Say it Again: You Are Not a Shredding Company. You Are a Data Security Company.

Here’s the truth: There is only so much value a shredding company can provide customers when it markets itself as a shredding company.

Shredding company owners who’ve been in the business long enough have learned this lesson the hard way. Over the years, they’ve been undercut by large companies offering shredding for free to customers in order to capture business on unrelated services. They have been undercut by nonprofits that can use government-subsidized labor to charge lower fees. And they have been undercut by competitors that aggressively lower their price all the way to the bottom just to get a new account.

In other words, if your company’s sole value proposition is shredding paper at $20 per console, you will be undercut by a shredding company charging $19 per console, which will in turn be undercut by yet another shredding company charging $18 per console. If this race to the bottom goes on for too long, the best possible result is a competitor purchasing your book of business for pennies on the dollar—negating all the sacrifice, courage, and hard work it took to start your shredding business.

The worst possible result is your shredding company loses the race and goes out of business.

Remember the feeling you had the first time you climbed in your first shredding truck? Remember the way you could see the business you were going to grow, the jobs you would create, and the legacy your company would leave in your community?

That vision won’t become reality—or it won’t remain your reality for long—if your customers believe you are “just” a shredding company.

But a data-security company is different.

A data-security company delivers a suite of services that help protect customers from the potentially catastrophic lawsuits and fines that can come from mishandled data or failing to properly mitigate and respond to a breach.

Remember the sacrifice, courage, and hard work we mentioned earlier?

Your customer’s sacrifice and hard work can also disappear with a negligent approach to data security. Unlike a shredding company, a data-security company stands between its customer and catastrophic ruin if (and usually when) a data breach occurs. Protecting your customer’s business from a business-ending lawsuit isn’t something that can be undercut by charging $1 less per console.

At CSR Privacy Solutions, we speak with shredding companies on a daily basis. We know how hard it is for a shredding company to charge its customers even one additional dollar per console. From the perspective of the company paying for the console, we get it. CSR is a family-owned business. It is also a small company. We wouldn’t pay any more for a simple service than we had to—and, like it or not, shredding is a simple service.

Data security, however, is not simple. Businesses today—including small and medium sized businesses (SMBs)—work under a complicated set of local, statefederal, and international privacy- and data-protection laws. Depending on the severity, one instance of even unintentionally breaking these laws can cripple a company.

The shredding service helping its customers stay on the right side of data laws and regulatory requirements becomes more than just a shredding company.

It becomes a data-security company delivering reassurance and peace of mind that can’t be measured by price per console.

It becomes a defender, protector, and guardian to its customers.

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