Businesses across the country have been closing due to the pandemic, but there is a small percentage that have grown!
In this series we take you behind the scenes in those businesses to empower you to apply the same strategies to your business, whether you’re in growth mode, or recovering!
We’re asking three questions to bring out a few different kinds of answers from our interviewees:
What do you do?
What contributed to your growth?
What are you doing to ensure you continue growing?
This Week’s Interview Guest:
BPS Security has exploded with growth (over 400%!) in the last year and a half, and Stephanie had the chance to sit down with their brilliant CEO to discover their Growth-Factors.
Behind the Scenes:
Question 1: What do you do?
At BPS Security, we provide security guard services for large corporations. We service corporations that want quality, hands-on security that will be there for them at all times: day or night, weekend or weekday.
What contributed to your growth?
In specific regard to COVID, we did a lot of watching current events and looking ahead.
When we heard news about COVID in China and how quickly it was spreading, we knew that supply and demand were going to go crazy in the security business: we might not be able to license more people, travel between states might get restricted, and yet people would still need access to good security. The same thing happened in China, so we knew it would happen here. So we took some of our additional cash flow and made huge orders: hundreds of uniforms and equipment (some came in three days before Texas shut down).
From there, we began calling tons of potential clients and our current clients with offers. We let them know that the security thinning that was being seen in China was coming to Texas, and that prices were going to skyrocket because of supply and demand. So instead of waiting to purchase security, they could buy with us now at our current price and therefore avoid spending twice or three times the price in the future. We did this back in February and March, and by the end of March we were getting tons of calls asking for our deals because these people knew that what happened in China was happening here. They knew we had been thinking about them and were prepared to help them with their security needs, so they called us as they saw the price skyrocket coming.
Aside from that, there were four key concepts we implemented:
Adaptation is one of the most important things we’ve done.
We updated our marketing terminology, mission statement, the way we spoke with clients, and we kept adapting to the different clients we were providing security services for. That change and constant work to communicate in a way that they understood opened the door to do business with even larger corporations.
Innovation is not just for the sake of innovation:
much of it was to create a very lean operation style for the sake of overhead and to continually serve our clients better. We’ve developed our own technology, CRM, GPS Tracking, and blended a lot of technology to reduce overhead costs.
What this has done for us additionally is made us stand out from the rest of the industry. Ordinarily, a security company will take 7-30 days to get security on-site. But because we’ve streamlined our process and work so lean, we are able to have guards on site as quick as 24 hours after receiving a contract. Sometimes those guards are working two locations and we pay overtime for the first few days until we get someone permanent for that site. But because of the way we’ve set up our expense management we can be on site in as little as 24 hours where other security companies can’t.
Expense Management is another big part of why we grew:
managing our expenses properly and skillfully allowed us not to worry about cashflow.
One major thing we managed very closely was tying expenses to individual guards rather than lump packaging. When you work in security, you’re regularly hiring and letting go of security guards. We choose vendors that allow us to tie expenses to individual security guards; our prices are based in percentages on the number of security guards we are putting into work which means that our profit margins are the same all the time. So when we gain clients, our expenses go up. And when we lose clients, our expenses go down. By organizing our expense management like this, we ensured that we’re never paying for something we aren’t using and our clients are only ever paying for what they are receiving.
Payment Negotiation was one of the biggest factors in our growth because it freed up a lot of cashflow so that we could act ahead of the game with our finances.
Here’s what we did…
Clients don’t like to be told no or “it must be done this way”, it’s better to come to them with options (even if the options are not necessarily what they’d choose!). So what we say is “We receive payments on a weekly basis, or on a monthly basis with an additional 20% of the payment.”
But 20% is a large percentage, and no one wants to pay that extra. So we end up generally receiving payments from our clients on a weekly basis, and temporary clients are required to pay 100% up front. This puts the cash into our bank account before payroll is even due, so we are not relying on things like credit cards or waiting to be paid in order to pay our people and expenses.
Payment negotiations like this are helping us scale much more quickly, and we haven’t had any issues with people agreeing to the payment style since we’ve begun receiving name recognition in the industry.
Additionally, we are very good at screening our clients.
Which sounds weird, but it is true. When someone comes to us and isn’t willing to pay our rates, we are good at saying “then we’re not the right company for you.” It helps us keep our focus on our upper-class clientele, and prevents us from getting sucked into draining client relationships. Because the people who want the discounted rates are not the people we want to be working with.
Along the same lines, we added a clause to our contracts. If a payment is late, we are allowed to temporarily suspend service without notice. And if the client continues to not pay after a certain amount of time, we are allowed to terminate the contract while still requiring 40% of the contract cost from them. It sounds intense, but it has helped us to screen our clients: only the people who are going to make good clients are willing to sign that contract.
What are you doing to ensure you continue growing?
Right now we’re negotiating billing rates with our clients, and locations. Many of our clients want us in new locations, and we’re a high-demand company now so we can let them know that our pricing has gone up slightly. But because we were there for so many people and helped them avoid gigantic bills while also being on site so quickly, they want to stay with us. Because of this, we’ve already closed contracts for 2021 that already put us at 100% growth for 2021 over 2020.
We’re also re-doing our entire marketing plan: Logo, Website, Message, Mission Statement, Core Values, etc. We know that our clients and potential clients are going to be looking to reduce their overall costs because of losses from the shutdowns. For many people, we can provide that cut on costs without losing security because we run such a lean business. In essence, we are going to be providing that cost reduction that they need while also receiving more value. In this way we are positioning ourselves to start competing with national brands that cost more than we do.
We hope this interview with Glen has helped you! It has certainly helped us!
If you’re not in a position to be making the decisions for growth that he is, don’t get discouraged! Start looking for ways to get work off your plate so you can have space to create the kind of growth that Glen has. I can point out two main things in this interview that have stuck out to me, and that you can apply in your business: resolve an issue common to your industry, and run a lean business.
Obviously he is absolutely brilliant, and if you want the opportunity to meet this guy make sure you join us at Grow2021 in January! He’s a repeat attendee, and we could not be more excited he’s decided to join us for this business growth retreat again.