Eric and Jillian Barker started their company in 2015 — not so much because they wanted to get into the security camera business, but more so because their customers wanted them to.
“As past employer reached out and said they wanted to do business with us,” said Eric, noting that he’d started in the industry about a decade ago before receiving requests from former clients to handle their security camera needs.
His technical knowledge paired with also having worked as a police officer gave him a unique perspective in the industry.
And so he and his wife, Jillian, launched Barker Communications and Security. They offer commercial security solutions to businesses from small mom-and-pop retail operations to large manufacturing plants.
Their expertise lies in working with security cameras and monitoring systems, data cables, phone systems, access control systems — one of the largest growing segments of their work — and audio-visual systems.
“We may start by installing cameras for them, but they soon ask about other services we can provide,” added Eric.
Jillian not only handles some of the behind-the-scenes business management, she’s also on site with every job to run cable and conduit.
“She makes it all look really good and organized,” said Eric.
Jillian previously worked in retail management, but quickly picked up this trade.
“I’ve yet to find another women that does what I do,” she said.
The couple, who has been married for 15 years, works well together, they said.
“People like when we work together at their business because so many of our customers are family-owned businesses, too,” said Jillian.
Having launched Barker Communications with six clients, today the Barkers are working with more than 200 companies all across the state of Iowa.
“It’s still just the two of us, but we do plan on expanding at some point,” said Eric.
The Barkers said they stay up to date on the latest technology developments in the field, which Eric said are impressive.
“We can catch a license plate on a camera from a half mile away,” he said, noting they’ve installed systems in city halls, police stations, churches, schools, pharmacies and restaurants.
“We want to prepare our customers for the future because this industry is always evolving and growing. We want the systems we install not just help them get by, but be one that can grow with future technology.”
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At a glance
• Owners: Eric and Jillian Barker
• Business: Barker Communications and Security
• Address: Cedar Rapids
• Phone: (319) 929-4472
• Website: barkercomsecurity.net