He had started a successful food scrap collection business but needed help raising capital and planning for the future of his business. CTSBDC Business Advisor Denise Whitford helped him establish business relationships and successfully raise the capital needed to grow the business.
DECD Loan/Line of Credit
Owner: Alexander Williams
Business Start Date: November 2013
What Does Your Business Do?:
Blue Earth Compost is a food scrap collection company that helps homes and businesses recycle uneaten food back into soil. We'll come by to collect from you and deliver the finished product back to you 3 times a year. We make the whole process clean, easy and more accessible to everyone in Connecticut.
What Inspired You to Start Your Business?:
We see food scraps as a valuable resource and not as waste. Blue Earth Compost is inspired by the idea that, when people understand this, they will choose to do the right thing by composting them rather than throwing them in the trash. Our mission is to create positive impacts for our planet and our people through our business.
Before Coming to the CTSBDC, What Were Your Primary Challenges and/or Needs?:
As individuals new to owning a business, we lacked knowledge of many aspects related to facilitating growth and raising capital. We know how to collect and compost, but the administrative and more abstract parts of running the business were challenges we needed to face and get some help.
How Has the CTSBDC Helped You Overcome Your Challenges?:
The counseling we’ve received from CTSBDC has been vital to the success of our business. Our advisor, Denise Whitford, sincerely believes in our mission and has made a point of getting to know our operations. She is committed to providing whatever support and resources both inside and outside of the CTSBDC. She connected us to the Department of Economic and Community Development, where we secured both a loan and a grant to purchase a new dump truck and hire a few new employees. She also connected us to internship opportunities and to the folks from Capital Workforce Partners to help us recruit, hire and train new employees.
What Have You Learned/Changed Since Working with the CTSBDC?:
1. Know thy banker – The relationship that you have with your banker is important because your banker must understand the needs of your business in order to help you grow. Make sure that you have a good relationship with them and feel like they have your interests in mind.
2. Get interns – Utilize the wealth of knowledge present in the colleges in the area to work on projects and plans that you don’t have the time for.
3. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate – It’s important to constantly evaluate your operations, financials, and growth plans. Find ways that you can do what you do, better. Explore opportunities for efficiency and potential growth.
How is Your Business Doing Now? What Does Your Future Look Like?:
Our business is in an investment phase where we are building our capacity for growth through hiring and purchasing of capital goods including a custom made dump truck that will double the amount we can collect. Shortly, we'll be shifting gears to run a marketing campaign to ensure that our investments pay off. We are positioning ourselves to take on a larger portion of the overall market and secure long-term financial stability. Our future is clear.
What Was It Like Working With Your Advisor?:
Denise Whitford is great. She cares about our success and does everything she can to help. She truly has our best interests in mind and has provided a guiding light to navigate the waters and try to secure both debt and equity and grow the business.
What Words of Advice Would You Give to Small Businesses Looking to Work with CTSBDC?:
Take good notes! Your advisor will have so much wisdom and experience to share with you and it will be hard to keep it all straight.
Learn more about Blue Earth Compost: