Pop-A-Lock - January 2020



JANUARY 2020 25 Years and Counting Lessons I’ve Learned After Owning a Business for 25 Years I n December of 1995, I opened the first Pop-A-Lock office in Lexington with a business partner. The only service we provided was unlocking car doors. We were the sixth Pop-A-Lock office in the franchise to open its doors at that point. Today, there are over 300 franchises nationwide. This year will be our 25th year in business, a milestone not many businesses achieve, and we’ve expanded to have offices in Louisville, Lexington, and Southern Indiana. That growth and success wouldn’t have been possible without learning some lessons along the way. EVOLVE YOUR BUSINESS WITH YOUR INDUSTRY’S TECHNOLOGY. When we first opened Pop-A-Lock in Lexington back in 1995, we only offered one service — car door unlocking. Lock and key technology was nothing like it is now. This was also back before mobile phones, when people still used pagers! Our business isn’t even the same business it was 10 years ago, let alone 25 years ago. We’ve gone from just a car door unlocking service to a full- service mobile locksmithing company, and we now offer services to correspond with technological advances in the industry, like programming key fobs and transponder chips. ADAPT YOUR MARKETING TO THE TIME AND AUDIENCE. Anyone who has ever owned a business, and probably those who haven’t, can attest to the power of effective marketing. The right message at the right time to the right people is a huge part of what makes a business survive and thrive. However, sending the wrong message or marketing to the wrong audience can waste time and money better spent elsewhere. In 25 years of business, I certainly haven’t made the right decision every time, but fortunately, I’ve learned how to adjust our marketing when needed. HIRE QUALITY EMPLOYEES TO PROVIDE QUALITY SERVICE FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS. How to give customers the service they need in a timely fashion has been the biggest lesson I’ve learned since starting Pop-A- Lock. One of the key ways to do that is by hiring quality employees who provide the kind of service your customers expect and need. Not only that, but I’ve found the best way to make sure my team provides the best possible service is for me to take good care of

Happy New Years from the Barnes family

them. Hiring and keeping quality employees is a huge challenge for any business, and I always want to make sure the right people stay on board. Just like a good business never stops growing or improving, neither does a good business owner. Even as I enter Pop-A-Lock’s 25th year, I am still trying to grow as an entrepreneur by attending seminars, reading books, and listening to podcasts and CDs. I also make an effort to visit with other business owners to learn their methods of providing quality service to their customers. Over the past 25 years, we’re really happy so many of you have trusted us with your car door unlocking, locksmithing, and other building security needs. We hope you’ll trust us for many years to come. From all of us at Pop-A-Lock, we wish all of you a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. -Doug Barnes


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Indulge in the World’s Favorite Brick

theme parks have sprung up around the world for people to enjoy.

to pick up a LEGO kit the family can put together or dig a well-loved one out of your attic. Challenge yourself and family members to make the tallest tower before it falls, or get creative by placing the same set of LEGO bricks in different bowls and seeing what everyone creates from the pieces. WATCH A LEGO MOVIE. There are several LEGO movies you can choose from for National LEGO Day. Put in family favorite “The LEGO Movie” and join Emmet and his friends as they fight to save the world. Hit the dojo with Lloyd, who is secretly the Green Ninja, as he and his ninja friends fight Lord Garmadon to protect Ninjago City in both the animated film “The LEGO Ninjago Movie” and the TV series “Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu.” And let’s not forget Batman and Robin as they fight to save Arkham City in “The LEGO Batman Movie.”

