Evolving your business model so your company can thrive despite inflation and rising costs—from fuel to the cost of materials—and the upcoming closure of landfills.
By Samuele Barrili

Waste has changed its value from being discarded waste to valuable materials. Waste management services have changed from being essential to functional for the economy’s growth and especially of society. So, how can a service that has changed so much, becoming functional for a country’s growth, evaluate and transition their business model?

An Evolving Business
Waste management companies, in most cases, operate following a business model based on selling waste pickup services. Different waste, different types of service, but always all the same: the
customer pays to have the waste picked up—whether it is a house or a company, this does not change.

One hundred years ago, it filled a specific need: to prevent waste from piling up in the streets, and health crises that were difficult to manage. Quite a bit has changed since then. And the business model behind waste companies needs to evolve. While people continue to go to landfills to dump waste, that same waste today is an asset that can sustain the economies of entire states, not to mention countries.

While we stand with rising fuel prices, inflation at all-time highs, and reduced landfill capacity, companies that have based their business model on waste collection and landfilling find themselves in a bit of a crisis.
So what should companies do? Sell or hope that something will change? From the merger and acquisition data, selling seems to be the preferred route. While these years of experience should have
fueled a focus, what is being done today is not very far from what our grandparents already experienced.

However, waste management today also inolves the reuse of the materials obtainable from waste, aimed at putting them back into a production circle by avoiding their dispersion in landfills or other processes.
Many are still trying to figure out what direction to take. There is an alternative that can give you control of your business and, most importantly, face the continuing challenges in the industry—from rising diesel prices to landfill closures. This alternative is called marketing.

Disrupting the Business Strategy
A way to disrupt your business model is to do it with a strategic marketing vision that considers the company, the market, and the direction the company needs to stay in the market. Not a disruption or a change, but an evolution.
An evolution because that is what your waste company needs to keep up with market changes. This is made up of many small adjustments devoted to ensuring a constant flow of customers, but a different dynamic of managing the provided service. For example, landfilling can be structured on the resale of secondary raw materials originating from waste collection.

On the one hand, marketing will promote the constant acquisition of customers capable of delivering a more well-segregated waste ready to be processed in your plant. On the other hand, it will be the same marketing that will promote the sale of secondary raw materials in the market.

A real business model change will be on this front, so much so that you will reach a point where customers who deliver waste to you will pay a token amount for pickup. So, your income will
originate from selling secondary raw materials.

In Control
This change will breathe new life into your waste management business, making it well-equipped to deal with the changes in regulations predicted in the coming years. Most importantly, you will be in complete control as you were when you started 20 or 30 years ago. Marketing will evolve your business and breathe new life into your entrepreneurial dreams. | WA

Samuele Barrili is an Italian Marketer, TV Host, Podcaster, and Author. Born in Cagliari, Italy, Samuele began his career as a salesman in 2010. After earning a degree in Toxicological Chemistry at the University of Cagliari (Sardinia), he decided to dedicate himself to studying and discovering the art of sales. After nine years in the field, working as sales and marketing manager for national and international firms involved in chemicals, electromechanical, and waste management, Samuele created MiM Marketing Interim Managers, the first interim company focused on marketing for waste management companies. MiM company originates from the combination of the knowledge of chemistry combined with the knowledge of direct response marketing. Marketing4Waste is the first marketing service totally dedicated to waste management companies. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit www.marketing4waste.com.