“If you own a car, you need a great mechanic. We’re in the private security industry. The only people above us who we can bring in are the police. They’re the ones who can help really dictate the professionalism of our business.”
He also advocates mentorship for entrepreneurs.
“I joined a group, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, that’s been instrumental in helping me understand business owners, understand myself, and understand all the things I’ve been struggling with. It’s been a huge part of my life for the past year. I have had a business mentor, and I turn to him for advice quite a bit.”
Having a mentor is also a departure from Fruson’s method of going into a situation and making the best of it. “I learned through the School of Hard Knocks. I made a lot of mistakes [in growing the business] that probably could have been avoided. I had to learn the hard way, and fast.
“There’s an amazing correlation between how hard I work and how lucky I am.”
To date, about 10 percent of Crusade’s business revenue comes from systems side of his business; 90 percent from the guarding component.
To further the company’s growth, Fruson recently hired a new sales manager to promote the systems aspect. He’s carving out Crusade’s niche to offer both guard service and systems service.
“Not a lot of companies our size offer the fully integrated service that we do. It’s like going to Superstore. You want to be able to go to one place and get all your stuff. It’s the same for security. You want to be able to go to one vendor and get everything you need from one person.
“We have quite a few customers whom we do all the integration for. So, instead of having two security companies to deal with, they have one.”
One rapidly changing component is how fast technology is changing, from the quality of cameras, to the quality of access control systems, to the quality and integration of the intrusion systems.
And what does success mean for Fruson now?
“Spiritual well-being,” Crusade’s owner replies.
He explains that his focus has broadened from strictly financial success: “Seriously. It’s being able to be just happy with where you are in life and what you have. We’ve got nothing to bitch about!”