Continuing to read and learn about running your small business will make you more successful – and Pumper is here to help.

I’ve been working at Pumper magazine for well over two years now, but I’m definitely still learning things about the industry on a daily basis. Many of you readers are industry stalwarts, but I’m willing to bet you still learn a thing or two once in a while from pumpers we feature in our magazine.

Here are four great takeaways from the October issue.

1. Handing over the reins of the family business to the next generation takes a lot of planning, a lot of talking and maybe even some outside perspective. The cover story this month details one family’s transitioning of the family company, with the help of a management consultant.

Related: Pump That Septic - Pumper Magazine Video Profile - March 2011

Before you scoff and declare that unnecessary, read what new owner Derek Pauling had to say about it. Pauling and his sister Heather bought out their parents and the consultant’s help was crucial in everything from handling the emotions of the succession to developing a way to help the siblings work together effectively to become better managers. Pauling’s advice after the experience: Don’t rush the process.

2. This month’s Money Manager column tackles the health care add-ons available to employers to help keep benefit costs down, while still helping employees keep their costs as low as possible, too. Acronyms are not always friendly, but writer Erik Gunn breaks it down for you and explains the difference between HSAs, HRAs and FSAs. These programs allow employees to use pre-tax dollars for their out-of-pocket spending for medical costs.

Understanding the differences among these three types of accounts and how they can benefit both your business and your employees is important. This tutorial is a good place to start: Choose the Best Health Savings Option for Your Workforce.

Related: Grow Your Business in a Tough Economy

3. Ever heard of microbranding? I hadn’t either. But it sounds like it makes sense for a pumping business, especially a smaller one that doesn’t have a designated marketing position. If you’re dealing with marketing yourself, try this low-cost approach. Microbranding involves concentrating your marketing efforts on a smaller, more specific target audience. This article outlines an easy 10-step technique to help brand and market a small business.

4. Consumer education is important to long-term success, especially in the septic pumping business. If you ever doubt the importance of being available 24/7 to your customers, for emergency calls or just a simple question, take a look at Jon and Cheri Errico, owners of A & C Septic Service. They are totally committed to their business and can be reached day or night by their customers.

Focusing on quality of service and helping customers keep their systems at peak performance has paid off. This advice may appear often in this publication, but it holds up. A customer who is taken care of will be a returning customer. Read more of Jon and Cheri’s story if you need some extra motivation to keep your customer service top-notch. 

Related: Blog: The summer’s going great: Hear from Jay Brendel

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