At the handle of its leash, Toughdog has an unparalleled CEO running all of its operations and endeavors. Jorge Diaz-Gonzalez is the brains and heart behind the entire company, and he launched Toughdog with the purpose of offering the best products in the surveillance industry at a price that wouldn’t break the bank. Fast forward 11 years to today’s rapidly developing market, and there has yet to be a rival who can compete.
From the Ground Up
A native of Puebla, Mexico, Jorge was born into a family of five, where he was taught from a young age that being hardworking and humble was of the utmost importance. Inspired by his father’s employment at the German automotive company Volkswagen, Jorge dreamed of working in the automotive industry as a young boy but quickly found other things that piqued his interest. “I’ve always been a salesperson,” Jorge claims. “Since I was little, I was always looking for things to buy and sell.” Growing up in a Hispanic culture in which education is vital, Jorge took pride in his schooling and applied himself to his studies. After relocating to the U.S. in 2001, he majored in International Business at the University of Texas Pan-American, now known as the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, because of his love for travel and meeting new people. Jorge originally began his business ventures in 2005 by starting a meal delivery company, something comparable to today’s UberEats, but it didn’t take long until he came to the realization that the project was not a very sustainable business idea. Around this time, Jorge began to be sought out by several local businesses to install security cameras in their offices due to the installation of some cameras he had done in his own office. Word spread quickly about his good work and in a short span of time, Jorge was working tirelessly to install cameras across the border at several well-known maquiladoras in Mexico.
The Start of Success
As a primarily one-man show, Jorge felt he was not taking full advantage of his knowledge and abilities and began looking into expanding his business. Jorge knew he had found his market when he discovered that there was only one local distributor of security cameras in the Rio Grande Valley. He quickly recognized that their products were overpriced and outdated, so he made it his mission to offer customers a better solution. Having completed large industrial security installations with big-name companies such as LG Corporation, Panasonic, Emerson Electric, and Family Dollar only pushed Jorge to create a product and installation experience that took his work to the next level. He worked in all kinds of environments to specially craft security systems that would work for each customer depending on their needs. Integrating a variety of products such as photo beam sensors, sirens and strobes for deterrence, and panic buttons with alarm and camera systems, he tended to a diverse group of clients all across the Rio Grande Valley, Mexico, Houston, Dallas, and more within just his first few years in the industry.
What Sets Us Apart From the Rest
Jorge strongly considers a key factor in his tremendous success to be his multitude of hands-on experience and versatile knowledge. While most chief executives see things out from the comfy seat behind their desk, Jorge is the first to jump in and get his hands dirty if it means doing things right. With 18 years of multifaceted expertise in all aspects of the field, including both sales and installation, he attributes his ability to effectively push and sell his products to the time he has spent in the industry as a hands-on installer. For the majority of his career, he has worked on the frontlines seeing out problems and issues firsthand. Now, he uses this experience to personally customize a top-notch experience for each individual customer that walks through our door. Although his main focus has shifted towards the more monotonous responsibilities of any business owner alike, his priorities always lie in knowing that the work we do for our clients is completed with care and precision.
A Place for Everyone
Behind his ultimate vision for the product, Jorge also had an essential goal to create a safe, comfortable, and united work environment for all of his employees. He curated a place where people not only come to do a good job but also to congregate, communicate, and build connections. He believes that each team member plays a vital role in the operation and success of a well-rounded company; that everyone’s individual talents and skills are what keep the machine well-oiled and up and running. Jorge makes it clear that although he acts as a leader for the company, the sense of teamwork and togetherness is much more important than any singular person, including himself. He has led with the idea that the greatest indicator of success isn’t the money but rather the satisfaction and fulfillment of the people involved, customers and employees alike.
The process of building a successful business was anything but simple for Jorge. It took a lifetime supply of hard work, dedication, and persistence to get to where he is now. Today, Toughdog has expanded its team to include an abundance of hardworking employees, informational trainings and events, cutting-edge surveillance solutions and products, and over 20 distribution points across the nation. When asked to describe himself, Jorge chose the words hardworking, passionate, and fair. The integrity and honor he puts into his work do not go unnoticed by the people around him, and it is no secret that he dedicates an immense amount of love and care to everything he does. He also takes great caution to keep his business methods just and honest, which is rare to find nowadays. “I would like to consider myself a fair person,” Jorge says, “I don’t like to take advantage of people; I like to do things right.” Toughdog Security Systems is the direct product of years of hard work and dedication. The business has achieved incredible success, and Jorge makes it clear that he will always push for more.
Q&A with the CEO:
What makes Toughdog the best choice in surveillance systems?
Jorge: First and foremost, we put a lot of dedication into everything that we do. We also have a lot of people here who are really passionate about what we do. We know our stuff, and we focus solely on surveillance. That’s what we know. We have a lot of experience, and a lot of our employees have been in the industry for many years.
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects to look forward to in the future?
Jorge: We’ve just started working with Alarmax, and I really look forward to getting into all of their branches and pushing our product to all of their customers. We are really excited to build a more national print. We are also adding other products like our LED displays and our surveillance trailers, which are very cool and are picking up really well.
What is the key to running a successful company?
Jorge: The key is determination. There are a lot of people who don’t have the guts to go through the stages where their business is not doing well. That is one of the key parts of it. Another very important thing is to not milk the business. The business needs money to run, so you cannot touch that money. Focus on being profitable and reinvesting the money you make back into the business. You need to pay yourself, as the boss, a specific amount, and that’s it for many years. Later on, once you start seeing fruits, you can make the decision to diversify and grow.
What is your best advice for people wanting to start a business?
Jorge: I would say to just go for it. Passion and determination are going to be the keys. Not only that, but financial education is going to be very important. You need to make sure that your business is cost-effective because there are a lot of people who are passionate about a great idea, but those ideas may not always be tailored to a successful business plan.