Q&A with Steven G. DeMatos
Tell us about how you got to where you are today?
After the army, I had a difficult time finding work. My childhood friend, Mike (who is now my business partner), gave me a roof over my head and helped me to get a job. I was given an opportunity to excel in the corporate world and used every ounce of my being to work hard and succeed, using the work ethic learned from the military. We now have several companies, one of which is working to be franchised. I am very fortunate; I barely graduated from high school but surrounding myself with the right people, leading from the front, being selfless, and working hard, got me to where I am today.
Tell us about your transition from military to civilian life.
I was honorably discharged from the army June 2005, serving the 1st Cavalry Division, with one combat tour to Baghdad, Iraq. The army brings you a sense of camaraderie, teaches you selflessness and integrity, following direction, taking constructive criticism, and a deep understanding of teamwork and leadership. It turned me into an extraordinary leader and I got promoted in the army quickly. After the army, however, I saw how difficult it was to find a job, especially with few skills, so it made the road difficult. I tapped into the leadership skills that I acquired in the military and started using them to my advantage. Now that I am in a great place, it’s our honor to give back and provide opportunities to our fellow Veterans.
While you own several businesses, can you give us an overview of Time on Target Security?
T.O.T.S. is a security company that handles all aspects of security including security cameras, CCTV, access control, fire and smoke alarms, LED Security and Landscape Lighting, and more. We are entering our third year of business and starting to franchise. We founded the company with Mike Harris as the CEO and Contractor with over 15 years experience in the industry. This business model is unique because we donate 3% of the proceeds of every job to a community veteran charity. Last year we hit our donation goal of $10k to our local charity, Veterans Alternative. We also use local resources for Veteran Job Placement, who may be struggling or in need, the first interview and/or training. We teach them the skills they need to get back on their feet again and either keep their tenure with Time On Target or gain employment for better opportunities. I understand, because I have been there.
What are the benefits of owning a Time on Target Security franchise?
In addition to the obvious business opportunities, it will help veterans 100%. Through this franchise, we have the opportunity to extend opportunities to veterans who otherwise would not have access. I did lot of work and research on my own, without a lot of money; it was all trial and error. Now that I understand and learned how it works, I want other vets to have opportunities.
The franchise fees are also extremely low in most cases. A veteran/interested business owner could start a franchise with little startup costs/franchise fee, if that is all that is needed to get up and running and will work it out with royalties. I know and can relate to their struggle and if a veteran is willing to come on board and follow the business model and give back to the community – it will work out great.
In addition to your security company, what other business experiences have you learned from?
My friend Mike was working for a title company and he got me an interview, when I was in dire need of a job. I got the job starting at $10.00 an hour scanning loan documents. I wanted to learn more and I took a mortgage brokers class to get licensed in Florida. I was promoted to escrow closer within a few months and a few months after that, recognizing the leadership skills that I gathered from the military, I was promoted to closing manager. Over time, I worked as a closer for a foreclosure attorney, and I developed critical skills and excelled quickly. Eventually, the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself; I got a call from one of the executives at the first title company I worked at and he asked me to come and take over operations of a title company that was in its infant stage. It was a small business and I felt that I could build the company from the ground up. I took a pay cut and used all my skills to grow the business. I hired my friend, Mike and we worked together to make the business flourish, increasing employee head count from 1 to 122. The company eventually sold for a substantial gain well into the millions.
Steven G. DeMatos OIF II - Combat Veteran
COO/Co-Founder - Time On Target Security, LLC
965 E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Suite A
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Photos by Michael Macaluso Dunedin, FL