With Father’s Day this weekend I wanted to feature an amazing small business located in Los Gatos, Calif. that is run by a father and son. Parkin Security Consultants has been in the background check and information-gathering business since 1981.
They built their business on word of mouth referrals by clients impressed with their customer service. They take pride in gathering accurate data and returning it quickly, in an easy-to-understand format and with the highest degree of confidentiality.
Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, they provide service to clients all across the country. From every industry to high tech and bio tech, educators to custodial services, temporary staffing agencies to individual consultants, they can handle them all.
I got to speak with Thomas Parkin (Owner) and Travis Day (Operations Manager) from Parkin Security Consultants and had the opportunity to ask them questions about running a family business. Enjoy the interview.
What do you think is the most interesting part of your business?
There are a number of interesting parts of our business; from working with international companies and candidates, to learning about hiring trends with our clients. But probably the most interesting part of our business is stories that we come across, and being able to be a trusted advisor to our clients in the most important part of the business; their workforce.
What are some of the advantages to having a Father-Son run business?
The advantage to working with your family is that you are able to have more personal and candid conversations between the owner and management staff. Things that may be cautionary for some to say to their boss can become some of the most insightful feedback, and thus cause real change within our company. In addition to this, being mentored by someone who has a real incentive to see me succeed provides a value and a strong sense of loyalty to make our company succeed.
Are there any challenges you run into being a Father-Son business? And how did you handle those challenges?
The main challenge is making sure that we’re both held accountable for the decisions and actions that we make. Obviously, there are some people within organizations that feel preferential treatment is given to family members. The way we combat that is to work longer hours, take on more responsibility, and make sure that we’re both held accountable for the work that we do.
What advice do you have for other future family run business owners?
Every business has unique as well as common elements. It is important to have good communication and education going on. It takes time to get the basics understood and it is very important to walk through major decisions, successes and the bad experiences so family members are in sync. Usually the junior member of the team is deeply entrenched in day to day operations, while the senior member is more engaged in well established customer relations and working banking/financial issues; each has special knowledge going on that needs to be shared as the mentoring process progresses over time.
How have Intuit products helped your business?
Our company started out in the mid 1980’s using Quicken software which was so easy to use and was a natural progression as the business and customer base grew to seamlessly migrate over to QuickBooks which is still used today for financial reports, billing, and vendor payments.