Trevor Keyes and Wright Thurston found a new way to meet an old need.
The home-security business has been around for more than 100 years, with companies offering various types of security to mainly affluent clients. But until Keyes and Thurston founded Orem-based Firstline Security, few had offered home security that is both effective and affordable to nearly everyone, thanks to a direct-sales method that cuts out the middleman.
Keyes and Thurston, who met when both were up-and-coming young managers at a cell phone company, built a direct-sales force made up mainly of college students who work summers in cities around the country.
They extensively trained their salespeople and handsomely rewarded their successes: some workers made more than $100,000 in one summer, paying for their entire college educations. And they paid for all of this using credit cards until they could adopt more traditional practices.
One of the company's current sales and recruiting methods involves a reality television series, set to run on national TV in 2008. The show will focus on Firstline's 2,000 sales reps to find "the next entrepreneurial prodigy" and award that winner $1 million.