Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Can You Help Others to Help You?

July 26, 2010

People are always looking out for Number One, and that’s fine.  But consider this alternative way to not only serve you, but to serve a fellow business person.

Not too long ago a friend of mine, Joe Okum, approached me with a potential lead for my solid waste and recycling cost containment consulting company.  Joe is Partner and Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Heits Building Services of Northern Cincinnati and Greater Dayton.  He’s been in negotiations with this particular potential client for a few weeks, but the client has been having an issue with the price of Joe’s services.

Joe gave me the lead as a friendly gesture, but he also, half-jokingly, said that if my company could save this potential client money, they may be able to afford Joe’s cleaning services (which are worth every penny!).

But as I was driving to the client’s office, what Joe said struck me as a brilliant marketing move:  partner with businesses that solicit the same kind of businesses that I go after.  Since my business focuses on reducing solid waste and recycling costs and gets paid a portion of the savings our work generates, a company that hires us will normally experience a larger bottom line after we’ve completed our job.  This in turn will allow my client things like options when it comes to hiring for other goods and services.  So I’m now looking for partners who market to manufacturing companies, restaurants, and hotels among others.  Or if you just want to talk to see if we cater to the same crowd, feel free to contact me.

Your company can do the same thing.  If you sell a good or service that ultimately increases your clients’ bottom lines, look for another company or two (or more!) to partner with.  You can bring each other plenty of potential clients.

I’ll update this blog with the results of my company’s attempt to help lower waste and recycling removal costs for Joe’s and my potential client.  I’ll include whether Joe’s company was able to get hired, too.

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

Don’t pay the “Stupid Tax”

June 6, 2010

We all want to pay less in taxes.  But sometimes we pay a tax that no one in any state capital or in D.C. has ever signed into law.  It’s called the Stupid Tax, and sometimes this tax can be very costly, and sometimes, we don’t even know we’re paying it.  Sometimes, we’re just stupid.

The day before any business opens, the owner no doubt is thinking “I can’t wait to start selling (or manufacturing, or leasing) _______ (fill in the blank with whatever that person’s business is going to be marketing).”  Same thing goes for new hires at established companies.  Whatever widget or commodity their employer hawks, newbies can’t wait to start helping to do their part to get them sold or made.  The focus is obviously on the end product, the revenue, and the bottom line, as well it should be.

Of course, one of the last things that come to mind for many businesses, new or established, is disposal of the solid waste and recyclables that’s produced in the income-generating activities.  A simple phone call to a local waste and recycling hauler and you don’t need to think about it any more.  Or so it seems.

This is where the Stupid Tax comes into play. 

We’re all guilty of paying Stupid Tax.  You, me, everyone we know.  Remember that car you bought back when you were a lot younger and perhaps a little more naïve and equally less endowed in the wallet?  It was supposed to be something reliable enough to get you from point A to point B, but it turns out that the brakes needed to be replaced, it leaked oil, and it gulped gas making you wish that you had your own private refinery in the back yard.  It somehow sucked money directly out of your pocket all of the time.  Remember that car?  I sure do!  And that’s just an example of a low-cost Stupid Tax.  Ever buy a rental property that didn’t pan out?

So back to our business example.  It now has garbage and recyclable pickup service, and everything seems to be fine.  Revenues are expanding, as are profits.  There’s never an issue with the garbage.  They come and empty the Dumpsters/compactors/rolloffs and send an invoice, which is paid without question.

But here is where many businesses fail to see potential bottom-line leaks.  The waste hauler is doing a great job on the surface, but there are many areas that can be major sources of inefficiency, and thereby more cost.  One is by simply over-servicing the client.  Scheduling pickups of Dumpsters too frequently so that they’re not coming anywhere close to the full mark, particularly if a business is cyclical in its trash production.  Another is by giving unfavorable rates for their service regardless if the equipment used is Dumpsters, compactors, or rolloffs.  And something that businesses will do to themselves to sabotage their efforts to curb costs is to not fully realize the advantages of recycling.  Likewise, not understanding all the terms in the waste hauler’s service agreement can lead to artificially high rates over time (courtesy of a little something called an auto-renew clause which automatically resigns existing clients to new service agreements at higher rates, even if the hauler’s expenses have decreased).

