One entrepreneur's key to success? Secure an 'A' team
In an age where security has become an increasing business priority, Sarasota-based Rapid Security Solutions has grown to $6 million in revenue and 47 employees in a little over 10 years.
Its corporate office is in Sarasota, but the company has clients statewide, where it also plans to target more market share, says RSS President and CEO Steven Paley. He says the company will focus that growth on Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and Naples — areas where it already has staff.
• Team player: One key struggle the company faces is finding and retaining talent. “Without ‘A’ players, we’re not going to be able to go too far,” Paley says. “We’re really looking for motivated, driven people. We can teach people our business, and we can teach people the technical aspects, but we can’t teach people to have motivation and drive.”
• Overcome distance: Paley hires people living in a variety of locations. “Some people we’ve hired may not be in the exact location we need them, but we use technology to overcome that. It’s about finding talent where they are.”
• First, evaluate: Paley says early on with the business, he got involved with a government funding program that didn’t come to fruition. It taught him a valuable lesson. “Whether it’s a sale or new program or new type of technology, having a framework for evaluating some of these opportunities would have avoided some of that frustration," Paley says.
• Delegate and empower: Paley focuses on strategy, but he also checks in with the company’s teams every day. “With 47 people throughout the state," he says, "it means communication is even more critical.” But he doesn’t micromanage. For a business to thrive, an entrepreneur has to hire talented people and let them work, he says. “You have to delegate. There’s no way I could have this business today without letting go and trusting my team to do the work. When you hire good people and you empower them, it’s going to be a 10-fold return to you.”
• Not just full: As an entrepreneur, Paley believes in looking for opportunities. “Not everyone is suited for this, but I’m a risk-taker," he says. "I’m a guy who believes the glass is half-full and overflowing.”
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