When Spartanburg businessman Jimmy Clarkson’s telecommunications company Wize Guyz launched in 2009, the smartphone craze was just beginning.
A “tablet” was still a flat slab of stone. Streaming television provider Netflix was available only on a handful of Internet-connected devices.
As technology has reshaped the consumer marketplace, Clarkson said Wize Guyz has adapted its business model.
“We’ve had to be more creative to find people where they are,” Clarkson said. “When we started, we were heavily invested in the residential market. We are now transitioning to a more commercial focus.”
Clarkson said Wize Guyz has obtained a multiple-dwelling unit, or MDU, license from satellite giant DirecTV. The license will enable his company to work with apartment property owners to install one system for tenants. He said Wize Guyz has begun offering a similar service to hotel owners and builders.
The company has seen an increase in sales of its video surveillance systems for customers across the Upstate.
Clarkson said Wize Guyz will continue to expand its offering in that segment of its market.
Wize Guyz also has created a “Wize Guyz at Work” program. Through the program, Clarkson said, Wize Guyz partners with local employers who allow company representatives to come in and speak with employees in order to either sell them a service, or consult with them for free in order to help them make an informed decision.
“What we’ve found is that people are less in need of a retail store experience,” Clarkson said. “People are doing their own research on the Internet … But, understandably, mistakes can be made. Sometimes they get locked into something and they feel paralyzed — like they can’t do anything about it. We can use our knowledge and experience to help them. And because we offer bulk packaging, we can offer much better rates.”
Three years ago, Wize Guyz was focused on opening new brick-and-mortar stores. The change in focus has seen a turn away from the retail space. While it has closed a few locations, the company has continued to grow.
Clarkson said the company is hiring for a variety of positions.
“I think 2016 will be a big open-door year for us,” said Clarkson, who started the company six years ago with his son-in-law, Chris Simmons.
The company is an authorized dealer for DirecTV, AT&T, Charter, Honeywell Security, Monitronics, Exede Internet and others.