Patriot Services

by Tonya Dixon | January 8th, 2012
Richard Lide

Richard Lide (Photo by Howard Gaither)

Several years ago Richard Lide was primed to enter the NFL. The Raeford, N.C. native and North Carolina A&T State University graduate had everything planned. He had gone to several training camps, including the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Redskins. It was simple, he would be an NFL player, make millions of dollars and the rest would be history–easy living for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, everything didn’t quite go the way he planned, everything except the part about history. He completed college with a degree in history; this time he was sure his plans to be a history teacher and football coach would certainly pan out. At the time he was certain football would continue to play a tremendous role in his life.

Lide recognized his plans weren’t necessarily the plans of God. His NFL intentions never manifested, although he was inducted in the North Carolina A&T Football Hall of Fame. He received his degree, but decided not to go the route of a teacher and bypassed the role of a coach. Instead, after graduation, he found himself working for a local staffing agency. It wasn’t just a job he took because he found nothing else. It was a stepping stone along the path of fulfilling his purpose. Outside of playing football, the staffing industry seemed like the logical field of choice for Lide.

Throughout college he worked as an on-site recruiter for a national staffing firm. “After I graduated I went to work for another staffing agency here locally. I worked there for a little over six years until I went out on my own,” says Lide of his first position after college. “I was always intrigued about this industry. I liked the fact that I would be helping people get jobs so they can care for their families without government assistance. I liked helping people get on their feet or even get better jobs.”

The stage was set and Lide set out for his big performance. He initially started a staffing agency in 2002 along with two other partners. Unfortunately, for various reasons, the partnership did not work out and the group disbanded in 2006. Nevertheless, the amicable split afforded him the opportunity to start his own agency completely by himself. He says he was successfully able to totally implement his ideas. Those ideas have certainly paid off. Within the same year he launched his brain child, Patriot Services and he hasn’t looked back.

“We were recognized this year as the number three in the Triad’s Fast 50,” Lide proudly says. The Triad Fast 50 is the 50 fastest growing companies in the Triad. We were also recognized as the sixth largest minority-owned business in the Triad.

It’s no wonder Patriot Services is on the fast track and high touted by business clients as well as employee placements throughout the community. Lide and his staffing agency have not only worked with local giants such as the Cities of Greensboro and High Point and Dell Computers but he has even provided staffing solutions for companies as far away as Texas. He says it’s the new advances in technology that have given him the means to provide employment opportunities for so many in various areas. “Technology is a big part of staffing. People apply online and even interview online through the advent of Skype. As technology grows staffing is moving to a place of virtual offices.” Whatever the trend, it is certain Patriot Services will advance and expand as well.

Lide is quickly moving toward his goal of establishing Patriot Services as a regional staffing agency. The young, president and CEO, husband and father of two has already planted fully functional branches in Asheboro, Charlotte, Hickory, Durham¸ Rocky Mount, Roanoke, Va. as well as his flagship branch in Greensboro. Lide is looking to further expand into Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee as well as acquire other staffing agencies. His days are spent talking to clients, prospective clients, and staff, writing bids and overseeing the finances. As the business owner he is very hands on and involved.

It may seem Lide had an easy rode to travel toward owning a successful business but he admits he made countless mistakes along the way. “When I first started I made my share of blunders and mistakes. I had to get loans and credit cards (which by the way he says he has completely paid), I asked for help. There was a lot of trial and error, but I did whatever it took,” he says. “I didn’t have many business role models growing up. I prayed to God for guidance and direction. I’m a definite advocate of prayer.” he attributes every success he has received to God. He makes it crystal clear that he loves the Lord and understands nothing would be possible without God.
It is evident he has a very strong support system. He applauds his wife, Kim, who he says has been by his side every step of the way; from the beginning through the good and bad times. It’s his mother that he credits for encouraging him to continue to get his degree when things didn’t happen according to plan.

In his first year of business, Lide says the agency made over $1.2 Million, which may sound astounding, it rightfully is amazing for a start-up; however he says he wasn’t financially prepared. He says he learned the hard way the importance of being prepared, especially in such a cash flow intensive business. Accordingly, he says he eagerly takes the time to tell others interested in the business the lessons he learned. It’s all about gaining experience, at least five years he says, understanding industry procedures and terminology and having a well-thought out plan. Once those aspects are in place the funding will come.

Additionally Lide believes it is very important to reach back into the community and help the younger generation. As the owner of a staffing agency it troubles him to see young adults seeking employment but refuse to dress the part. “When I came up you put on your ‘Sunday-go-to-church’ clothes,” he says. “I really would like to work with our youth and teach them about being professional.”

It has been 10 years since Lide established his first business; moreover, it is increasingly apparent he is on track to forge onward for many years to come.

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