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Black Entrepreneurs Month: Raymont & Carolyn Henderson

Raymont & Carolyn HendersonHedge of Protection Security ServicesPalmdale(888) 316-2919 • Email: info@hpsecurityservices.comWebsite: hpsecurityservices.comHedge of Protection Security Services offers security detail to a wide variety of industries, including finance, entertainment, commercial and residential, as well as live events.

Husband and wife duo, Raymont and Carolyn Henderson, formed the company in August 2019, which received its private patrol license in January of last year. Raymont brings 30-plus years of experience in law enforcement as a former police captain; Carolyn’s expertise lies in business management and human management.Question: How did Hedge of Protection get its start?Raymont: Our business started in the back of our minds more than 5 years ago. After retiring (from law enforcement) and continuing to work security detail for various entities, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, I presented my idea of owning our own security company to my better half one night when I came home from work. The very same night I pitched the idea to her, she hit the ground running, started doing research, found out exactly what starting a security company entailed and she never stopped — and here we are.Do you like being your own boss? Do you ever think about trading it all in for a steady paycheck?We both thoroughly enjoy being our own boss. We both have worked extremely hard to get where we are. We realize it takes time to build a company empire. We have never entertained the thought of trading it all in for a steady paycheck. It is not how you start, it’s how you finish. We are both cognizant of the fact that anything worth having takes a lot of work.What’s the best aspect of running your own business?Raymont and Carolyn: The best aspect of running our own business is the fact that we can interview and hire employees who are willing to grow with the company and dedicate their experience and talent based on the values we have instilled.And the worst?The revenue that is required to run it while being on a strict budget. In a perfect world you would deal with accounts receivable only. However, as a startup, there are lots of accounts payable involved. For the most part, running our own business is a great opportunity and it makes us proud to be able to do it and not just dream about doing it.What’s the biggest challenge your business has faced? And how did you deal with it?The biggest challenge our business has faced is the infamous COVID-19 pandemic. During the onset of the pandemic, we were not able to spend time at our office headquarters to meet with prospective clients to discuss security contracts, or interview applicants or accept applications. As a result of COVID-19, we lost a lot of office time and we missed out on several opportunities to bid on security contracts. Although we did work from home, there was not much we could do as far as interviewing goes.What advice would you give someone who’s about to start their own business?Go for it. Surround yourself with positive influencers who are willing to help you and answer any questions you might have. Register with the Small Business Administration and the Local Small Business Development Center. There are many resources out there to help new business owners. It is the new business owner’s job to seek the help and resources that are available because no one will come knocking on your door to help or to provide guidance.

Has being African-American affected your business?Being African-American has not affected our business at all. We were able to become certified as a minority business enterprise which will obviously set us apart from the rest as far as certification goes. We are proud to be minority business owners, especially a minority-owned private security company because we do not think many African American companies exist in the security field. If so, they are few and far between. It is our goal to create a path for others to follow.

Do you think you’ll ever start another business?We do not know if we will start another business, but we have learned to never say never. We most certainly want to branch out, create other office locations and build our company and expand to other areas and perhaps other states. We can already see ourselves doing business in Nevada, Arizona and Indiana. Our goal is to expand, grow and provide security jobs and office jobs in the surrounding communities and become a brand.

How do you think your business will change, post pandemic?Security is always needed, and we are sure it will be needed post-pandemic. We think the need for security services will increase and pick up even more. As a result of the pandemic, we have both learned a lot. The security industry has always been a booming business. Our goal as a new company is the accelerate, merge right in and zoom ahead.

– Amy Stulick

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