Having a trusted source independent of the waste hauling company come in to audit the waste and recycling system can be very beneficial.  Our company prides itself on helping clients increase profits by reducing costs an average of 30 to 50 percent.  That’s a lot of Stupid Tax not going out the door.

Our services are risk-free.  There are never any up-front fees, and if we can’t find any cost reductions or credits, no money is due to us.  And when we do get paid, we simply share the savings that our work generates.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Small, local companies like Cedar Village retirement community and the Hyde Park Golf and Country Club, as well as large, multi-location corporations like American Airlines, Winn Dixie grocery stores, and the McDonald’s corporation have benefited from the types of services we offer.  When you’re ready to “pay less taxes”, we can help you, too!

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

The Key to a Sale? Talk the Buyer’s Language

May 24, 2010

Businessman and columnist Harvey Mackay, perhaps best known as the author of five business bestsellers,  including Swim With the Sharks (Without Being Eaten Alive), Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, and Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, has a very educational and entertaining column in the May 21, 2010 edition of the Cincinnati Business Courier.  Titled “Actions, not words, help make sales pitch personal”, Harvey explains the different ways sales pitches can be delivered, some more effective than others.  He concludes with a very poignant story to get his point across:

“During World War II, the U.S. government began offering soldiers a life insurance policy with a $10,000 benefit if they were killed in combat.  In one unit, a young lieutenant delivered a polished presentation on the details of the plan.  No one signed up.  Then an older sergent quietly asked the lieutenant if he could talk to the troops.

‘Men,’ he said, ‘if you get this life insurance and you get killed, the government is going to send your family $10,000.  If you don’t get this insurance and you get killed, the government isn’t going to send your family anything.  So who do you think they’re going to send up to the front lines – the ones who’ll cost $10,000 when they’re killed, or the ones who won’t cost anything?’

All the soldiers immediatley signed up.”

In this case the buyers didn’t care very much about the details of the insurance.  But give them a small dose of reality – aka, the government is somewhat selective in who it wants on the front line – and all of a sudden, insurance seems like a pretty good investment.  I’m going to keep this lesson in mind the next time I’m preparing to speak to a potential client!

And don’t forget – the real meaning of Memorial Day isn’t to kick off summer, or to have a three-day weekend…

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

Leave a phone, enjoy a vacation!

May 16, 2010

Back in April, my daughter, a junior in high school, had spring break, and as has been the tradition in our family since she was in kindergarten, my daughter, my wife, and I visited my parents who live in rural Georgia.  And as a business owner (or these days, a normal human being), I brought my cell phone with me.  Only just to check email every now and then, I promise.  Or so I tell myself every time I leave town to “relax”.  Of course, what actually happens is I get calls from potential customers wanting more information, and calls from existing customers who have fires that I need to put out, and calls from my friends wanting to know if I’m interested in watching the Reds at our favorite watering hole after work.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d tell my parents to take a tax deduction because I’m running a company out of their home (that’s gotta be deductible to someone, doesn’t it??) and not really doing much vacationing.

Since my daughter is, as previously stated, a high school junior, she is in full college-search mode.  And since one of the colleges she’s looking at is the University of South Carolina, what better use of our time than to kill two birds with one stone and make a campus visit while we’re in the same general vicinity.  So on the Wednesday after Easter we bade my parents farewell and made the two-and-a-half hour drive to Columbia, where we had scheduled a campus tour for Thursday and planned on driving home on Friday.

Except on the way there I noticed that my world was significantly quieter than normal.  I then realized somewhere around Augusta that I had left my phone at my parents’ home.

