Today we’d like to introduce you to Ricky Brantley.
Ricky, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My wife, Annette and I started Viking Defense, Inc. Security Agency 11 years ago in April, of 2008 with very little money and no business experience, we advertised our company by placing a sign on our family cars. We took our retirement money, our pension and step out on faith and took a chance. Starting our own business has always been a dream of ours for a long time. I was a law enforcement Officer for the Department of U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and my wife, Annette was a School teacher for Miami Dade County Public School. By combining our strength, we were able to accomplish getting Incorporated, properly licensed and insured.
In December 2012, we received our Instructor’s license and school permit to start our D- license training classes here at our main office. We are also certified to do business with Miami Dade Co. Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Section 3 Business (PHCD), and Miami-Dade County Public Schools. We started out with one contract and two employee’s, we now have managed to obtain several flourishing contracts and hired several employees here in South Florida and we strive to continue meeting our client’s needs. Also we have built many connection and networking affiliates to support our growth, such as Score of Miami and Broward, Small Business Administration (SBA) Emerging Leaders Program, The Jim Moran Institute (College of Business) and with the help of my mentor Ms. Marjorie Weber who has been a great part of our success, who introduce me to Ms. Kathleen Murphy of Miami Bayside Foundation who gave us our first business loan for $50,000, to whom I am so grateful. They have helped so many small businesses to obtain loans when the banks said no, also Ms. Ivonne Cabrera from Bank United who gave us a line of credit for $100,000 and Ms. Debra Salas from Neighborhood Lending Partner of Florida who loans us $125,000.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s never a smooth process for a small business just starting out, there are lots of challenges along the way. The first thing is getting contracts and having or finding some working capital in order to pay your employee’s and keep your doors open. It wasn’t easy but with the help of some great people in our life, we were able to succeed and be where we are today. The most important thing for a small business owner is to network, get out there and meet people, go to all of the meeting and workshop that you heard about, it can be a great part of your success.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Viking Defense, Inc. – what should we know?
Viking Defense, Inc. is a security agency here in South Florida for over 11 years. We provide security officers to safeguard our client’s personal and properties. Our services include: Bicycle and mobile patrol services where we act as a deterrent against thefts or vandals on the premises being patrolled. All of our officers are licensed and well trained, individual’s dedicated to meeting our client’s security needs. Our commitment to safeguarding our client’s property is our main concern. We patrol and protect Office building, Construction site, Warehouses, Malls, Apartment buildings and Condos, Special Events, also Residential protection when homes are tented for pest control.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My mentor’s name is Ms. Marjorie Weber, without her I don’t know where we would be today. She has open so many doors for us and we are so grateful to have her in our life’s. Ms. Kathleen Murphy from Miami Bayside Foundation who help us get our first business loan for $50,000, Ms. Ivonne Cabrera from Bank United who helps us obtain our first line of credit for $100,000 and Ms. Debra Salas from Neighborhood Lending Partners who help us get a loan for $125,000. All of these women have played a major role in our success and we are so grateful and thankful for them.
- Address: Viking Defense, Inc.
5209 NW 17th Avenue
Miami, FL 33142
- Website: www.vikingdefenseinc.com
- Phone: 786-953-6912 Office / 786-877-9300 Cell
- Email: email@example.com
Small Business Person of the year for SBA 2014, Certificate of Completion from Turner Construction for Business Management Program 2012, Certificate or completion from The Jim Moran Institute for Entrepreneurship Small Business Executive Program 2014