Providing Peace of Mind to a Community and a Legacy for the Holeton Family

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At Signal, our commitment to providing peace of mind to businesses allows them to focus on their passion and sets us apart from other security companies. We understand that something special happens when individuals have the confidence to pursue what lights them up—they can see the path that leads them to their True North. For Matt Holeton, owner of Signal of Des Moines and May's Franchise of the Month, owning a Signal franchise offers him the peace of mind he seeks—a future for his children that looks vastly different from where he and his wife came from. 

"I grew up fairly poor, and so did my wife. To me,
Signal is about leaving a legacy."

In almost three years since Holeton purchased a small private security company and rebranded it as Signal of Des Moines, he has increased revenue from under $1 million to over $3.2 million, elevating the location's overall KPI ranking to number three in the Signal Franchise system. Holeton will be the first to tell you that it's taken a lot of hard work and determination to get to where he is today, but he'll also tell you that he doesn't know how to operate any differently. When he sets his sights on an outcome, such as realizing his vision for his family's future, he's relentless and confident that he'll achieve his goals. 

Matt shared his thoughts on tackling big challenges when discussing his upcoming expansion: "I believe every setback is a setup for a comeback. When I face obstacles, I focus on finding a new direction and pushing forward with determination." This mindset is the driving force behind his confidence in the success of his expansion efforts. 

If the last two and a half years are any indication, Holeton will indeed find a way to succeed. As a seasoned "serial entrepreneur," setting up and settling into ownership of a large company—and a franchise, no less—may seem counterintuitive. But after decades of consulting with other businesses, optimizing security operations for one of the world's largest retailers, and serving as the Director of Operations for the Signal Franchise Home Office have equipped him with the skills needed to bring his vision to life. His journey so far is evidence that success is soon to follow when you combine passion, resilience, and strong operations. 

Holeton's dogged determination was crucial in establishing Signal of Des Moines when he first opened his doors. After purchasing his current territory, he worked relentlessly to develop long-term partnerships within his community, showing them time and time again that the level of service provided by Signal of Des Moines addressed their security needs. His efforts paid off, and today, Holeton's operation is one of the strongest in the system, as evidenced by its high ranking within the Signal Franchise network. He credits part of his success to how easy Signal makes it to thrive in this industry. "They manage payroll, financing and provide excellent support. If you have questions, the home office will guide you through it." 

Signal's structure and support allowed Holeton to make the right hires, such as his Director of Operations, Brian Detrick. Holeton knew that when his operation grew, he'd need someone he could trust to share his vision and help him take it to the next level. Like Holeton, Detrick has a strong background in security operations at the same large retailer where Holeton previously worked. With a positive reputation preceding him, Holeton reached out to Detrick when Signal of Des Moines needed additional hands-on leadership. 

Detrick's background and work ethic have paid off significantly. His efforts have resulted in a stronger security team, larger contracts, and fewer missed shifts. Before Detrick joined, their KPI ranking was at 11. Now, at number three, Detrick credits Holeton's leadership style and the Signal culture with the success he's seen in his role. "We're not a typical security company. We have a culture—we do what we say and say what we do, not only with our clients but also with our officers." Detrick regularly holds one-on-one meetings with his staff, ensuring they deliver on their promises to clients and that the integrity Signal is known for is upheld at every level. 

Finding like-minded individuals who match their accountability has been challenging. Still, both Detrick and Holeton understand that to stay on their current trajectory, they need the foundation of a solid team. For this, they take a transparent approach when recruiting new team members. They clarify their zero-tolerance policy regarding "say what you do and do what you say." That's an expectation for everyone involved with Holeton's business. But they're also realistic—they know that not everyone is looking for a decades-long career, and that's okay. Whether their employees aspire to become owners themselves one day or just do a great job in an entry-level role before moving on, Holeton and Detrick make a conscious effort to ensure their employees are positively impacted by their time with Signal of Des Moines. 

Holeton and Detrick encourage continuous training and development for themselves and their staff. They take advantage of every resource Signal provides, knowing that your business will flourish when you have the right people and give them the tools they need to succeed. "It's about getting the right people in the right seats and taking care of them." According to Holeton, the training and support from the Home Office is why the Signal Franchise model is so strong—they handle the building blocks, allowing him and Detrick to focus on their day-to-day operations, serving in their community, and reinforcing the long-standing relationships they've built. And those relationships? They're integral to Holeton's vision of the future. His relationship philosophy is built on integrity, and he'll be the first to tell you, "Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care." 

The duo has prioritized showing up for their clients in a way that brokers no argument for just how much they care. From showing up in the most basic way—Detrick personally covering shifts when an officer can't make it—to tangible, immediately felt impacts on the safety of their clients, this is the standard of service they've set and live up to. A particularly poignant example of this is when one of their clients experienced an onsite shooting. Unsure of how to proceed, the client expressed their concerns to Holeton and Detrick. The result? The Signal of Des Moines team arrived onsite with metal detectors and installed them for the client, not just securing a safer environment for the client and their staff but ensuring that the client did indeed know how much Holeton and his team cared. 

Going above and beyond for those he serves is an obvious pattern for Holeton, and he's not stopping with Signal of Des Moines. Looking forward as ever, Holeton is in the early stages of purchasing an additional territory. He knows it'll be a big job, but after the success, he's seen in Des Moines, his focus is on the potential of providing the same peace of mind to other communities, no matter how many hills he has to climb to get there. Fortunately for Holeton, he's got Detrick in his corner—and they're both ready for what's next, acknowledging that the challenges they'll face are leading to something bigger than themselves. 

While Holeton has a long way to go toward reaching his ultimate goal, he's confident he has the grit, skillset, and partnerships to see this through. Combining all of that with the support from the Signal Franchise Home Office, he and Detrick may find themselves celebrating a number-one ranking before too long, along with an expansion. If nothing else, Holeton and Signal of Des Moines prove that if you prioritize your passion, integrity, and relationships—a legacy is sure to follow. 

Want to realize your own legacy? Learn how owning a global security franchise focused on providing peace of mind can help support your vision for the future.   


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