After the initial thoughts of horror almost forced me to drive my family and me off of I-20 and into the Savannah River, I decided that to turn around and drive the 90 minutes back to my parents’ house would be very counter-productive, and we charged forward to USC.  Besides, both my wife and my daughter have Crackberries, just like me.

Oh, but as anyone who’s been in this situation knows, it’s just not the same.  Different apps, different homepages, and obviously none of my friends will be answering a phone call from my wife’s phone.  I’m not the smartest person on the planet, and neither are my friends, but we’re all smart enough not to answer calls from each others’ war departments.  None of us wants to have to answer the dreaded “Where is my husband?” question!  (Kim, Mary Pat, and Leah, I haven’t seen your husbands – honest!)

So I ventured on, praying that any million-dollar deals that would happen to be left on my phone (IF they were left on my phone) could wait until I got home in a couple of days.  As the only employee of my company, I can’t rely on someone else to handle my company…it’s just me.

Wednesday night, I checked my phone’s answering machine – nothing of any consequence.  Thursday morning – ditto.  And our tour of the campus was great.  By the time the tour was over, I was almost enjoying not having my phone with me.  And by that evening, I was actually glad I’d left the phone behind.  I hadn’t had this much seperation from my business since I started it! 

Driving home Friday I was beginning to wish that I had left my phone at home on all of the other “vacations” I’ve been able to take.  I wasn’t constantly feeling the need to look at email or having to answer calls.  By the time we crossed the Appalachian Mountains I had promised myself not to bring my phone on our next trip…we’ll see if that actually happens.

After arriving home on friday evening, I was able to get all of the email and phone calls answered by the end of that weekend.  Not bad!

The lesson learned?  You can always work, but every now and then it isn’t such a bad idea to disconnect, recharge the batteries, and enjoy being with family.  And Mom, the money to reimurse you for mailing my phone back to me should’ve arrived by now.  Send me an email if it hasn’t.  If I’m not on vacation, I’ll respond.

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

What’s an easy way to increase your company’s bottom line? Reduce this cost!

May 10, 2010

And that is, the cost of removing the waste and recyclables your company generates.  And something we’ve been noticing lately is that we’ve been able to realize a large amount of savings by some of our clients who’s trash hauling service agreements have come up for renewal. 

As an example, we were hired by the Hyde Park Golf and Country Club here in Cincinnati in 2006.  Among other changes, we implemented a recycling program, and changed the trash pickup schedule to ensure the Dumpsters were closer to capacity before they’re emptied (they’re charged the same amount wether the containers are nearly full or nearly empty).  We also negotiated a new service agreement with more favorable terms and lower pricing.  In all, we saved the club 47 percent annually.

A couple of months ago, the service agreement came up for renewal.  When we got to pricing, we negotiated for lower rates, and the hauler agreed to lower prices even more…by more than 10 percent!

Needless to say, the club is very happy.  They’re confident in knowing that their waste and recycling hauling needs are being met, and with the same company they’ve used for years.  They also know that they’re paying the lowest rates possible.

Is your company in the same position?  If you’re unsure, don’t feel bad.  Most companies assume the waste haulers will take good care of them, and they usually do.  But it’s kind of like the fox guarding the henhouse – they deliver good service, but the pricing is way out of line compared to what it should be.  The invoice arrived every month, and as long as there aren’t any issues with overflowing Dumpsters or malfunctioning compactors, the hauler is paid.

We can audit your company’s waste and recycling system and find inefficiencies that drain money directly off of your bottom line.  We work with your staff to help streamline the disposal of your trash and recyclables, and to manage the cost of this necessary service.  Our clients see cost reductions of between 30 and 50 percent on average, risk-free.  There’s no up-front fees.  The way we get compensated is by simply sharing the savings our work produces.  If we can’t find any cost savings or credits, you don’t owe us anything. 

Want to see if we can produce the same, or better results with your operation?  Contact us today to set up a risk-free audit for your company!

