OhioMBE Business Profiles: American Services
OhioMBE – Feb. 15, 2015
Winning remains the goal of former NFL player, Shawn Harper, both on and off the field. After retiring from the NFL, Shawn set out to make a difference in security services for Central Ohio and beyond. With a degree in criminal justice and years of security experience under his belt, he founded American Services, LLC in 2004.
Built around a “Client First” policy, American Services specializes in creating security solutions that decrease and deter unwanted activity such as theft, vandalism, loitering, or unauthorized entry at a client’s property. The armed and unarmed security officers (a number of them with backgrounds in law-enforcement or the military) serve a variety of clients such as construction sites, retail stores, office buildings, parking lots, warehouses, hotels, banks, churches, schools, non-profit organizations, as well as public and private events.
In 2010, American Services widened the net to fill another type of security need by creating an Electronic Security Division. Now, security cameras and alarm systems along with installation and 24-hr monitoring services could provide a cheaper alternative of protection for both commercial and residential properties. The company branched out again in 2012 by becoming an authorized reseller of security products and durable goods. This enables the firm to establish relationships with state procurement agents for the purchase of products they put out for bid.
The doors to major growth opened up once American Services, LLC learned how to become EDGE and MBE-certified with the State of Ohio, the City of Columbus (EBOCO), and Ohio MSDC. These certifications qualified American Services to bid for and win
a multi-year MBE contract with the State of Ohio in 2011. This quickly doubled the size of the company and expanded its reach throughout the entire state.
Suddenly, the business model in use was no longer sufficient. Many unfamiliar and unforeseen challenges had to be faced and overcome, but the growing pains resulted in new and improved processes and procedures. With the increase in wisdom and experience gained, American Services, LLC proved itself as a capable business with a solid track record and reputation with State of Ohio agencies. The State subsequently rewarded the company with an extension and expansion of contract locations in 2014.
American Services, LLC now remains one of the fastest growing security companies in the Midwest, consistently earning over $1MM in revenue for the past 3 years and swelling from 25 employees to over 70. It was also nominated for The Inner City 100 — a national ranking of America’s fastest growing urban businesses published annually in FORTUNE.
Fortunately, such success has not blinded Shawn Harper to the needs of others. He is a long-time board member, consistent donor, and volunteer with the Salvation Army of Greater Columbus. He believes in its mission and supports its programs in assisting others to have a better life. Shawn also contributes to the building of quality homes in desperately poor communities. He came from less than ideal circumstances himself and enjoys giving back to lift others up.
Going forward, this CEO wants to press above and beyond. Security needs continue to increase and he intends to meet those needs. His winning game plan is to lead American Services, LLC into the future with expansion into surrounding states while obtaining an 8A certification to sell goods and services to the federal government.
Contact Shawn and his team at 614-884-0177.
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