Whether you’re thinking of starting a recycling business, in the process of getting one running, or have one already well established, there’s always something you can do to improve your business’s future outlook. No matter what stage your business is in, you should be continually evaluating to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

Here are seven things every business owner in the recycling industry should be considering to get ahead.

The Right Equipment

If you’re processing recyclables, the right equipment is essential. Know whether you need a vertical or horizontal bailer, for example. Make sure you have enough equipment to efficiently handle the amount of material you need to process. And if you’re thinking of expanding, consider equipment that will process the same materials into a different form that would appeal to additional buyers. This is an easy and efficient way to expand your business.

The Right Sources

Even if you have solid sources of material, you should be on the lookout for new sources, not only for expansion, but in case supply dwindles for reasons you might not be able to foresee. Consider adding pickup services to your offerings to make it easier for suppliers to get you their materials and give you a leg up on the competition.

The Right Buyers

You should certainly have done your research to find the buyers who offer the best prices for your recyclables. But this is another area where you should never consider your work done. Especially as new uses for recycled materials are being developed, there may be new people and new industries interested in what you have.

Expanding Your Scope

If you’re a single-material recycling operation, consider expanding. Having a range of materials means you can stay versatile and more easily adjust to changes in the market. Start with materials that require similar processes or that you can acquire from some of the same sources you already use.

Narrowing Your Scope

The other option is to streamline your business to focus on one material. Maybe you’re recycling some materials that simply aren’t as lucrative as others, and you’d do better business by focusing on one or two with the highest demand.

Of course focusing on one recyclable doesn’t mean downsizing. Consider expanding by adding equipment that processes the same material into a different form, so you can expand your buyer base and offer your clients more options based on their needs.

Online Presence

It’s hard to understate what a solid online presence can do for a business. The easier your business is to find and learn about, the more likely you are to get new clients. Have a website that’s updated regularly, and learn about search engine optimization to make sure the right people can find your business.

Grant Funding

Many states offer grant funding both for starting small businesses and for starting recycling businesses in particular. Federal funding may also be available both for starting and expanding businesses depending on the size and scope of your company.