Do romantic notions of ships, damsels in distress, and a waxing poetic scoundrel such as Jack Sparrow come to mind when someone says “pirates"?” The entertainment industry has certainly left us with the impression that pirates and high seas are about lacy frocks, sunsets and dashing men, but the reality is there are pirates and those of ill intent that impact the growth and operations of domestic and international businesses of our modern world.
Whether it’s land, air, or sea “The Trident Group develops custom solutions for complex problems.” We had the opportunity to talk with Tom Rothrauff, President of Trident Group America, Inc. and learn more about what services they provide and some lessons they have learned while growing and expanding the business worldwide.
Tell us about your business and what makes it unique.
Trident Group America, Inc (“Trident Group”) is Navy SEAL owned and operated. Trident Group is headquartered in Florida with an administrative office managed by Tri-Man, Inc. located in Virginia Beach. Tom Rothrauff, the president of Trident Group, retired from the Navy after 20 years of service with a wealth of experience and knowledge of maritime operations and security. Having worked on projects aboard many cruise ships and commercial merchant vessels, Tom recognized a critical gap in maritime security for vessel owners and captains. Along with his father, a retired Navy captain, Tom created Trident Group to provide global maritime security services to clients in the public and private sectors.
Their services include full scope security programs, threat vulnerability assessments, to executive protection programs. Trident Group recognizes and understands that “technology is the way of the future” and has also developed proprietary security solutions in support of maritime security initiatives, using technology to enhance human capabilities, not replace it.
Have you made any mistakes in your business where you thought, "I should have done that differently!"?
We could have grown faster. In the beginning, Tom and Nicole, Tom’s wife, were the only employees. They are both personally invested in Trident Group and have both grown with the company. Nicole manages the office, maintaining schedules, budgets, and all the details that enable Tom to stay focused on interfacing with clients, the teams, and growing the business.
According to Tom, pre-9/11 it was important to be specific about the services your company provided. There were too many companies claiming to do everything - no one took them seriously. To stay competitive Trident Group marketed themselves as a maritime security company.
After 9/11, everyone wanted security assessments. Trident Group would receive calls from airports and similar organizations, but turned them down reasoning that Trident Group was a “maritime” company. Experience has taught them that the capability of security assessment and a review of threat vulnerabilities is the same no matter if you are land or sea based.
Trident Group America, Inc. now offers their services and products to clients worldwide.
What do you consider your biggest win so far this year?
They have had many wins over the last year, but having the ability to open the door for potentially big projects stands out. Trident Group has grown and evolved to set the industry standard with consistent delivery of expectation and cost with their SEAL-based teams. Tom believes you always need to look to see what the next step is, what the next program is to keep things going - opening up to new possibilities is an investment.
As a business owner, taking care of all of the aspects of your business, when and why did you decide it was time to outsource your bookkeeping?
“Erin used to work as the CFO for Trident Group and several years ago decided it was time to start her own business. We had considered having her working part-time for us while we transitioned someone new in-house, but it just worked out so well with Erin. She knew our system.
No one is irreplaceable, but why replace someone who is just so great at what they do? One of the most critical things you have to be careful of when you own a company is who handles and touches your money. I have complete trust for her. It only made sense to keep her as part of the team. She has never proven us wrong; It’s been awesome!”
Bottom Line’s Bottom Line
Lead by example, create the standard, never stop learning. When it comes to owning a business, you need to set the example for your team. Staying relevant, working through difficulties, and knowing where to find the resources that you need to grow and evolve are key points to creating your legacy as an entrepreneur.
We are proud to work with Tom and Nicole and are grateful for their service and their business. We are inspired to set a standard of excellence in all that we do and know that Trident Group America, Inc. will continue to do the same.
For more information visit Trident Group America, Inc.: