The Top 3 Marketing Mistakes That Can Take Your Company Down

Make it as easy as possible for potential customers to hire you when their septic tanks need pumping.

The Top 3 Marketing Mistakes That Can Take Your Company Down

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Always looking forward in your pumping business, you’re thinking about what you need to change and how you can improve your business in the coming months. Maybe you’re looking at your systems and processes. Maybe you’re looking at your team. Maybe you’re looking at your marketing and advertising. Maybe you’re looking at all of these.

There’s always more to do, but the easiest way to make improvements is to start with one focus. In this article, we’re going to draw from our experience running a marketing business to focus on how you market your pumping business. 

Specifically, there are three mistakes we see business owners make time and time again that can turn away leads and render marketing far less effective than it can and should be. Are you making any of these same mistakes?

Marketing Mistake No. 1: Being unclear about what you do, how you do it and where you do it

Have you ever visited a business’s website and had to scroll, and scroll, and scroll in attempts to find out if they provide the service you need, solve the problems you have or serve the area where you are located? We have, and it’s frustrating.

A lot of businesses make this mistake in their marketing. They assume that potential clients will read every sentence and every page on their website to find the information they need. Or that they’ll go out of their way to connect the dots. But the reality is that most of us won’t. 

Most of us want to skim through a website or flyer, and if we don’t immediately and clearly understand what the company offers, who it helps, why we should choose that company over another and how we can easily reach a representative, we move on. 

Life is work enough. Don’t make your potential clients work to understand who you are, why they should care and how you can help them. Make clarity a priority in your marketing: 

  • Prominently display your phone number on your website and other marketing collateral.
  • Draw a map including your service area and display it front and center on your website and other marketing collateral.
  • List your services somewhere where they can be quickly found on your website and other marketing collateral.
  • Offer multiple ways to contact you. 

Marketing Mistake No. 2: Not marketing your authority, reputation and trust factors

All wastewater businesses carry a certain amount of risk. That is why your potential clients want to know:

  • What will my experience be like if I hire this company?
  • Will I get my money’s worth? 
  • Will they do a good job?
  • Will I regret my decision to hire them?

The more uncertainty and risk you can remove, the more confidence your potential customers will have that you’re a good, safe choice. And the easiest way to remove uncertainty and risk is to feature trust factors on your website and marketing materials. 

Trust factors are signals that show your authority, your experience and training, your reputation and the quality service you provide:

  • Licenses and certifications
  • Years of experience
  • Testimonials and reviews from past customers
  • Industry memberships and trainings
  • Service awards
  • BBB logo and other trusted sources of business verification

We recommend putting trust factors on your trucks and anywhere else they can help reassure folks who might be considering working with you. At the very least, these should be easily found on your website.

One reminder: Google is one of the top places people search for local service businesses. The latest BrightLocal Local Consumer Review shows that more potential customers use Google to evaluate local businesses than ever before. In 2021, 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. 

So no matter how many reviews you have, don’t let up. Continuously work to deliver service that earns reviews on Google, Yelp and other platforms where your clients and potential customers are when evaluating businesses like yours.  

Marketing Mistake No. 3: Making it hard, confusing or frustrating to work with you

Your pumping business exists to make the lives of your customers easier and less frustrating. But have you considered all the ways you may be making it difficult to work with you? 

Many businesses have unnecessary friction in their booking processes, invoicing/payment processes and other points of the customer experience. And friction is not what customers — or you — want. 

Adding unnecessary work for customers increases the likelihood that clients will stop trying to work with you. They’ll move onto another company that makes it easy to schedule — a company with fewer friction points in the customer experience. 

When you don’t spell out what the experience will be like and what customers can expect, what harm does that do? Remember when we talked about removing uncertainty? You might know every step involved in serving a client, but your clients don’t — especially if it’s their first time hiring you for septic service. It may seem counterintuitive, but many people will choose to work with another company simply because they know what to expect — whether the service provided will be better or worse than another company’s. 

Remove hesitation and uncertainty by setting clear expectations. As a bonus, setting clear expectations can also help prevent the disappointments and misunderstandings that lead to negative reviews.


What’s the verdict? Are you making any of these mistakes? If so, don’t beat yourself up — just work to make things better.

We know, running a business is about more than just getting your marketing right, but so many aspects of your business really are marketing. If you’re making any of these marketing mistakes, spend some time each month working on improving — for your business and for your clients.


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