Author: Craig Cristani, BSU student
Lawrence (Larry) Johnson has owned Patriot Security and Patrol for 17 years. His company serves the South Shore for all of their security needs. Larry Johnson was intrigued with the security field after working as a part time police officer for the Plymouth Police Department. He worked their for three years with the goal of becoming a full time police officer, but decide against the career path for various personal reasons. Johnson then began his first business, a landscaping company. Given the lack of landscaping work in the northeast during the winter, Larry began working for a security company in the offseason.
Larry quickly proved to his boss that he had what it takes to manage others and take on various responsibilities. Within 90 days, he was managing one account and after one year, he was managing three. Larry Johnson managed the entire company after seven years of employment and purchased it by his tenth year. Larry has since grown the company to provide services in Plymouth, Middleboro, and West Bridgewater. Larry Johnson and his eleven employees are knowledgeable and experienced in their work and always maintain proper knowledge and skills in order to accurately do their jobs. Johnson has continued offering services throughout the south shore since taking over the company because he was born and raised their. He thoroughly enjoys the area, especially Plymouth where he raised his children as well.
Larry Johnson has found that the largest difficulties come from staffing and learning the paperwork portion of the business. Finding quality employees who are responsible is challenging because employees cannot be watched all the time. This requires trusting employees to do their job accurately and throughly. Given the increase in minimum wage over the past decade, it has been increasingly difficult to retain employees. Larry Johnson tries to hire people of age 25 or older since they are most likely more mature and responsible than young adults. In terms of office difficulties, paperwork and payroll can be difficult giving the ever-changing laws surrounding the business. Other issues with staffing come from employees needing or wanting time off. The security field is an essential service and must have a set number of people at each account no matter the circumstances. Therefore, whenever a person calls in sick or has a family emergency, their position must be filled. With so few employees, it can be difficult finding coverage, often requiring the owner to cover the shift. Managing the accounts, all eleven employees, day to day operations, and working at the accounts can be overwhelming, but Johnson has been able to successfully overcome these obstacles for the past 27 years that he has been in the field.
2020 has made it challenging for all businesses given the current political climate, cultural unrest, and COVID-19. With security being essential, the Coronavirus has played a gigantic role in how Larry runs his business. Larry Johnson has had a few employees require testing, all which came back negative, but none the less has caused challenges with staffing. Those who are worried that they may have COVID must stay home, get tested, and then wait for their results to come back, before returning to work. This can make staffing of all accounts a rollercoaster depending on which employees are available, which accounts need positions filled, and who is trained to work at which account.
Given the challenges or running a small security business, Larry still would not trade it for the world. He enjoys offering safety and security to all of his accounts. Given the small size of the business, when compared to the competition, Larry finds that his accounts enjoy his involvement and eagerness to satisfy all parties. If any problems arise or information needs to be relayed, Larry Johnson will get back to a customer within 24 hours no matter whether he is on vacation or working vigorously. This is not something that you would find at any of the bigger security companies and gives him a competitive advantage in the industry.