The Secret Origin Story of Boss Security Screens
My name is James Kerr. My company name is Boss Security Screens. We’re headquartered here in Las Vegas, just on the corner of 215 and Rainbow, and we serve all of Nevada and all of Arizona. We manufacture and sell and install security screens, which are designed to prevent break-ins.
Every company has its superhero story. Every superhero has some kind of origin, right? Some origin story. And for me, my wife wanted some kind of security for our home. Alarms are only so good, and after doing a bit of research online, I discovered that this mesh, which is made out of stainless steel would be a terrific way of keeping all that bad stuff out. And after coming up with a design that worked, we now manufacture these security screens for windows and doors. They look like solar screens on the outside of the home. You don’t have the ugliness of the bars. And the beauty of the security screens is that they’re always on. With rolling shutters, the security is there only when the shutter is down. I think only 5% of the population can live with security shutters always down in the home. It’d just be too dark. So, for the rest of us, the other 95% who want sunshine and the fresh air, the security screens is really the ultimate in home protection.
What sets us apart is we stand by our product. We have a no break-in guarantee. We’re able, as a second item, to support over 300 different colors. So, that’s important because we want the screens to fit the current look and feel of the building. And then we have an ADA-compliant egress latch that’s also part of our intellectual property. Those three things really make our product stand out when compared to similar products in the market.
Yeah. So, as owner, my day-to-day, truth be told, I’m a strong advocate of quality of life, so I don’t want the business to consume me. I’d rather have the business serve me. Many times people will refer to this as a lifestyle business, and I kind of like that. I want to spend time with my kids, spend time with my wife, pursue my hobbies, do some good in the world. No one ever dies thinking that they should have spent more time working in the office. Now, that said, I love to work. The challenge is how do I build a business that can run without me? I look at the way Tom Sawyer got that fence painted was by finding others who wanted to do it, and his brilliance, Tom Sawyer’s brilliance, was finding a way for them to pay to want to do it. So, I think that’s the ultimate paradigm. So, what it boils down to is I really try not to work and I really try to design the business so it works without me.
My day-to-day looks like any other business owners. It’s a lot of emails, it’s a lot of phone time. It’s a lot of in-person meetings, but I try not to do an eight hour day. It’s oftentimes a mistake. Someone will leave the employed world, enter the entrepreneurial world, and end up being completely consumed by it. And it’s thrilling, but at the same time, there’s sacrifice in the quality of life, maybe the relationships with the family, maybe one’s own health. And it’s imperative, I think, that when we launch a company that we really hold tight to what’s important to us and we don’t let that go just for the sake of success. So, for me, owning a company is really a way to do more of what I want to do, which could be adventure, could be exploration, could be spending time with my family, taking care of my health, philanthropic work. To really be the master of your universe, that includes a controlling the nature of your company.
Every day is full of setbacks. Nothing goes as you want it to go, and that’s the thrilling aspect of owning a company. The traits that are required is to be like a cockroach. You just can’t be killed easily. So, as a business owner, you got to be that cockroach. You’ve got to keep that goal in mind. What is the final destination? Where is it that you’re trying to go? What does that look like? And then have that resilience to find a way either around something, over something, or through it, and all along the way to maintain the integrity. So, what is the goal? Where’s that resilience that I’m going to power through something? And am I going to do the right thing even when no one’s watching?
I can tell you, of the five successes, I’ve had 95 failures. Success or failure, at the end of the day, it’s tough to tell, really, which was better. All of the things that are behind us have gotten us to where we are, so you’ve got to welcome everything as it comes. Most important thing is you can do it. Most important thing is give people what they want. Most important thing is find someone to make it, someone to sell it, someone to run it. And most important thing is keep your employees happy, your clients happy, and your CPA happy, and you’re golden.