Thriving in Kansas City: Signal Franchise of the Month

Written by:

Abigail Korinek

Navigating the security industry is no small feat, especially in sprawling metropolitan areas like Kansas City. Three owners in the KC Metro have previously attempted to succeed with Signal in the city and failed. But Mike Lowry, the winner of Franchise of the Month for February 2024 and Owner of Signal of Kansas City, has not only found success in the area, but thrived in it.  

Lowry’s journey to ownership is different from that of others in the Signal Network. Starting as a part-time employee with Signal of Tulsa in 2011, he climbed the ranks through hard work and dedication. He said that this time with Signal was eye-opening, and he started to see the value of the company and ownership. 

“I saw the benefits of ownership,” he said. "I could set my own path for my life and not be an employee anymore. I also saw Signal growing, where it was going, and I knew it could be something really big. I wanted to be part of it.” 

After partnering with the current owner of Signal of Tulsa in 2018, Lowry spent a few years learning the ropes of ownership and running a franchise. He purchased the remaining stake in the franchise in 2021 and launched a new franchise in Kansas City the same year. 

Taking over the Kansas City market presented its fair share of challenges, but Lowry was determined to make it work for his franchise. Staffing issues in such a large metro area presented a challenge, as did competition in the security industry. He also said that transitioning from having a partner to being the sole owner was challenging in the beginning. 

Nonetheless, the franchise in Kansas City began to thrive under Lowry’s leadership. He focused on building a team to support the growth he envisioned in the market, along with developing processes that allow him to run the franchise while living in Tulsa. 

“I think it comes down to having the right team members in that market,” he said. "People you can rely on. Then also having the right processes in place. A lot of processes we built are so fluid now that I can do 99% of the stuff that I’m involved in with the market without ever actually being in the market because of the team I’ve built.” 

The success of the Kansas City franchise can be attributed to several key factors. Lowry’s team has put an emphasis on building strong client relationships and regular communication has proved instrumental. The team does in-person visits with all their clients once a month, and Lowry said that these interactions have transformed the business. 

“If you’re doing it constantly and opening that communication, those visits are just five minutes, maybe ten,” he said. “They’re more personal than anything. Keeping that communication open is important so that when something happens, we have the relationship there. I don't think you can over-communicate with your clients.” 

Lowry and his team know that, while they are a well-oiled machine at this point, mistakes are bound to happen. However, the communication framework they’ve created allows them to catch the mistakes before they happen and correct them. If a mistake does happen, open communication with their clients means that the client can trust that the team won’t let it happen again. 

The team showcased their operational skills earlier this year when they responded to an active shooter incident while servicing the Super Bowl celebration for the Kansas City Chiefs. Through training and communication, they were prepared to handle such an emergency. 

“I was very proud of the team that day,” Lowry said. “We train for this kind of thing but, until you’re in the middle of it, you can’t understand how someone’s going to react. They all remained calm and followed our training and were able to assist many people there. I was impressed and proud to have everybody on my team there that day.” 

Lowry and his team have put an incredible amount of time and effort into turning the Kansas City franchise around, and their efforts have paid off. Over the last year they’ve seen revenue growth of nearly 200% and almost all of their Key Performance Indicators are trending in the right direction.  

This growth is a testament to the dedication Lowry has to making his franchise perform in what historically has been a challenging market for Signal, but he isn’t ready to sit back and relax just yet. Lowry said that he wants to continue growing both his markets and expanding into new territories. 

“We’re opening a new market soon,” he said. “So, I want to grow that and then try and get KC into the $5 Million Club. Tulsa is our smallest and oldest market and I’d like to get that to $2.5 million as well. Then, I just want to continue to grow my team and that will come with the revenue growth.” 

Lowry has worked at nearly every level in Signal, and he has plenty of wisdom for those just joining the organization. For those starting as Officers, he said that learning everything you can from day one is the best place to start. 

“Try to learn everything,” he said. “If you’re in a dedicated position, learn about patrols. If you’re on patrol, learn how to do dedicated. Communicate with your management team that you want to grow and, from there just work hard and continue to work your way up.” 

While being a franchise owner is very different from being an officer, Lowry said there is a lot of learning to do there as well. He encourages new owners to follow the process as much as possible and rely on others for support. 

“Don’t try and do it on your own,” he said. “We’re in a franchise for a reason. Get as much out of the organization as possible and then reach out to other owners in the network. Outside of just the processes and the support the Home Office has, my favorite thing about being a franchise owner is the network. I get some of my best ideas from fellow owners. 

More Articles