Armando Perez, president of Hoosier Security, a security solutions provider in Indiana, is a proud graduate of the School of Hard Knocks. Hoosier Security is the second integration company he’s owned, and before that, Perez was involved in multiple start-ups. He started from scratch a few times, dealt with bad partnerships and learned more than a few lessons through experience.

One of these lessons he found the hardest to accept was that the more he grew his integration business, the more he lost. And while he learned the lesson the hard way, he didn’t know where to turn for the solution.

“I got more and more frustrated that there are no opportunities in our industry for the owner of a business to grow and learn best practices,” Perez said. “We either have to find a mentor willing to share, or we fail.”

Unable to find these resources tailored to those in the security industry, Perez tried learning how to better run his business from the automotive and HVAC industries. It was through the mastermind groups in these other industries that he came up with the idea for the Security Owners Group. 

Security Owners Group is meant to be a resource for the owners of security businesses wanting to connect and gain insight from others in the industry. Perez planned on launching the first mastermind group — Security Owners Group’s main offering – on April 10. The mastermind groups are supposed to include an in-person meeting once a quarter, along with virtual calls among members once a month. In these groups, members are supposed to work through problems they are facing in business, and share new solutions or ways of doing things with each other. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Perez made some changes to the mastermind group supposed to launch on April 10. He centered it around surviving the economic challenges the virus has brought, and members are meeting 100 percent virtually. Participation in this first mastermind group comes at no cost to the dozen owners lending their ears and insights.

“We all face the same concerns, so I just love watching these people come together and create solution after solution,” Perez said. 

Perez added that this COVID-19 mastermind group become especially valuable as security business owners sought answers on how to navigate the changing landscape.

“When the CARES Act was released, we brought in a consultant to speak with the group that has provided quite a bit of guidance,” Perez said. “We’ve shifted from trying to find an immediate reactive response, to a proactive response. How are we going to be moving forward to come out of this a stronger company than when we went in?”

Pricing for membership to future mastermind groups has not been determined yet, but included in the price will be a variety of other resources Perez is putting together, including interviews with business experts, documentation on best practices and courses, such as one that Perez is currently working on that provides members with a step-by-step marketing plan. 

“I would love to see this group with a full set of documentation on how to run an independent security company that serves its clients well, treats its employees better than any other industry and maintains its profitability,” Perez said. 

More than anything, though, Perez hopes Security Owners Group can help business owners feel less alone.

“Owners typically feel like they fight the fight alone,” Perez said. “They’re stressed, they can’t sleep and when they walk out of their office, they need to have a smile from ear to ear for their employees. But owners don’t have to be alone. They have other people who have been through the same problems.”