December 23 - Interview

Interview: 30XY Group

Genuine care for their clients, high quality of service and a positive impact on the environment – all the values we share with our client 30XY Group. We had a chat with Julian Grasso from 30XY about their unique industry and some insights into what it’s like to work with your nearest and dearest. 

Who is 30XY Group? 

Family owned and operated, we are a boutique-sized waste management company that targets two main areas: bulk liquid waste collection and environmental services to the Greater Melbourne area. We collect and dispose of millions of litres of liquid waste such as sewer/septic, oil and grease trap waste. These are considered Reportable Priority Wastes in Victoria and have a transport code that must be tracked with the EPA. We’re EPA Licenced to carry and legally dispose of almost all waste types, so we have the capacity to cover a wide spread of jobs. We also offer environmental services such as Non-Destructive Digging, Drain Cleaning and CCTV pipeline inspections to name a few. 

Why waste management? 

It’s a niche industry dominated by publicly listed companies such as Cleanaway, Veolia and Suez, so there are great opportunities to enter the space as a family business. 

One of the considerations was the barrier of entry into this industry due to demand, high upfront capital cost and long waiting periods. The equipment costs between half a million to a million depending on the fit-out and the wait times can be up to 12 months. Specifically designed vacuum trucks have consistently outstripped supply. 30XY Group started with one truck and now runs a fleet of 15 trucks and 25 employees. 

The EPA permits are required for transporting reportable waste and there is a process to follow with each vehicle which can take weeks. Once completed you can legally transport waste, producers can then find you on the EPA portal and you can commence work.

It can be daunting for new entrants to enter the space which has somewhat protected us; we are one of a handful of family-run and owned businesses left in the industry.

How do you support environmental sustainability in Melbourne? 

We’re environmentally conscious and have always endeavoured to dispose of waste at best practice facilities since our inception. We dispose of organic-based wastes at EPA licensed facilities, turning that material into energy or composting.

We have since founded Reclaim Waste which is a dedicated materials recycling facility in Laverton North achieving a 95% recovery rate on incoming waste materials. 

What are the biggest challenges working as a family owned business? 

Communication is the most difficult skill to master when working in a family business. We found that organising regular structured meetings with an agenda to discuss work matters to be most effective. We then put together an action plan based on everyone’s skillset and email it out. This way you are all accountable for the work and you can spread the mental load. 

Many people I know are surprised that we have been able to work so well together, growing our business across all aspects for over 10 years without pushing our relationship to breaking point. Communication, accountability and having defined roles within the family business is key to making it work.

What’s your one piece of advice for someone starting their own business?

Make sure you work out your role within the company prior to starting. Many family businesses break down based on poor communication and cross over between roles and responsibilities. 

Listen to your gut at every turn. The major mistakes I have made in business have been when I have not listened to my intuition. Have faith in yourself and take calculated risks.

How has Future Advisory helped you along the journey?

Future Advisory assisted in providing a focus on consolidating our growth objectives and cleaned up our P&L and Balance Sheet to enable clean reporting to make better-informed decisions. 

Jason and his team are operating as an extension of the business as a virtual CFO. It has provided many benefits from tax structures, financial planning, R&D concession grants and scheduling regular meetings and reporting.

With the improvements made we can now take the group of businesses to the next level. 

Do you need a virtual CFO? Get in touch.