International Security Journal caught up with Nick Southern to find out how his business is coping with COVID-19 and the special project they have recently been involved with.
How would you describe your management philosophy?
I was a former professional rugby player and led some very successful teams. I very much took these transferable skills from there into my management life. I hope I have led by my actions and words and never made anyone do something I wouldn’t do. I believe if you have the skills to talk to the toilet attendant and Queen in the same manner then hopefully you gain respect at all levels.
I have been a big believer of home working for over eight years now as we don’t have an office and I find my team work hard this way as I give them the freedom of not working 9-5 as we are a 24/7 business. I also believe in sticking to what you are good at and so we have teamed up with award-winning, Gold standard ARC, Fenix Monitoring to look after our sites during the night periods. I have great relationships with my clients and they always know I am available on the phone 24/7 if they ever need me.
What impact has COVID-19 had on your business?
The COVID-19 period has made us very busy with a lot of building sites shutting down and we had to secure most premises with 24/7 security guards and CCTV. It is now interesting to see the sites back to work in the new normal, but I see everyone adapting. Yes, the selling has been slow but with my fantastic team behind me we are in a very good position going forward.
Where are you seeing opportunities for growth at the moment?
For us, we have rapidly grown over the last two years from four up to 100 sites. I have a great salesperson in Lara who has been the driving force behind this growth and then I have put in key people to sustain this growth. With COVID-19, we have to all adapt and we see opportunities in vacant properties as well as our normal building sites. We are introducing new technology to make sure we are at the cutting edge of security systems to make security cheaper and more effective.
Have you taken part in any recent major installations that you could tell us about?
One major project will stand out above the rest, not because of the size of our work but because of the nature of the project. We helped Interserve Construction with temporary CCTV and gatepersons during the building phase of the NEC Nightingale hospital during COVID. I was delighted with my team how they reacted quickly to the deployment of both services. It was amazing to be a part of this.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
Our next 12 months is focused on hitting our target of 200 sites, which is to double the size of the business. I have put in place a structure which will allow us to do this and I believe we have contacts, the relationships and services to deliver this ambitious target. In a competitive market, we stay away from the politics and do our own thing and hopefully have some fun along the way.