You already own several businesses. One is based in Salt Lake City, a company providing rain gutter and cleanout services. Every six months, you meet with the heads of your business units for some performance update and to determine if new things are happening in the industries your company operates and the market in general. This is the time you and your team try to determine whether, for example, an expansion is necessary, an acquisition of a company, selling a non-performing company, or coming up with a new business idea to further grow your business portfolio. One of your executives noted that with the resurgence of the real estate market, there’s an increase in cluster developments of high-rise residential buildings and commercial establishments, like malls and office spaces.
These are all taking place in vast empty tracts of land where water, electricity, and other utilities need to be channeled. The executive suggests that a wastewater treatment business would be directly aligned with the initiatives of the real estate sector. You’ve assigned a team to research on how to establish a wastewater treatment business.
Here’s what they might find during their research:
An Overview of Wastewater Treatment
Traditionally, water utilities services were provided by the private sector. But cities like Boston and New York grew more prominent, and local governments had to play a significant role in providing these services.
Wastewater treatment aims to dremove impurities, such as soap sediments, human waste, food waste, and even metals. With all the contaminants removed and after meeting defined standards for purification, treated water mostly finds its way back to aquifers (e.g., river, lakes). Some are piped back to your home as tap water after stringent testing. But most of its application is in the industrial setting, such as for use in washing or cleaning.
Ultimately, you will have the chance to run a business and at the same time, help protect the environment by conserving water and by removing contaminants from wastewater. Here’s what you need to know on the business side of things:
- State laws. Do your research first about the requirements of your state about setting up the facility. There are tests and background checks that you need to pass before getting the signal. Be ready to pay some fees as part of this process.
- Get certified. Customers are always looking for proof of credibility and reliability of service. Get your certification from formal groups such as the Water Quality Association.
- Start meeting. Start meeting with local authorities and with real estate developers to inform them about your plan to operate a water treatment plant. Getting a contract will likely be through a bidding process, but if you’re the only provider, it might be through direct shopping if you will meet all the technical and financial criteria.
- Consider your options. Acquiring a franchise is one of the options. All the support that you will need will already be in place from the technical operation to marketing. The other option is starting from scratch and sourcing your equipment and building a plant. This gives you greater flexibility, but you don’t have the plug-and-play business model of a franchise. A lot of the work you would need to do yourself.
These are just four points for you to consider. Your team must do their due diligence to nail down everything before you dive into this business because this will require a considerable investment.