Three Things You Need to Know Before You Start a Shredding Business

Have plans to start a shredding business? That’s great. It’s a lucrative, rewarding field – and it’s growing rapidly, as more and more organizations realize the pressing need for true information security.

Three things you need to know before starting a shredding business.

But starting a shredding business – many folks in the industry call them “information destruction companies” – isn’t as easy as it might sound. It requires a significant investment of time and capital, and the stakes are rather high. Forbes says that eight out of 10 – 80 percent! – of entrepreneurs fail within the first 18 months of going into business. When you’ve taken on the financial responsibilities that go with running a shredding business, you do not want to be part of that club.

That said, it is very possible to start a shredding business that stands the test of time. How? There’s no magic formula … but following these three tips will put you ahead of the game.

Tip 1 for Starting a Shredding Business: Get Help

No matter how high your business acumen, the information destruction industry presents a unique set of challenges. No MBA program – and no level of experience in other industries – can truly prepare you for what you’ll face. But that doesn’t mean you have to make the mistakes yourself. Enlisting a professional shredding industry consultant before you open your doors can vastly reduce your learning curve and get you on the road to sustainable profitability far earlier than otherwise possible. 

Tip 2 for Starting a Shredding Business: Know Your Area

Is your potential service area filled with health care facilities? Academic institutions? Small businesses? Division of large corporations? Each has a different set of needs, as well as a different information destruction buying process. So don’t assume that “one size fits all.” Instead, do your research first, and make sure your service offerings, expertise and certifications closely match what your prospects are looking for.

Tip 3 for Starting a Shredding Business: Diversify

The old stock market advice applies here: Diversification is a good thing. These days, more and more organizations are turning to shredding experts who can provide a holistic records management solution. Shredding (or information destruction) is the lynchpin of such a program. But it’s also important to be well versed in document management software, records storage and document imaging. The more you can provide clients, the more likely they’ll be to turn to you.

Have questions about starting a shredding business? Feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to help get you on the right track!


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My staff and I had the pleasure of participating in an ADS Consulting Shredding & Storage Workshop in April 2011.As a new business, it was critical for us to get off to a good start. The workshop provided us with useful information and practical applications that helped us do that. The ‘hands on’ training experience we received in a successful, working document destruction and storage business environment was invaluable.Renee and her staff were very personable and helpful and continue to be valuable business partners to this day.I highly recommend the ADS Workshop to both new and existing businesses

Rob Giannini, C.O.O.Commonwealth ...