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

Are You Doing the Things You Enjoy at Your Small Business?

April 19, 2010

One of the first lessons I was taught when I first answered the entrepreneurial call and started my own small business was given to me by Ron LeGrand, a nationally-known real estate investor and teacher (the first company I started was a real estate investment company).  He said that you should do the things you really enjoy doing (ideally these are the major income-generating activities), and pay other people to do the rest.  Even if you think you and your company can’t afford it.  The reasoning?  You and your company can’t afford not to!  You’ll far out-earn the money you invest because you’ll be running the parts of the business that you truly have a passion for, and will be letting others, who hopefully enjoy doing the duties you hire them for, carry out the activities that only distract you from completing the income-=generating activities.

In my real estate investing company I truly enjoyed doing most of the jobs necessary to be successful.  But I never once picked up a hammer or a paint brush!  I hired the best contractors I could find to do any and all necessary repairs to my properties because if I were to do the repairs myself, I’d still be finishing up the first property!  But instead I was able to move on to acquire more properties and do more deals while letting the contractors do what they do best.

In my current company (I now run a solid waste management consulting company) I handle all of the jobs but one – I don’t enjoy invoicing my clients, so I’ve hired and trained my father-in-law to do this job, and he’s great at it!  Something that I’ve also come to realize is that I don’t enjoy is trying to contact the people I need to get in touch with to set up a meeting for me to deliver my pitch.  Now this is a very important step in how my company generates income, but I’m currently looking at hiring my sister, who’s a real bulldog when it comes to this type of activity, to take over this important responsibility.  I’m confident that she’ll deliver far more revenue than she’s paid.  But please do me a favor – don’t tell her!

So if you have a small business that you’re running yourself and you find that you’re in a sales rut, or you find that you’re just not able to accomplish all that you think you could, look at the various jobs you’re doing, and consider delegating the non-income-generating portion to someone else.  It could very well be the best business decision you make.

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

An easy way to add instant value to apartment properties? You may be surprised!

March 15, 2010

The recession has had a devastating effect on property prices – both residential and commercial. Estimates of price declines in some coastal markets are as much as 50% or more. And considering that many individual apartment investors are counting on selling these properties to fund retirement accounts some day, suddenly the erosion of the value of these buildings has many investors more than just a little worried. Corporate owners and managers are just as beat up. Rent reductions to attract (and even retain!) tenants have resulted in lower gross rental income, which means smaller or no raises for the staff, and possibly layoffs. Capital improvements are at a virtual standstill.

While the worst seems to be behind us, it’s still going to be an uphill battle to prop up prices to where they were in the mid-2000s. Operating expenses have already been cut to the bone. Or have they?? One expense that every apartment incurs, but that always seems to be overlooked, is trash and recyclable removal. Paring this expense while maintaining, if not improving, the efficiency of the current waste and recyclable hauler can instantly add value to an apartment portfolio while improving net operating income.

As an example, let’s say a 58-unit aprtment building is valued at $1.7 million, has a cap rate of 10%, and net operating income of $170,000. Assuming the building is 66% occupied (it’s been a rough economy!), the 38 units will each produce about 1.5 cubic yards of trash and recyclables per month. Let’s say that those 57 cubic yards are being collected by a reputable hauler in two 8-cubic-yard Dumpsters once a week at a rate of $550 per month, which is not an outlandish price, but certainly not where it should be!

Let’s assume that a reputable solid waste management consulting company (such as Waste Auduting Consultants!) is hired to help increase efficiencies, thereby lowering costs. And let’s assume that the costs can be lowered by 40% to $330 for the exact same service (WAC usually reduces costs to clients by about 30 to 50% without having to change waste haulers). What is the net effect? NOI has been increased by $220 per month ($2640 annually). The value of the property has gone up a little more than 1.55%, or $26,400, instantly (the price of an apartment equals the NOI divided by the cap rate).

