fire and security

Like every other one of us, Martin Lawton had no idea what lay just around the corner when he launched our Jackson Fire and Security Kingston branch back in September 2019. So how has he got on in what quickly became an exceptional backdrop for anyone starting a new venture?

Prior to joining Jackson Fire & Security, Martin had a varied career background working for over 20 years in building services both in the public and private sector and then more recently as an Asset Manager for Heathrow Airport. But he’d been thinking about the possibility of joining the fire and security industry for a while. Whilst researching his options, he came across the Jackson Fire and Security opportunity. He was attracted to the unique opportunity it offered to manage a local branch along with the level of support that was available from head office.

The Kingston branch launched in September 2019

It was a steep learning curve; as Martin comments, no matter how much experience you think you have, it turns out there is always room for more! He was highly proactive in building up a customer base, quickly letting his existing network of former colleagues and other contacts know he was running a local branch within the fire and security industry. He made best use of marketing support from the head office team, combined with his own networking and promotional activity. As a result, his branch’s list of clients grew steadily with the excellent customer service leading to more recommendations and referrals.

It was all going extremely well. A few months in, thanks to the excellent reputation Martin had already established, business was really picking up. And then the pandemic arrived and the UK went into lockdown.

What effect did the pandemic have?

In the first couple of months, with so many premises and businesses in crisis mode or standing empty, everything went quiet. So Martin decided to put that time to good use by volunteering and offering his skills to help various local community groups.

But by May, as people and businesses had begun adapting to what was becoming referred to as the ‘new normal’, enquiries started coming in once more. It wasn’t long before demand for the Kingston branch’s services was steadily growing again.

Expanding the branch team

In fact, that business growth meant Martin found himself in the very fortunate position of being able to continue to expand the team. Initially he had brought an engineer into the business along with another manager who was helping to run the branch with him. More recently, he has taken on a business development manager. In the space of twelve months and in the midst of a global pandemic, the Kingston branch is flourishing.

“I knew it would be hard work and you’d need to be willing to put the effort in,” he reflects. “You need to be quite open-minded and adaptive to change. But I enjoy it. Yes, it can be tough, and it certainly wasn’t the easiest first year for launching a new branch, but I’m far less stressed than I was in previous roles. Be ready to work hard, and the rewards are definitely worthwhile.”

To find out more about the complete package of fire and security solutions our Kingston branch can offer, click here.