For Rachel and Jimi Sarich the locksmith industry has given them the security to grow their family, their business, and their lives. With their business management systems, core values and a loyal and secure team in place they’re ready to pass the baton onto a new generation of entrepreneurial locksmiths who want to take on this exciting, evolving industry and create their own story.
So what’s the story with Armstrong Smarter Security?
It all started as a family locksmith business. Jimi’s dad Jim owned a local locksmith company and eventually Jimi found his interest piqued into checking out the industry. Moving to Wellington to work on his apprenticeship he was given some great advice ‘treat it like a hobby’. Jimi followed this advice, and to this day maintains that attitude to his trade. He really enjoys what he does and the challenge of working through problems. Upon completing his apprenticeship at the age of twenty, Jimi moved back into the family business.
Meanwhile in Foxton, Rachel was working towards her pharmacy diploma and ironically gained her best grades in security. Little did she know that security would become a big part of her life. When an unsuspecting Jimi walked into the pharmacy that she worked in and received a complimentary blue hair streak from energetic pharmacy worker Rachel, I guess you could say their eyes ‘locked on’ to each other and the rest was destiny.
Soon Rachel and Jimi were both working in the family business and bringing their youthful enthusiasm with them. They both laugh and scoff at the memories they have of being so energetic and full of ideas. They took the opportunity when it arose to buy a share of the family business and make their mark. They were more than just full of ideas though. Rachel and Jimi both come from extremely hard-working entrepreneurial families and confess that they just didn’t know any differently. Initially they just worked and worked, attempting to do everything and anything as much as they could. Eventually they learned to push the pause button and identify strengths among their staff allowing them to let others take on roles that they didn’t need to be in control of. Jimi and Rachel are proud of their staff and the fact that they all hold the same core values. In the security industry trust and reliability are essential – and so is hard work.
Joining the Armstrong Franchise was a turning point for Jimi and Rachel as they took the structure that Armstrong had already locked in place and flourished with their guidance. With a strong, secure relationships with large commercial clients and Armstrong’s strong business development and guidelines Jimi and Rachel were able to push their business past barriers that had stood in their way previously.
While Jimi’s focus and passion had been on the locksmith side of the business, they knew that technology was evolving that they needed to keep up with. With the at times serendipitous addition of key staff that brought new skills with them, their Armstrong Smarter Security branch grew to new heights whilst remaining the strong and loyal company their clients had come to depend on.
When it comes to clients Jimi, Rachel and their staff all agree on one thing – great, reliable, service is key. They really care about their customer – that is what secures the core of their business, ‘customers at the heart of it all’ says Charlene from a computer across the room . So who are their customers? Well it’s a diverse group from individuals to businesses, and corporate and high level defence security. Jimi is modest about the importance of his role, and even while Rachel alludes to it she is restrained. It seems that you can count on these two to keep your security secrets safe. What I did gleam though is that Jimi has travelled in order to secure the safety of New Zealand Embassies and is trusted by some extremely high level people in New Zealand. On the day of my visit to their Palmerston North Armstrong branch the staff were delighted to receive morning tea from a thankful customer that they’d gone to great lengths to satisfy.
Rachel and Jimi Sarich have achieved a great deal within their business and on the side have taken on some projects to really see what they’re capable of. For Rachel this was a brief stint trying her hand at some property development of which she was successful – although she downplays the effort this required. They have in recent times purchased the Wellington branch of Armstrong and have enjoyed turning the tables and reinstating the family back in the business by going into partnership with Jimi’s Dad Jim.
After sixteen years and a huge amount of success Rachel and Jimi are ready to spread their wings and see where the wind takes them. They’ve got three kids that they want to spend more time with and a long held desire to travel. They know they’ll be leaving an excellent team of capable staff to continue their strong business ethic into the future, and are excited for a new owner to come in and secure their place in this thriving industry.