An overview of yourself and your current role.
My name is Steve Jackson and I am the founder and managing director of Jackson Fire & Security in Mold. I set up the company 26 years ago, after previous sales experience in a range of different sectors. The idea attracted me like no other, as there was a definite demand for fire extinguisher installation and servicing, backed up by a legal requirement to have these in place. We have now grown our offering to include installation and maintenance of a range of different fire and security systems, to businesses throughout the UK.
What are your aims?
To continue to deliver a good service, grow our business in North Wales & Cheshire, and to expand throughout the UK with our franchise network. We have 8 regional branches and have a further 80 territories available. The industry we operate in means good response times for emergency call outs are essential, and offering a local service for pre-planned maintenance is important to us. Through franchising we can expand nationwide and continue to offer a local service.
Describe your role.
I’m heavily involved in the day to day running of Jackson Fire & Security and regularly attend networking events and client meetings throughout North Wales & Cheshire. I have appointed managers in our customer service, accounts, marketing and franchising departments who report to me on a weekly basis. I also oversee franchisee recruitment and make key decisions from head office influencing the franchise network.
What’s the best bit of having a job like yours?
Providing such a valuable service to local businesses by ensuring their people and property are safe. Giving people the opportunity to run their own business and share the same values, through an established brand and franchise network, is also very rewarding.
Was a role like this always what you aspired to?
I always wanted to run my own business but wasn’t sure in which sector I would end up. My sales experience helped give me a good starting point, I’ve picked everything else up along the way and recruited people with specialist skills for key areas of the business. I couldn’t have foreseen growing a local company nationwide and this is something I am particularly proud of.
Any special memories to share?
In 2012, when we were successfully awarded the University of Chester contract to provide fire alarm maintenance to their 210 buildings – it was a game changer for us and we continue to be their chosen provider. We’ve always looked after SME’s very well and they remain very important customers to us, but this contract demonstrated we could manage big projects and it led to further large contracts with multiple properties.
Tell us a bit about what you do outside of work to relax.
I have three children; one son aged seventeen and two daughters aged eight and three, so they keep me busy outside of work. We’re all keen skier’s and my son loves snowboarding so we’re all off skiing in the Easter holidays.
In an ideal world, what else would you like to be?
Besides spending my days fishing or sailing, I’m very happy with what I’m doing! In my previous days, I was a national sales manager working for a food manufacturing company travelling up and down the country. I’m happy we can deliver this service at such a local level each time we open a new regional branch.
What advice would you give to anyone starting out?
Get the basics right with good customer service, keeping your accounts up to date and being ethical in your approach to business. Being decent with people whether it be employees, suppliers or customers. My favourite saying is employ for attitude and train for quality and this is our number one approach to recruitment.