Elijah Norton is the President of Veritas Global Protection in Phoenix, Arizona. Veritas is a leader in the vehicle service contract industry and administration.
How did you get started in this business?
I started out selling vehicle service contracts and in 2014 I expanded into administering them.
How do you make money?
We have an administrative fee in each service contract we sell. This fee is paid to us for the service of administering the vehicle service contracts.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
We became profitable in 2014 – so I had been in the business approximately 3 years before I started making a profit.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
No. I always believed in our business model. There were, however, times where I had to “shift gears” and change certain things in the business plan as it evolved.
How did you get your first customer?
On the administrative side of the business, we got our first customer (customer being the seller) by word of mouth.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
For us, it’s purely based on word of mouth. Our customer is another business—so it is focused around having the best possible client support and service for our clients.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The global pandemic has presented unique challenges. We were urged by numerous people to lay off staff in anticipation of a dramatic reduction in sales. We didn’t take that advice and had we done so it would have had a dramatic impact on our service.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I think it is our responsiveness, innovation, and devotion to our clients.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I can’t think of one specific moment that was the “most satisfying”. Rather, it is a collection of moments that have been satisfying.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The future is expanding into international markets and increasing our market share domestically.
What business books have inspired you?
I don’t typically read business books – rather I read nonfiction, news articles, or fiction books. I do like reading Martin Amis pieces and Bryans REO books as I find the real estate buying and selling business intriguing.
How do you see the market in the near future?
I have an optimistic outlook for the near future. As we start to learn how to manage the COVID crisis, I think that we will start to see unique opportunities and growth. The automotive market has some exciting things in store as well, as we start to transition to more electric vehicles.
Also, a good purchase for the business was when we upgraded our telephone system was a major purchase. By upgrading our phone system, we have been able to better analyze call volume and provide better service to our customers and clients.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I am afraid that my plate is too full at this time.