As business owners, we’re tied together by a shared mission: success for our businesses. Usually, that means financial success through growth and expansion. Additionally, we want our organizations to be fulfilling places of work for employees. And lastly, we seek to bring our dreams and innovations to life in a tangible way.
It’s a tall order. And yet it’s something that entrepreneurs around the world achieve every day. So how do they do it?
To shed some light on this, we sat down with Jared Endresen, Owner of OC Patrol, for this month’s SDP Client Spotlight. Read on to learn how he’s created a business with month-over-month growth, dedicated employees, and its own proprietary software.
Following an initial business consulting partnership with a floundering security guard company, Jared made the decision to open his own patrol company in 2011. Over the previous decade, he had achieved tremendous success in resuscitating the failing company. But beyond this, he had found a passion for the industry and developed his own big ideas to revolutionize the way security companies like his operated.
After much planning and preparation, OC Patrol finally opened for business on July 1, 2012, with just 8 employees and a handful of client accounts.
Since then, the company has grown almost every month since its opening. How’d they do it? The answer is an aggressive strategy of expansion, prioritizing people and culture, and significant R&D investments to develop their own industry-leading security patrol software.
Just a few years ago, OC Patrol expanded beyond the realm of traditional security and patrol by opening a new technology-only branch, Simplified Technologies. This branch specializes in structured wiring, security cameras, and key fob systems.
Where other security companies tend to specialize in a single aspect of security, OC Patrol sought to differentiate itself. By positioning the company as a one-stop shop for security services, OC Patrol could better suit the needs of their clients. For example, by offering not just a security system, but also a dispatch service to investigate immediately if an alarm was triggered.
And it’s paid off. Today, OC Patrol has hundreds of clients and has made a name for itself as a preferred security and patrol service provider for homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and commercial properties in the areas they serve. However, their success has not been due to expansion alone.
Putting People First
One of the hardest parts of running any business is keeping employees motivated. However, employees form the backbone of any organization. They have the power to make or break your business. And if you are unable to successfully motivate and retain them, it can be incredibly challenging to grow your business.
Success as a workplace has been a top priority for OC Patrol since the start. Through ongoing dedication to this goal and to their employees, OC Patrol has built a phenomenal team to service their clients. Here are some of the ways they have found to help keep employees motivated and feeling valued.
1. Undercover Boss
Whenever Jared sees one of their cars on the road adhering to OC Patrol’s company policies (driving the speed limit, wearing a seatbelt, not blaring music, etc.), he’ll call their HR Department to give the employee a bonus on their next paycheck.
Going ‘above and beyond’ these days is really sticking to doing what you’re supposed to be doing. By showing employees we appreciate and value this, it helps them to stay engaged to keep doing what we want them to do.
2. Easter Egg Hunts
OC Patrol also incentivizes the reporting of different items with small bonuses. Depending on the season, the company will notify their guards to be on the lookout for specific violations, such as moving pods or unauthorized vehicles.
Incentivizing employees—especially entry-level security guards—with these small bonuses helps keep workers on task with current priorities and ensures client needs are met.
3. Quarterly Raises
Finally, OC Patrol is committed to giving all employees a raise every 3 months with no cap. So if an employee is with them for 30 years, they’ll receive 4 raises per year for 30 years.
As long as an employee is with us, they deserve to move up with the company—even if they’re the new guy on the block! Everyone who is part of our team and stays part of our team gets to grow with our team.
Since implementing this policy, Jared reports seeing immediate improvements in retention and employee engagement. Given the nature of their business, some members of the OC Patrol team simply don’t have the time or skills to move into management. But with this policy, they can still grow with the company.
Company Culture at OC Patrol
The company culture at OC Patrol is all about honesty, integrity, being above reproach, and operating as a team. While much of this comes from careful screening and hiring, OC Patrol also infuses these values into their team members through regular positive reinforcement. Jared shares,
The people who are with the company long enough to see that side of us understand that this is a spot for personal growth. The more someone is willing to invest in their own personal growth, the more we notice it and reward it and are willing to move them up.
