Check out this Q&A with Green Energy Biofuel. The company, which has 48 employees, was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Warrenville. The company is led by “BioJoe” Renwick.
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What is the main driver of this year's revenue growth?
Staff. We have the best, most capable staff that we have ever had, many of which have been with us for years. We have built a strong foundation over 15 years and have learned a lot about how to not do things … and a thing or two about doing things right.
How has your personal approach to leadership changed as your company has grown?
The need for more and professional training has been implemented across the board. Investing in staff to learn new skills and management methods and their benefits and well-being.
What changes do you see ahead in your industry and how are you reacting to them?
Everyone has a problem with waste streams. There is certainly a push to change with landfill rates climbing and growing concerns of global warming from methane gas expelled during food waste breaking down in landfills. With the acquisition of ReSoil Compost two years ago we are truly zero waste. We have saved over $500 by diverting our waste there and are just helping others do the same.
If you were giving advice to business owners or managers, what would be the three most important tips you would include?
Never hire a $15/hour if you can find a good $20/hour employee. Turnover City and massive errors. Offer benefits as soon as possible. Even if it’s one paid day off on birthday … do something. Allow fun to happen spontaneously and try to include as many in it as you can. A box of ice cream sandwiches will melt the hearts of anyone and is always a good choice.
How do you build your team?
By accident, by plan and sometimes by desperation. We have a real hodgepodge of people from all over the place with all kinds of backgrounds and cultures. We really do have a family culture and you have to past the test with everyone to be accepted. It is like having 48 new cousins. Never let a good person go negative and leave. Good people are hard to find and you can't build a company without good people.
What are the top attributes you seek when hiring employees? Are you planning to increase head count in the coming year?
Rigid in work ethic but flexible in their roles.We are pushing 50 now and I could hire 10 more people tomorrow and could give them meaningful work 40 hours a week each. We will see.
If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would it be?
To have never hired our first CFO and gave full nearly unmonitored control. Other than this Nothing. After 15 years everything we have done has gotten us where we are and hungry for the next challenge and having the satisfaction of working hard and doing a good job for people. If you show people you are willing to do what you say you will do and work hard your reputation will grow and companies will seek you out to do business.
Took a paid company holiday float trip down the Saluda River and ended up in Downtown Columbia. We made a day of it. It all started with a surprise Birthday Party for "The Big Boss" Beth the owner in the Amphitheater by the river to start and had a blast the whole day after! A river float can fix a lot of things and show you completely other sides of people and builds the family. Hearing a grown man scream as he plops in the river on an innertube … priceless!