Welcome to another edition of the ASBN exclusive resource designed to educate entrepreneurs on the value of scaling and exiting their businesses, The Roadmap. Your host Lee Heisman sits down with John Loud, the president of Loud Security Systems, on today’s show to outline his entrepreneurial journey.
Loud was an airline flight attendant for Delta, but he knew nothing about the security sector. He never worked for an alarm firm nor had a security system installed in his home. So, after rolling out his startup, Loud Security System, he acquired the knowledge of recurring monthly revenue. Building his company from the ground up, he added more than 60 workers and 11,000+ clients. He ranked 69th nationally, with 50% being from the residential market and the other 50% from the commercial marketplace.
"For me, if I didn't have J-O-Y in my J-O-B, then I don't think I would've survived 28 years."
Throughout the decades, Loud started working with operations to sell his system, then moved to a more direct customer approach. Emphasizing, “One of the biggest challenges of scaling a business is knowing when to get out of the way.” To illustrate, when you allow a different salesperson, finance, or operational person to do another job, sure, it will be different because of the qualifications, but “they can collaboratively work together to iron out any mistakes in the business.” He adds, “When growing a business, you must learn that not every customer is the right customer.”
Culture and Growth
In addition to helping the business expand, Loud points out that having a positive workplace culture benefits both the clients and the staff in the long run. To illustrate, his employees have worked for him for 20, 19, and 16 years out of the 28 he has been operational. By remaining in the company, it has created space for Loud to focus on additional growth opportunities. In addition, he has been appointed as the chairman of the Electronic Security Association (ESA) due to his enthusiasm for building communities by connecting people. Loud claims that “we deal with humans and technology every day, neither of which are perfect, so my personal number is listed under customer care on our website.”
On the other hand, it’s crucial to start planning an exit strategy today because Loud notes, “You have to think of the financials or if you need to bring anyone in like CPA or a broker.” Therefore, “remember your ABCs,” adds Loud.
- A: Attorney
- B: Banker
- C: CPA
Each are vital pieces entrepreneurs need from the beginning of their startup operations to the day they eventually sell.