Your Septic Tank Business

Schedule and dispatch jobs, create invoices, get paid, generate service reports with our all-in-one service management software.

Tips to Grow Septic Tank Business 

Now that you know what it takes to start a septic tank cleaning business, it’s time to learn how to run a septic tank business effectively. The below Septic tank business tips will help boost your pumping business and make more money. 

1. Employ, educate, and train the septic workers in your area

Owning a septic tank company is a lot of work. You must do everything from purchasing the equipment to hiring and training employees to service customers and marketing your pumping business.

Despite these challenges, septic tank cleaning companies successfully established solid organizational structures and operational manuals. Every role should have clear job descriptions and expectations. To ensure that every employee is successful, you should also give them thorough training and use performance pay as an incentive.

Spend as much time promoting your septic tank cleaning service as you hire and train your staff.

If you want to be successful in this industry, then you must take advantage of all of the resources available to you.

2. Develop a marketing strategy that focuses on your niche

If you’re looking for a way to stand out from the crowd and grow your septic tank cleaning company, you must focus on your niche. The first step is to target the correct audience with the right message at the right time; regardless of the audience, your septic pumping business promotes services.

Inform prospective consumers that your septic tank company provides emergency services and that all of the work is covered by a warranty. 

Your septic pumping business should also consider focusing on a specific type of customer rather than targeting everyone who needs a septic tank installed or cleaned out. By narrowing down who you’re targeting, you can create more effective marketing campaigns and focus on potential customers who are more likely to make purchases from your business.

Once you’ve figured out who your septic tank cleaning service target market is, it’s time to create an effective marketing campaign that will help you reach them. 

This could include anything from print advertisements in local newspapers and magazines to social media posts on Facebook and Twitter with links to your business website, where they can find more information about what makes your company different from competitors.

3. Use positive feedback to build sales

Get positive feedback

If you’re wondering how to grow your septic firm, there’s a tried-and-true method that works: positive reviews.

Online reviews are crucial for any home services company, and it turns out that 93% of consumers take them into account when making purchases.

Your septic tank mechanics need to go above and beyond consistently for the customer to earn positive evaluations and keep them coming in. Though they must be made, positive reviews are a tried-and-true strategy to expand any home services company.

Customers for septic services value their time and money; don’t let them waste either. They’ll soon be gushing about your business, and your earnings will surge.

4. Save time and money with septic business software

Owning a septic tank cleaning business is hard work. It can be draining, too.

But it doesn’t have to be! With FieldCamp’s service scheduling software and app, you can work smarter, not harder, to eliminate operational inefficiencies and boost profitability. With the help of this, you can track technicians and teams with just a few clicks, digitize 90% of your everyday tasks, and generate reports in real-time.

Utilize personalized data from FiledCamp like Activity Reports and Revenue Reports to analyze marketing initiatives and evaluate and improve the efficiency of your techs. Determine which KPIs (key performance indicators) are most important for expanding your septic tank cleaning company.


The Septic tank cleaning business can be a good investment. But how much money your company will make depends on several variables, including your expenditures and the number of jobs you can complete.
To keep your household septic system running smoothly, have it inspected by a professional every three years. It’s also a good idea to pump your tank every three to five years.
Pumping businesses that clean and maintain septic tanks charge customers a fee based on the tank size and the number of users. Most septic systems require cleaning every one to three years, so businesses may offer free advice-based interim services for cleaning and maintaining the tank and system between pumpings.
Your septic business may have various expenses for office overhead and pump truck maintenance. Most companies spend up to $15,000 per year maintaining each truck. To determine your maintenance costs, you need to know the local waste removal and disposal fees, where you live, and how much mileage is put on the truck during the year.


If you’re looking to get started in the septic business, cleaning, and pumping services industry, the most important thing is to conduct thorough economic, market, and cost analyses before beginning. This way, you can be sure that your business will move towards cash flow, repeat business, and profitability from day one.

To see how FieldCamp, a scheduling software for service businesses, can help maximize efficiency in your business, try our free 7-day trial!

Author Bio

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang Bhatt is a techie in himself with an ability to solve problems technically and present solutions in the form of a product. He is one of the pioneers to curate FieldCamp with his 15+ years of knowledge and expertise in providing solutions to home service industries. Gaurang aims to overcome challenges faced by service business owners through software solutions and blogs.