Today, Two Way Direct is known as the provider of two-way radio and mobility solutions for big names like General Electric, Costco, SpaceX, NASA, and many police and fire departments across the country.
But if you went back in time — to 2006, specifically — and told Brandon Ocampo his newly-founded company would one day accomplish this, he’d probably laugh. After all, getting Two Way Direct off the ground was no walk in the park for Ocampo.
Brandon Ocampo always knew he wanted to have his own business. But the odds were stacked against his dream. Growing up in a middle-class family where money was always tight, he knew he had to rely on his efforts to build his dream business. Though his parents did their best to provide opportunities for Brandon and his sister, he knew he had to meet those efforts halfway to get his business up and running.
Brandon saved every dollar he made working odd jobs since middle school. He’d clean pools and recycle cans for nine hours, making $27 a day. As you’d expect, it took Brandon years to save enough to start his business. But he did. And then, the next big challenge came — landing his first customer.
Potential customers first wanted to know how long his company had been in business. When they discovered Two Way Direct was just a few weeks old, they’d say no without looking at Brandon’s products.
These responses continued until Brandon targeted Omni Hotel, one of the most popular hotels in downtown San Diego. He knew he had to do whatever it took to land his first customer, or he’d run out of time. After all, he put all his money into his business.
With his back against the wall and nearing his breaking point, Brandon Ocampo vowed to land Omni as a customer. He started by finding the person in charge of purchasing. It was Lars Renteria, who was also the hotel’s director of security.
Brandon reached out to Lars to try and sell him two-way radio equipment for the hotel. He immediately said no, but Brandon was too determined to take another “no” for an answer. After discovering that Omni had an opening for a security guard, he applied. He figured it was his way to build a relationship with Lars and get him to hear out his offer.
After several months of commendable work as a security guard and building good relationships with Lars and other decision-makers, including Matthew Juliar, the front office manager at the time, Brandon finally decided to drop the bomb.
“I just went out there and told him I joined his team so I could have a second chance at winning his business,” says Brandon. “He thought it was hilarious. Lo and behold, he placed an $80,000 order for a new radio system.”
That order finally put Two Way Direct on the map. Brandon was then able to spruce up his pitch by telling companies he’d worked with the best hotel in downtown San Diego. Soon, more people were willing to listen and check out his products.
It wasn’t long before he landed big-time deals with General Electric, SpaceX, and NASA, on top of having his products at Costco and Overstock.
Since then, the growth of Two Way Direct has been unstoppable. Brandon reinvested all his earnings into online marketing to get more customers. As a result, he’s on pace to hit $10 million in sales this year, serving about 25,000 customers nationwide. As that number continues to grow by the day, the company looks to beef up its sales team with about 50 more account managers.
“Each of our current account managers have about 2,000 customers to manage,” says Ocampo. “That’s way too many customers for one person to have relationships with. That’s why we’re looking for more people to share this opportunity with.”
Needless to say, Brandon’s hard work — from the typical penny-pinching to the unorthodox way he landed his first customer — has started to pay off. He now hopes to share the opportunity for people who are willing to put in their share of work to ride along Two Way Direct’s path to further growth.
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