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  • stevenv1

15 years strong!

Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years! So here are some of our thoughts about reaching the 15-year milestone, the challenges we’ve been through, and where we’re going.

Why 15 years is so special:

o   We’re established, tested, re-tested, and still standing.

o   We’ve reached the ‘crystal’ milestone, and it’s clear why we’re still standing. Our transparency and independence have kept us a shining example of accountability and best practices.

o   We have grown sustainably. This is important as too many businesses aim to grow as quickly as possible, only to crumble under their own weight. We have chosen to weigh our options and decisions made carefully, and strategically.

o   By investing in the correct people, the correct technology and advanced software, and building our business’ unique Intellectual Property, we have developed a winning formula.

o   We are as transparent and open internally as we are with our clients. By establishing and maintaining communication lines and relationships internally, and externally with our clients and partners, we have built networks that last.

o   We have retained many of the first clients we secured 15 years ago, through times of economic and social hardships, precisely because of our focus on service.

What it took to get here:

o   Investments by numerous people who saw potential, and had the vision to dream of a brighter tomorrow.

o   Dedication from the MD’s wife who worked admin, finances and other miscellaneous jobs at Verifier in the early years and (jokingly) quit every day, only to return to work the following day because she knew what it took to start a business.

o   A keen eye for talented staff, and the willingness to let them run with the responsibilities and challenges involved.

o   The acceptance of uncertainty, and the embrace of change.

o   Strong core values, from day one, constantly re-affirmed to this day.

o   The ability to ‘play the game’ while keeping professional throughout the politics and competitiveness.

o   Networks built and maintained over time. Amazing partnerships with technology distributers, channel partners, installers, and business managers.

o   A mindset of leaving your ego at the door, the willingness to accept accountability,  the result being trust built up over time.

What Verifier has survived through:

o   Though officially starting in 2009, the global economy was still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis and following recession. Not an ideal time to start a business, but as with surfing, you have to start paddling before the wave reaches you to catch it.

o   Loadshedding on and off since 2014, with increasing severity since 2018.

o   Built our first upgraded control room from scratch in 2016, then another in Gauteng in 2017, learning to structure and operate one business in two locations.

o   A further recession in 2016.

o   The Corona Virus Global Pandemic of 2020.

o   Generally tough market conditions in SA ever since.

What the world was like when we started vs how it is now:

In the early days the internet services available were limited to dial-up internet. Remember the dial-up “brr ding ding ding”! The changeover from dial-up, to ADSL, wireless, and finally fibre internet came at the perfect time for Verifier to capitalise on new opportunities. Initially 540kbps was the fastest line you could get! Soon it was 4mbps, then 10mbps was the biggest deal and then it exploded.

o   2009:

  • Facebook booms after starting in 2007/8.

  • Smartphones begin. Before there were a few phones like iPhones and Blackberrys, but not as widespread.

  • WhatsApp was first released.

  • First mention of ‘smart’ devices or ‘smart’ technology, (mostly used in Government applications in the U.S)

  • By 2010/2011 Verifier started monitoring VideoIQ – the first commercially available A.I security video analytics system!

o   2024:

  • Facebook has become a giant, owning the majority of social media and communication platforms in the global West.

  • Smartphones have HD cameras, and apps for you to dial in and monitor your home security system.

  • WhatsApp has become vital for businesses to communicate effectively.

  • The emergence of numerous A.I devices and systems over the decade. But with Chat GPT, Deep A.I generative technology, and the disruptions and opportunities presented are unbelievable.

Where we are going:

o   We have expanded our Gauteng command centre into new premises, with space for more operators, staff, and business functions.

o   Our goal is to remain competitive, engaged in the latest technologies and developments in the broader security industry, and to keep growing and developing as we have done up to this point, with constant investment into solid business systems.

o   Solid consistent growth. With growth comes an element of responsibility. We need to grow responsibly, not exponentially. Our clients’ lives, livelihoods, and properties are ultimately at stake. Constantly pioneering is tough! It carries with it the responsibility of rigorous testing of new systems, expenses related to the educational cost of acquisition of customers onto new technology.

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