Ricardo arrived in Lakeland in late 2015 to get closer to family, but it didn’t take long for him to realize that this is where he would be for the long haul. Lakeland was perfectly sized for him to start, grow, and scale his full-service physical security business and had a community that he instantly fell in love with. As jobs came pouring in, Ricardo knew he needed more space to run operations. Naturally, the network he had found as a member at Catapult led him to his next office. He spoke with Laura Helm, owner of Haus 820 + The Collective at Mass Market, and soon after moved into space at The Collective.
How was the transition from working out of a coworking space into your own space? The transition was fantastic as it provided more space to grow my business and store my inventory + tools. I miss the larger community at Catapult, but being in The Collective at Mass Market gives me the opportunity to collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs.
What are some wins for your business since you’ve moved into your own space? We now have two part-time employees, one full-time installer, and are currently writing job descriptions for a full-time project engineer and part-time project assistant. This will allow me more time to develop the business further while still completing jobs to our standard of quality. We are even considering taking more space in The Collective or pursuing a bigger location around town.
Have any of your goals changed from when you first started to now? Yes, my original business plan called for engaging larger companies. We now focus on small to medium size businesses much closer to home. We offer full service managed services giving smaller companies the expertise to handle their security technology needs.
Which specific aspect of Catapult can you look back on and identify as the most helpful to your business? The relationships I developed while working there. I met other entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams which inspired me to work harder. There are so many hard-working creatives in the Catapult community and that pushed me to be better, challenged me to incorporate design thinking into my planning, and ultimately changed my business model.
What would you wish next for your business? I would like to purchase property for my business and provide space for other small industrial businesses. I have been inspired by the Catapult model and The Collective space. I want to stay in Lakeland long-term and continue building my brand.
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