They encourage employees to ask questions and bring ideas to management. And they work together collaboratively to improve the company as a team.
Here at OC Patrol, we rarely use the word “I”. “We” are a team, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without every single person on our team. If anyone starts saying “I” too much, I correct them. It’s not appropriate here. That’s not the culture we’re trying to build.
Success In Technology
In addition to OC Patrol’s success with their people, they’ve also experienced great success in pioneering their own patrol software. Jared shares,
We have a great product. It’s a proprietary software we designed that we run in all our patrol cars. It comes with phenomenal reports with stunning graphics and analytics that are automatically created inside the software. Our clients love it!
OC Patrol is not alone when it comes to innovation. If your organization is also considering diving into R&D, here are some of Jared’s insights from over a decade of developing their own software.
1. Do it!
First, if you’ve been considering R&D for your own business, absolutely do it. Jared explains that if you have your own processes and way of doing things—and it’s not automated by your existing technology—then it will always be worth it to create your own proprietary system.
2. Know what you want.
The caveat to “just do it” is that it doesn’t work to simply summon a programmer like a genie from a bottle and expect them to magically pop out the software of your dreams.
The first rendition of OC Patrol’s software began as a 20-page flow chart that detailed exactly what they wanted, how it should look, and what each action should do.
In developing your own software, your developer won’t know how the real-life application will work. He or she can only dream this up from their limited point of view. Since that rarely coincides with what you actually need, this lack of clarity often results in businesses needing to alter their processes to meet the developer’s specs.
3. Think several steps ahead.
Finally, when it comes to development, prepare to dedicate time to think through each step in your processes. Specifically, be able to define how your software will automate and streamline what you’re already doing. Important points to consider include:
- What do I need the end product to be?
- Identify each of the steps needed to get to that end goal.
- What are the conditional outcomes at each decision point?
- What will setup for new clients look like?
As in chess, you must think several steps ahead before you can effectively plan your next step. Doing so will not only result in a better programmer relationship but will also ensure you get the exact product you want.
Finding (Much-Needed!) Support
When OC Patrol first started payroll with SDP, they were on a rampage to find the perfect payroll provider. Jared recalls opening payroll accounts with at least six providers, including many “big box” providers.
Each left OC Patrol unsatisfied, and while the business was still small enough to easily review reports to catch any mistakes, Jared knew that as they grew this would become harder to do.
OC Patrol has a unique payroll situation in that they have employees working 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Switching to SDP alleviated the stress of calculating overtime and managing the idiosyncrasies of a 24/7 business.
Further, he could easily see how much cash they needed to have in their bank account and by which day to cover payroll.
Jared likes that even though SDP isn’t perfect (after all, who is?), when we did make mistakes, we were quick to get on top of them. He knows that our Customer Service team is just a phone call away if he ever has an issue–the same standard he employs in his own company!
SDP has been so great at accommodating everything we need that it’s to the point where I never even have to look at it anymore. Business owners have so much on their plate; the last thing we want is to have to manage another thing every pay period.
Partner with OC Patrol
For any property managers or builders out there, OC Patrol is always looking for opportunities to partner. Their patrol cars service HOAs and commercial properties in Orange County, posted guards are available from Central to Southern California, and they can install camera systems for commercial businesses from Central to Southern California.
Get in touch with Jared and his team to discuss potential partnership opportunities at (714) 401-9787.
SDP Client Spotlights: Celebrating Our Clients
Every month, we highlight one of our amazing clients with the SDP Client Spotlight. Here at Southland Data Processing, we’re in the people business and strive to always put our clients first. So if you or your organization is interested in becoming our next Client Spotlight, please contact us at [email protected] and we’d love to hear your story!
Photo by OC Patrol