Sawdust: One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure

July 23, 2019

There was once a time when sawmill operators could barely give away their sawdust. They dumped it in the woods or incinerated it just to get rid of the stuff. These days, they have ready markets for sawdust, as well as bark, wood chips and board trimmings that can’t be sold as lumber.


I wonder who the first person was that said, "I bet we can sell this stuff"? This leads me to consider which services or products I'm discarding or giving away that have value. How can my business, clients or community benefit from what we typically consider business waste?


Sometimes the value can’t be directly monetized, instead, it provides positive outcomes in your community or with your customers. I'm a firm believer in the concept of Youtility. Youtility is loosely defined as providing massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long-term trust and kinship between your company and your customers. Therefore, by providing information free of charge, I am working to build positive and lasting relationships. An example of this is our firm's blog, or information freely provided to customers during appointments, phone calls, or emails.


What is the "sawdust" in your business? I hope you are encouraged to consider the concept of Youtility and to explore how you can glean value from the perceived waste in your business. Perhaps the waste lies in the misuse of your time. Can you better manage your business by outsourcing certain tasks so that you can allocate precious time and resources to what you do best? As always, we love to hear from you so please reach out if you'd like to share some ideas on this topic.


On a lighter note, a topic for another day should be the individual who discovered that we could monetize bottled water. I would love to have been in the room when someone first said, "You know, we can put this in a tiny container and sell the FREE water for $2.50". Incidentally, the bottled water industry is expected to reach $215 billion by 2025.


Here's to your success!

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