The commercial security industry is growing, is facing a new array of Covid related challenges for clients, and our franchisees are meeting that demand today. It’s an exciting time for our owners, and our franchisee, Jerrod Littleton, was recently featured in Franchising.com, speaking to his experience and what he sees in his market.
Read the full article here on Franchsing.com, also shared below.
If you’re not familiar with Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If,” just ask Surveillance Secure’s first franchisee, Jerrod Littleton, and he’ll recite it for you. These are the words he summoned when making his decision to leave the corporate world in favor of entrepreneurship. Jerrod mentors graduates of Rowan University in New Jersey, and has always given them this advice: “You want to go to corporate America in the beginning but don’t overlook entrepreneurship for yourself. That’s where you’re going to really make it. You have to be willing to take that risk to build wealth.”
He even passed that advice along to his 8-year-old son, Joseph, who loved a sub sandwich franchise so much that he wanted to work there. “I told him, you can work there, but you have to work toward owning one!” Jerrod’s wife, LeeAnn, is an entrepreneur herself and owns a dance studio, Dance! By Debra DiNote. The family of entrepreneurs is rounded out by Jacob, 15, and Elizabeth, 11.
Now Jerrod’s setting another example. “I’ve started a couple of small businesses on the side, but really wanted something that would allow me to leave the corporate world and generate income right away. After considerable due diligence, including evaluating a number of other franchise opportunities, Surveillance Secure seemed to check that box.”
Jerrod is a 7 year Army veteran turned Vanguard municipal bond trader that prides himself on recognizing patterns and trends before others see what’s coming. Not only is that useful in identifying opportunities before his local competition does, but it allows him to recognize the pain points in the surveillance and security industry that Surveillance Secure is addressing.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are being ignored. The home security companies are really only specializing in homes and small retail while the big players in commercial electronic security only want to go after huge contracts. That leaves everyone in between waiting for a call back that sometimes never comes at all. The light bulb went off as I conducted my research: An entire market segment is being ignored. They want solutions and nobody will even answer the phone.”
This is where Surveillance Secure excels. They focus on responsiveness and customer service, and take a consultative approach to creating custom solutions for clients. Their operating systems allow franchisees to focus on marketing, sales, and customer service. These systems include centralized tech support, call center, and remote IT implementation.
“The executive team is extremely supportive. The CMO, Rob Gazzola, is relentless when it comes to marketing and Kim Hartman (CEO) and Will Biggerman (COO) really know their stuff when it comes to surveillance and security systems. I came into this with no technical expertise at all, and while the learning curve is pretty steep, I feel very confident in what I’m doing due to the ongoing training and support that I receive. I’ve got the team on speed dial.”
So the question on everyone’s mind… what about Covid? Surveillance Secure is an essential business which means it’s one of few businesses that hasn’t been interrupted. “I don’t know if there’s any great business to start in a time like this, but I launched just as shutdowns were taking place. I haven’t seen or converted as many opportunities because of Covid, but there’s a ton of business out there and it’s just a matter of time before I carve out my piece.” He expects to see an increase in demand for Surveillance Secure’s touchless access technology, and thermal imaging cameras that can detect human body temperature, when businesses inevitably start reopening.
Jerrod also mentioned a couple emerging industries that will be creating more and more opportunity on a go-forward basis. “A ton of businesses have backlogs. As I learn more and more about specific verticals, like the cannabis industry, I discover the rules and regulations that govern these industries actually mandate our services. That’s a huge growing business and the more I hear about their needs, the more I’m confident that we have the right solutions.”
“Now don’t get me wrong, there are challenges with every business and this is no exception. Hiring technicians was a little tougher than I thought but I’m excited about my team. Licensing wasn’t all that easy either and the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs was very hardworking and accommodative given the stay-at-home orders. With where I’m at now, I’m able to focus on creating opportunities via sales and networking. If those are your strengths and you’re willing to hustle, I think there’s a ton of opportunity with Surveillance Secure.”
If you ask Jerrod his real motivation for joining the Surveillance Secure franchise system, he’ll jokingly tell you, “I got into this so I could play golf for a living. I can’t wait to take my clients out!” But when pressed, he delivers a more meaningful response: “Being an entrepreneur means hiring people and helping put food on the table. I’m proud I was able to fulfill that responsibility for my team in this early stage of my business, and I’m excited to provide future opportunities as my business grows.”