In the latest episode of our NothingWasted! Podcast, we chat with Bill White, market president for Commerce Bank and co-owner of Estes Waste Solutions. Commerce Bank is the newest entrant into the Southern Indiana market, offering both commercial and personal banking services. Serving the same region, Estes Waste provides dumpsters for the commercial, construction and industrial/manufacturing industries.
We spoke with White about valuing waste businesses, successful acquisitions, technology, trends in the industry and more.
Waste360: How has your banking background helped you tackle waste and recycling?
Bill White: I think my 31 years of banking experience certainly gives me a deeper understanding of the financial fundamentals of the industry, which can be a competitive advantage. In the area of independent hauling, I know a lot of people who are very good waste operators, but they could improve their financial skills dramatically and really enhance the performance and viability of their businesses.
Waste360: What do you wish some of the smaller and midsize companies knew about running their business?
Bill White: All too often, people tend to overcomplicate operating a business, period—no matter the industry. What I’ve found in my time as a banker is that the most successful clients and/or businesses that I’ve had generally have a very good working knowledge of finance and financial analysis for their business and industry. And, beyond that, they also understand basic leadership and the importance of being able to work on their business, not in their business. In the independent hauling world, I find that a lot of people do the latter—maybe an owner-operator is out there driving routes or in the shop doing preventative maintenance, in lieu of hiring people to do those things, which would free them up to do the bigger-picture strategic things.