Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Don Hubbard, Founder of Don L. Hubbard and Associates, Inc., located in Charlotte, NC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are security risk management consultants specializing in Enterprise-Wide security issues, including Due Diligence Investigations, Physical Security Assessments, Sports Arena/Entertainment Venue Security, Hotel/Resort Security Evaluations, HIPPA Compliance, Workplace Violence Protection, and Travel Security/Executive Protection. We provide Private Investigative services and, through our international investigative associates, have provided services worldwide to include investigations regarding frauds against the U.S. government and company and internal/external theft for worldwide companies.

Our mission is to assist people and companies prepare for problems before they occur (think Emergency Response plans, Pandemic Planning) or to help after a problem occurs. One example is a recent investigation in which the individuals who defrauded an international U.S.-based company out of approximately $300,000 are now serving time in a federal penitentiary.

Our expertise in Risk Management resulted in one company that did not move forward in a merger with a group of international criminals after receiving our report.

We have worked extensively with various entertainment venues, such as a major arena in New York City, an exclusive resort in the Caribbean, an exclusive resort in Kohler, Wisconsin, and a major entertainment venue in California.

Our company provided one pharmacy company with countrywide investigations in 40 states to verify HIPPA compliance and identify gaps in their HIPPA compliance procedures in over 500 outlets nationwide.

Tell us about yourself

It might be the world’s oldest cliché, but I have always had the desire to help other people and my country. That desire led to my being the first in my family to graduate from a university, becoming a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Military Police Corp, being appointed a special agent with the FBI, and being the top security officer at Playboy Enterprises, Transworld Airlines (TWA – since absorbed by American Airlines) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) a top tier accounting practice.

I come from a working-class background which helped me develop an entrepreneurial spirit. Honesty and integrity are paramount in my beliefs. My parents (two of the finest people God created) stressed the importance of working hard, so by the age of ten, I picked cotton for a local farmer after school and rode my bike door-to-door selling greeting cards and Cloverine salve. My parents instilled my belief in my duty to honor my faith, my family, and my country.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being able to provide a good income for my own family and being able to provide income for the 100+ contractors who have performed assignments for our company across the globe.

On leaving PwC, I negotiated a Joint Business Relationship (JBR) with the firm. They do cyber security, and we do everything else, such as physical security, counter-terrorism, emergency plans, executive protection, and much more. We have done numerous projects with PwC as a result.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

In a small operation like ours, there is always tension between developing new business and performing the work myself. Balancing the two can be difficult at times, but it is essential to keep customers satisfied and the pipeline of new business as full as possible. We work on the premise of always attempting to do more than we promised.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be scrupulously honest with everyone, including potential new clients. Sometimes I must tell a potential new client their desired outcome simply is not possible.
  2. Under promise and overdeliver. Put your heart and soul into every engagement and surprise the client with your great work.
  3. Keep overhead as low as possible. Don’t lease an ego-gratifying office or company car until the business is established.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Where can people find you and your business?

I encourage anyone to either send me an email or call me on my mobile phone.

Tel: (203) 685-1676

Alternate contact:  Gina VonKerstens
Tel: (203) 249-3089

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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