Turner Sanitation Finds New Success Spurred on by COVID Realities
LAKE ORION, Mich. – September 25, 2020 –
Darin Gross is an entrepreneur who has spent his career finding the right companies to invest in at the right time. But when he bought a sanitation company at the beginning of 2020, he had no idea how the COVID pandemic would put him on a fast track to re-tool a business he was just beginning to learn.
Turner Sanitation is a 50-year-old family-based company based in Lake Orion, MI, specializing in septic tank cleaning and porta potties, and was ready to turn over operations to an entrepreneur like Gross, who saw potential beyond what Turner had successfully built over its half-century of operations. But Gross had no idea that a global pandemic was going to immediately change the way he, and the company, did business.
“Coming out of the transportation industry, I literally knew nothing about the sanitation business other than what the Turner family told me and provided me for information,” said Gross. “All of a sudden we had to totally re-forecast all of our sales and equipment projections. It’s been a challenge.” For Gross and Turner, that challenge has turned into a 30-40% increase in revenue.
While many companies during COVID have been forced to shut down and/or lay off employees, Turner was forced to hire more drivers to serve the increasing and immediate needs of homeowners requiring their septic systems pumped because of the amount of family members forced to quarantine at homes across the area. That need replaced the sudden drop in portable toilet rentals with concerts, golf tournaments and local events being canceled.
Once Turner was able to increase its sewer pumping capabilities, seemingly half of the area decided to jump in an RV and hit local and state parks.
“It’s been amazing how many RVs suddenly hit the road and headed for campsites. We’ve suddenly become the go-to for those parks to meet the needs of campers expecting clean, updated and additional bathroom facilities,” said Gross. “County parks and their extensive DEQ regulations for wastewater, never mind increased cleaning caused by COVID, has made us very busy in an area I couldn’t have ever expected, even as late as March of this year.”
As for the future, Turner continues to beef up its supply of portable washing stations for businesses, executive toilets and a focus on making sure cleanliness is the number one goal for their portable rentals. And while COVID has certainly given Gross a crash course in running a sanitation company, he also feels that the experience has made Turner more nimble and ready to tackle the future.
“We’re really looking forward to next year, but honestly, I can’t wait to flush 2020.” Fortunately for Gross and Turner Sanitation, that ‘flush’ has brought dividends to the company never before seen in its history.
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