What does this cost the owner? We simply share the savings generated by our work. So really, the value of the property went up about 0.775%, or $13,200. Still not bad for not having to lay out any cash at all, and for not having to make any capital improvements. And if this is just one building in a portfolio, the same results can be accomplished simultaneously at all locations – both here in the Greater Cincinnati area, and throughout North America!

If you’d like to see if we can accomplish the same, or even better results, with your properties, feel free to contact Waste Auditing Consultants. We would be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have about how our services can help you reach your goals.

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

So just how can a solid waste management consultant help my company?

March 8, 2010

In my previous blog I wrote about what exactly a solid waste management consultant is, and what we do. In this blog, I want to explore exactly how we’re able to help our clients reduce costs.

First, a couple of things we don’t do. We aren’t waste haulers. And we aren’t recyclers. We work with our clients’ existing hauling providers to streamline and maximize efficiency for this necessary expense.

The first thing we do when meeting with a client is listen. Listen to what the client hopes to acheive with his or her company’s waste and recycling system. Listen to what hurdles the client is currently experiencing in this area. Even listen to why he or she doesn’t think that my company can help reduce costs (yes, that’s happened! And yes, we succeeded in reducing costs anyway!).

The next step is to collect information. Specifically, we look at previous invoices from the current waste and recyclables hauler, as well as the existing service contract, and make sure the client is being serviced with the exact equipment and pickup schedule that the contract calls for. The waste hauling business is a very reputable industry. But mistakes can happen. We look for any past billing errors and correct them.

We also examine the waste stream to check for items that can be resold to other companies, or recycled, thereby reducing the volume of trash. We also check the volume of the waste and recycling containers just prior to pickup. If a client is being charged by the pickup instead of by the weight of the pickup, we want to ensure that the containers are around 95% full before they’re emptied, or else we feel that our client is paying for a lot of air to be hauled to the dumpsite.

We then take the collected information and formulate recommendations to improve waste-hauling efficiency, and submit those to the client for approval. When the client gives the OK we implement the approved ideas and follow up to make sure the recommendations have the desired results.

We then continue to monitor our client’s invoices for billing errors, and negotiate future contracts with the waste haulers. In fact, we’ve negotiated new contracts for clients when the existing contract still had months to go before renewal. We know how much waste haulers should be charging for certain services. And we work very hard to ensure all of our clients are paying no more than these amounts.

Notice how nowhere in this description has the word “money” come up. So how are we paid? There are no up-front fees. We simply share the savings that our work generates. If we can’t find any savings? No money is due to us. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Waste and recycling removal isn’t a core competency for most companies outside of the waste hauling industry. Waste Auditing Consultants is the expert companies call when they want to increase revenues by reducing the costs associated with waste and reyclable hauling. We’re ready to answer any questions you may have and show you how your company can join the always-growing list of satisfied customers. Contact us any time!

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at (513) 398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

So what exactly does a solid waste management consultant do?

March 1, 2010

When I first introduce myself to someone in a business setting and am asked what I do, the answer doesn’t necessarily paint a clear picture of my job. Not that I haven’t spent many nights laying in bed, many mornings in the wet think tank (otherwise known as the shower), and many Tristate Business Network meetings trying to come up with a clearer, more concise explanation. So until the big anvil in the sky lands on my head with that answer, I will respond that I’m a solid waste management consultant. And then when I’m met with the expected quizzical look, I’ll elaborate.

My company looks at our clients’ solid waste and recycling systems and finds ways to dispose of this material in a more cost-efficient manner. Anything that goes in a Dumpster, compactor, or a recycling container is costing bottom-line dollars to be removed. Sometimes companies are very good at having this stuff picked up for a low cost. But most of the time, they aren’t.

Many years ago – or if the company is brand new, a few weeks or months ago – someone at the company called one of the local waste hauling companies, told them that they needed trash service, and presto! Equipment was put into place, and a monthly invoice started arriving in the mail. A check has been getting cut every 30 days since then, and as long as there isn’t trash overflowing from the recepticals, everyone’s happy. Especially the trash hauler.

