Signal 88 franchisees are anything but one size fits all. As the security company has grown across the nation, more and more prospective business owners with varying backgrounds are called to Signal 88 through a number of different resources, whether they are personal relationships or professional references. What’s clear and consistent is how all Signal 88 franchisees, regardless of their past experiences, commit to the company because they know it’s a right fit for them, and know that this proven model is geared to set up each and every one of them for success.
A prime example of two Signal 88 franchisees who have come to the company from very different paths are Todd Totherow of North Carolina and Huston Akins of Tennessee.
Totherow, a new Signal 88 franchisee, came to the security company after 16 years of military and global security experience. Rarely one to turn down a chance to step outside his comfort zone, Totherow has made a career of taking on challenges, from deploying into hostile territories to protecting executives to embarking on new business opportunities.
While working abroad with ACADEMI, a global security management and training company, Totherow and his colleagues discussed at length different ways in which they could earn more income from overseas. After hearing about his colleagues’ positive experiences with Signal 88, Totherow knew it was an opportunity he needed to seriously consider.
“Overseas, we were sharing ideas about how we could leverage our experience intelligently,” says Totherow. “Among us, we’ve had as many failures as we’ve had successes. But Signal 88 is one of the ventures that has proven successful for those who’ve tried it.”
Even so, Totherow was still apprehensive about the investment and potential risk. But after researching the company and speaking with his colleagues who had vetted and spoken highly of Signal 88, he was ready to commit. “It’s a good fit,” says Totherow. “It allows me to go into uncharted territory and to kind of leave my comfort zone. All the while, I have this support from corporate and other franchisees. Their expertise to help fill in holes in my knowledge and their availability to answer my questions has been a huge asset.”
Franchisee Huston Akins was no stranger to the security business when he signed on with Signal 88 in 2014. Just four years prior, Akins experienced a setback that had resulted in him losing his privately owned security business, for what he thought was, forever.
“I had all my eggs in one basket with my security company,” says Akins. “When you have a startup, you have to do everything yourself, from building your website to creating the business cards. If one thing goes wrong, that can be enough to put you out of business. I thought I’d never get back into security again because I just couldn’t do another startup.”
But Signal 88 saw Akins’ experience and saw his potential, reaching out to him and beginning what has turned out to be a very fruitful relationship. Akins has worked in the private investigative and security industries for over 20 years. Now, with the support of Signal 88 paired with his extensive experience, his Signal 88 business is thriving.
“I’m humble,” says Akins. “I think everything happens for a reason and that there’s some redemption involved here. The support that Signal 88 gives us, and the infrastructure that’s in place and the training that they offer made joining Signal 88 a no brainer. Once we launched, it was just a matter of selling the product. Memphis has such a strong market; I feel there could be much more work to be done. And once I have a secure team set up here, I’m definitely going to look into expanding.”