Securis Data Destruction Franchise Review: Q&A with Ed Beitel
Tech-savvy data destruction franchise has a ‘built in’ customer base that will continue to expand, Ed Beitel says
Former executive Ed Beitel used his sales experience in selling IT equipment at IBM — and his connections — to finally become his own boss. By purchasing a Securis franchise, Beitel was able to get out of the corporate rat race and control his own destiny.
We spoke with Beitel about his personal interest in data security and how the sunsetting of one career was a blessing for the high-powered executive who says he is happily out of his “comfort zone” with the help of the Securis Headquarters team. He says their hands-on approach to supporting his launch settled fears about his move to independence.
What were you doing before opening your Securis franchise?
I have a history with international firms; I have been selling for 20 years. I was selling what they called the x86 Server for the IBM System x division. As the world continues changing, and the landscapes of information technology continue to change, selling hardware for a living really wasn’t a good long-term play. As I was kind of mulling all of this over, the System x division of IBM was sold to Lenovo. There are a lot of really smart people working for a company like IBM, but there are also elements that are out of your control. I just didn’t see it maturing in a very positive light for the next 20 or 30 years. I wanted to have something that I could take ownership of and run from inception to completion. IBM was a tremendously large and complex battleship, and it turns very slowly.
How did you find out about Securis?
I have always had an interest in security. I found out about Securis through an advertisement on LinkedIn. I was just fishing around, and I read up on them and checked out their website. I read the profiles of the leaders. One thing kind of led to another, and I went to a Discovery Day.
What attracted you to Securis?
I knew that there was solid demand for that kind of service from my experience with IBM. I have had customers that I have sold to, and they have all sat in the big conference room as we are moving forward with the project, and then one guy kind of chimes in and says, “Yeah, but what do you do with all the old stuff?” And they all stare at each other. And I thought, “What a great opportunity.” I saw real-life, existing examples of the need for this business.
Who are your target customers?
As far as long term strategy, I think it’s the customers that have anywhere north of 200 employees — medium and large companies that understand about requirements from an auditing perspective. We are all reading about security breaches from big companies. Once you get your company’s name in the headlines; if you breach your customers’ trust in whatever way, that does a lot of damage.
Securis provides an easy way for a company to tie up its loose ends. Companies are discovering that they have to take the end-of-life asset process and procedure extremely seriously, and that they can’t just bring in somebody to haul it away. They must have some level of confidence and some level of certainty that they won’t face liability for that information and equipment once it leaves their facilities.
How are you planning to attract customers?
I am reaching out to the networks of business partners I have long-standing relationships with. I have quite a robust network of people who are not just business contacts, but people I have gotten to know over the years. As far as moving forward, I will be breaking down doors to get this moving. I will do some networking events, but where I am going to be spending most of my energy and focus is going to be selling.
What kind of personality do you think someone needs to succeed as a Securis owner?
I would think that it is someone who has a passion to be in control of their own small company and who has an interest in providing a service that is needed and in demand. I think you need that natural, entrepreneurial spirit. I come from a background of entrepreneurs. You have to be a self-starter, and you have to be willing to make difficult decisions while not overcomplicating the task at hand.
How large do you think the opportunity is for your business to grow?
I think it’s only going to get more massive because of the multiple layers of regulation and auditing, and because of the liability and risk that come with data security. To be in compliance, to eliminate the liability of a security breach when you’re sunsetting your IT assets, you have to make sure that you are working with somebody who knows what they’re doing.
How does the headquarters team help you grow?
They are supporting my launch in every possible way. They want me to succeed, because that is how they are going to succeed. Jeremy [Farber, CEO] ] is visionary. He doesn’t get too tangled up in the weeds, which I often do. Dan [Mattock, VP of Sales] and I have very similar personalities. I kind of look at him as a kind of quiet me. He’s very cool, calm and collected, very soft-spoken. He’s not aggressive, but he knows how to sell and how to ask the right questions, so clients can sort of self-discover that the service that we provide has tremendous value.
They are looking for smart growth, and they’re looking for people who can step up and get the value delivered to the customer clearly and with confidence. They challenge each other. They are hard-core. They don’t mess around.
What do you enjoy about the business?
I enjoy having some level of control of my destiny. I enjoy having control over how I manage my time. It’s exciting. I’m excited to do something completely different.
What are your goals for your business?
I want to grow fast. However, more importantly, I want to grow smart and strategically where I can have recurring business. I want my first 20 jobs to be a wild success, so I can come back and do it again and have recurring relationships.
Is owning your own business good for your personal life?
Being a salesman, I had a lot of flexibility in my schedule, and that is so unique. I am so lucky and thankful for that, because I know that most of the world has to clock in. I am 44, and I have three children. I have a boy who is a sophomore in high school. I have a son who is in eighth grade. I have an 11-year-old daughter who is in sixth grade. I am learning how to play acoustic guitar. I have always had a love of that sound; it’s very natural. It helps me clear my head. I love playing Frisbee; it’s one of my things.
Would you recommend a Securis franchise to someone else?
I would. This was quite a leap of faith. I’ve always had an itch to get into my own business, and this I just happened to stumble upon because of my own situation, my looking for a new direction and a new career.