Jacksonville, Fla. – Printella Bankhead, President of EBS Security (EBS), was recently selected as the 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration State of Florida Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year. Bankhead started EBS in 2002 with limited resources and 1 client, and has since grown the business to include a portfolio of public and private sector clients. EBS provides armed/unarmed security services, as well as bodyguard, and private investigator services in the Jacksonville area and beyond.
Bankhead worked 2 jobs and was raising her 2 young children in the mid 1990’s on her own after a divorce. Determined to find a better way to support her family, Bankhead took a position as a security guard. She immediately felt connected to the industry, and decided to quit the other positions to work security full-time. Bankhead, a life-long believer in personal development and growth, decided that she should also learn as much as she can about the field she felt so passionate about. She re-enlisted in college and changed her major from Business to Criminal Justice.
Bankhead quickly became a supervisor, and remained in that role for about 10 years with the same company. The company provided security to a church, and this is where Bankhead would first explore the option of opening her own business. The pastor of the church was impressed with Bankhead’s integrity and professionalism, but not happy with the company she worked for. He asked her if she had ever thought about going into business for herself, and told her that if she decided to go into business for herself, he would be her first client.
After carefully weighing her options, Bankhead decided to indeed go into business for herself. She participated in as many small business workshops and trainings she could find to get better acquainted with the business aspect of providing security services. Bankhead has participated in multiple training opportunities funded through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) including the Emerging Leaders Program. She is also currently a participant of the ScaleUp North Florida program offered through the University of North Florida and sponsored by the SBA.
The company has grown from a 3-person operation to over 65 employees with multiple private and public clients. Bankhead credits her success to hard work, networking, and relationship building. Bankhead visits her clients personally and encourages her staff to go above and beyond in providing service whenever feasible. She also interviews all new-hires herself and encourages them to speak to her about any issues. EBS hosts at least one event annually, where her employees can bring their families to participate.
In addition to training and networking, Bankhead also prepared her business for government contracting by certifying her business through the City of Jacksonville Small and Emerging Business Program and the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program. EBS has formed a joint venture with Natsar Protective Services, LLC (graduated from the business development program) to better compete for larger federal government contracts.
The 8(a) Business Development Program is an important resource for small businesses seeking business development assistance. Named for Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, this program was created to help small and disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace. It also helps these companies gain access to federal and private procurement markets. For more information on 8(a) certification, visit SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Website.
In addition to her core business, Bankhead is committed to helping others succeed through her work as a motivational speaker, certified life-coach, mentor, and author. Bankhead recently worked with an 80-year old woman to complete her lifelong goal of obtaining her Doctorate in Ministry by serving as a personal coach through the process. She has also worked with Job Core of Jacksonville and Boy Scouts of America to provide mentoring and training for students interested in the criminal justice field. She has recently authored the book Staying on Course in Business and Life. Her advice for all aspiring entrepreneurs is to select an industry or field that he/she is passionate about, so it does not feel like work.
Printella Bankhead, President of EBS Security, Inc. can be reached at 220 E. Forsyth Street, Suite C, Jacksonville, FL 32202 or (904)354-4242. The company’s website is www.ebssecurity.com.