Trash haulers are terrific companies that provide jobs to the community and essential services to their clients.  I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not have an agenda to insult or belittle anyone associated with these companies or what they do. My company couldn’t exist without them. But the reason my company is in business is because an estimated 90 percent of companies overpay by an average of 30 to 50 percent what they really need to be paying to have trash and recyclables removed from their facilities. A lot of companies tolerate this (why, I don’t know). But most really don’t know this profit-leaking is taking place.

Why is this? It’s simple. Trash removal is never a core competency for any company outside of the trash hauling industry. It’s the guy on a unicycle at the circus that features a high-wire act and a trapeeze. You see him do his thing, but bring on the Wallendas!

The monthly invoice arrives, it gets paid. As long as there’s no trash on the ground by the Dumpsters and there’s money in the bank account, no questions are asked. And that’s how waste hauling has become a multi-billion dollar business. Waste Management, the largest player in the solid waste services industry, had well over 13 billion dollars of revenue alone last year. Granted, a large portion of that is residential service. But assuming that even just a quarter of that revenue is business generated (and that’s being VERY conservative), and taking the mininum overpayment average of 30 percent, businesses are overpaying for this service by about a billion dollars every year.

Waste removal is one of those things that’s kind of like breathing: everyone knows it takes place, but no one really thinks too much about it. Which is why a consultant specifically trained to help contain these costs has a very positive effect on the bottom line. And when you consider that our company only gets paid if we are able to provide cost reductions, and that we just simply share the savings that’s generated, we are a risk-free bargain!

So in what ways can my company save a client money? I will blog about that sometime next week!

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at (513) 398-2117 or email trip@wasteac.com.

Is it all about “focusing on what we give”?

February 14, 2010

The older I get, the more I understand that, yes, it is.  When I think back on my younger days I realize that I wasn’t a giver.  There, it’s out there.  I can recall with a certain amount of disappointment, and yes, even regret, times when I thought it was all about me.  A certain amount of immaturity can always factor into a young lad’s deeds, but there comes a time when a person reaches an age when his actions shouldn’t cause people to think or say “Yes, but he’s only ___ years old.  He’ll grow up one day.”

And while I’ve always (well, almost always!) been considered well-mannered – my parents would give me and/or my siblings the just-you-wait-til-we-get-you-home stare of doom if our behavior didn’t meet their tough-but-fair standards – I can picture many times when I didn’t always think about doing things to help others.

Of course there were frequent reminders to do so.  My parents constantly were on me about cleaning up my bedroom.  And rightfully so.  They wanted to instill in me self-discipline and help me recognize that “No one wants to live in a pig sty.”  Especially not the other people in our family.  And that is one skill that, thankfully, I’ve mastered.  Now cleaning my home office is another discussion altogether.  One which my wife doesn’t enjoy having with me, but sometimes has to.  And I’m working on that, sweetie!

But being a giver is also accomplished by leading by example.  I’m extremely lucky that my parents are still alive and still married to each other.  That’s an example of enduring tough times and making things work out, not giving up and saying “The hell with it.”  ALL marriages lasting nearly 50 years have endured difficult stretches, and it takes a great deal of giving to make a relationship last that long.

I can recall times when I’ve handled situations by thinking “How would Dad deal with this?” or “Mom would do it this way.”  I haven’t lived in the same area code as my parents since I was 18 years old.  They currently live a nine-hour drive from my home.  But despite the distance I know that I still look to them for examples of how to live life.  What a great thing to give your children.

I’m an original member of the Tristate Business Network in Greater Cincinnati.  TBN’s mantra is “Focus on what you give”.  That light bulb has thankfully lit itself in my brain.  It’s taken a little longer than it should have, but I’m seeing how it makes sense now.  If nothing else, I’m consciously trying to set examples for my teenaged daughter to follow.  I’m hoping she, and others, will see the light too.