Rene Beaulieu, CPP, is an ambitious entrepreneur after our own heart.
(article continues below)
Having built his business up to a good size, he is now focusing on geographic expansion.
We decided to ask him a few questions to get his insights on starting a successful company.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
SECURaGLOBE Solutions Inc. is a security consulting and private investigations firm.
We also offers a franchise type of business to other experts in the field that are not sure about working alone or having to worry about things like sales, marketing, web site, insurance, marketing and accounting.
In addition, we have developed a service for clients called Virtual Corporate Security Director (VCSD ™) that provides clients with access to the experts they need, when they need them, without having to pay for a full time expert.
One other resource that we have recently added is a new web site called www.askasecurityexpert.com. This site is designed to provide Certified Professional advice at no cost or low cost to any SME's.
Where is your business located?
We are based in London Ontario Canada and Phoenix Arizona USA.
When did you start the business?
The company was founded by me in January 2001 in Canada and expanded to the US in October of 2007.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I was operations manager for another company that provided security services and decided in2001 that it was time to start my own company. Yes, this is my very first business.
Where did you get the startup money?
I bootstrapped all of the funds, a little here and a little there, constantly reinvesting any profits back into the company.
Who are your main competitors?
Our main competitors are any company that offer threat risk assessments. That includes firms like Price Waterhouse Coopers and KMPG. It also includes investigations firms such as John E. Reid & Associates and ICS, as well as security companies such as Huffmaster and The Sreel Foundation.
To compete against them, we simply look to offer unique and vendor neutral solutions and provide greater flexibility and better service.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
Running your own business is a very rewarding yet challenging venture.
On one hand, you have the freedom to go and do whatever you want whenever you want with no one to answer to but yourself.
On the other hand, the business is always with you and in the back of your mind 24/7. You sort of have a very long leash, but you constantly have to keep your eye on the rope if you do not want to hang yourself.
Well said. Running a business is a blessing and a curse at the same time. So, is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Two year ago we had a large client and I use that opportunity to expand and bring in some partners. I brought in one bad partner that almost sank the ship and we are in the middle of patching all the holes. In short, when I hit it big I got careless and took my eye of the rope. As a result, I almost hung myself.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
I am in the process of rebuilding our entire sales team and have also begun some network marketing on the web.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Never ever ever take your eyes of your rope. Always keep a close eye on the numbers and always go with your gut. Do not let anyone tell you any different. Your gut is right, and you have to make sure you take time to listen to what it is trying to tell you.
That's smart advice for any entrepreneur. Thanks so much for sharing your entrepreneurial experience with us, and good luck in growing your business.