We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Runno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mary, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
Some people would consider us weak for admitting that we have ever thought of giving up. The truth is, we didn’t just think about it, we almost DID and not just once. Starting a business is not for the weak of heart. There are great days where you achieved so much success that you wish the days would never end. Then there are days that are so horrible that you pack up to go home and realize that it’s only 9 AM and you have to keep going because you’re open for business. If Steve and I did not have each other and we each had to run this business alone, I think we both would have quit by now, but we are each other’s battery packs. When one falls, the other is there to pick them up. We are partners in business and in life, and we support each other. We keep going because we’ve gone too far to turn back and we are now within striking distance of our goals. Together we can conquer and achieve anything, and right now that is to provide our clients with customized security solutions and the best customer service in the South Florida market.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Steve and I founded Alarm Brokers of Florida in 2016. What sets us apart from the competition is that we’re not just an alarm company; we are a low voltage integrator so we also sell and install surveillance cameras, access control, network cabling and even home automation products. We are most proud of how much we’ve grown in 5 years, even with a pandemic, by focusing on service and flexibility with our customers. We had to overcome many challenges along the way, such as when our only service van was totaled months after we purchased it and when we had no staff because they were afraid of contracting COVID-19. We watched YouTube videos to learn how to program equipment because we didn’t have technicians for awhile. We worked 12, 14, and 16 hours a day sometimes to keep up with the demand. We pushed ourselves to the limit and continue to do so to give our customers the service they deserve.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It’s not a trip to South Florida without hitting the sand and surf, and for that we would visit the gorgeous beaches of Fort Lauderdale where the water is warm and the sand is soft and white. South Florida is known for having some of the very best restaurants in the nation, so we would have steaks at Prime 112 where we could see and be seen by the rich and famous. We are known for our Cuban food so a visit to Versailles for the best Cuban sandwich in town and a “cafecito”, a super strong and very sweet espresso that will give us the energy to keep going. Wynwood, with it’s painted walls and dozens of great restaurant choices, is a great place to spend the day and take “Instagrammable” pictures. Another great day would be spent on a chartered boat at one of the many sandbars in Biscayne Bay. Finally, a trip down here is not complete without a visit to the Florida Keys where you can catch a fish and local restaurants will cook it for you! There’s no shortage of things to do or see or eat in South Florida.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, we want to thank our families, especially our parents, for leading by example in teaching us about great work ethics. We would not be here with our clients, who in the beginning were mostly family and friends, for giving us a chance when we were starting out and having growing pains. Our awesome team of technicians give us 150% every single day and we are forever grateful. Lastly, we want to thank the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and especially Marcy Rosenbaum for her patience, kindness and friendship.