National LEGO Day falls on Jan. 28, giving you an opportunity to delight in what this toy is all about. If you want to celebrate with your family, consider the following activities. PLAN A TRIP TO LEGOLAND. With the new year just getting started, why not plan a family vacation? LEGOLAND is filled with rides, attractions, and amazing LEGO creations, including busts of historical figures and entire cities. There are two LEGOLAND resorts located in the U.S., one in Carlsbad, California, and the other in Winter Haven, Florida. Plus, 13 LEGOLAND Discovery Centers are spread out across the nation. PUT TOGETHER A KIT. If you’re unable to go to LEGOLAND, take a few minutes to visit a local LEGO retail store

From giant, colorful building blocks to intricately designed kits, LEGO has been a source of entertainment and delight for people of all ages for over 80 years. This toy’s popularity is not surprising, as there is endless potential for what you can create with LEGO bricks, but their impact stretches far beyond mere building blocks. LEGO- related video games, movies, and even

Helping the Workforce of Tomorrow The price of attending a university has gone up 55% in the last decade alone, and it only continues to increase. On average, the college price tag is increasing eight times faster than the average working wage. In order for most students to afford the next step in their education and pursue their careers, they have to take on large student loans. However, some will fund at least part of their college education using scholarships. That’s where Going Merry comes into the picture. Scholarships are an invaluable tool for many students to afford the first step toward their future careers, but the sites that offer a concise summary of all the available, reputable scholarships out there are few and far between. That’s why in 2016, a group of graduates from Carnegie Mellon and Stanford University created Going Merry, an app that lets students bypass the tedium and uncertainty of the scholarship application process and get closer to affording their dreams. On the app, students create a brief profile. Then, the app finds scholarships they’re eligible for and auto-fills in the blanks with the answers from the student’s profile. After that, students may have to answer a few additional questions, and they’ll have to take care of the essay prompt themselves, but with Going Merry, students will never have to answer the same application question twice. The creators of Going Merry tested the app at three California high schools, and the app was a roaring success. Students applied for nearly five times as many scholarships as previous classes, and school counselors said the app was the easiest scholarship application platform they had ever used.

To date, Going Merry has partnered with around 10,000 high schools nationwide. They’ve added a host of new features to the app since they started, such as options to compare tuition costs of different schools and to view the average salary of graduates in certain career fields. Even if wages aren’t increasing at the same rate as the cost of college, Going Merry is working hard to help students close that gap.


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IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE It may be cold outside, but that won’t necessarily prevent your car from getting broken into. Even on those quick trips to the grocery store, where you swear you’ll be in and out in just a minute, a thief has plenty of time to get into your car and make off with as much as they can before the police arrive. While this list is nowhere near exhaustive, here are a few quick tips to prevent your car from getting broken into.

is enough to deter theft. It’s better than nothing, anyway.

recipe title Of course, the drawback to these security measures is they’ll make it harder for you to get into your car if you ever lock yourself out. If that ever happens, know you can give Pop-A-Lock a call at (502) 895- 6736 in Louisville, (859) 253-6736 in Lexington, or (812) 288-7576 in southern Indiana. PARK IN A WELL-LIT AREA. Park anywhere that offers extra layers of security. If you have access to a garage, use it. If you’re parking in a parking lot, find a place monitored by a security system and is near building entrances and exits. If you have to park along the street, try and find a well-lit spot with lots of road traffic and pedestrians nearby.

HIDE YOUR VALUABLES. Take small things like your phone and wallet out of the car with you when you can. Otherwise, put valuable items out of sight in the center console or glove compartment if they’re small or in the trunk if they’re large. In any other case, cover valuables with a blanket or a towel. If you have an expensive stereo system, taking the radio faceplate with you when you leave can actually dissuade someone from stealing it. INVEST IN A SECURITY SYSTEM. A solid auto security system can deter any would-be crooks by sounding an alarm. Many alarm systems today have motion sensors, knock sensors, and sirens to prevent any unwarranted entry. Always let potential thieves know you have an alarm system by putting a sticker on your window. If you can’t afford an alarm system, sometimes a dummy sticker advertising a security system



On Neil Nolte

It’s always nice when you can describe yourself as “a fish in water” at your workplace. Luckily for anyone locked out of their car in the Lexington area, “a fish in water” is exactly how we would describe Neil Nolte. Neil started working for Pop-A-Lock after another employee he knew recommended him for a position. We’re glad he did because Neil has now excelled as a car door unlocking technician for the past three years. Like any good car door unlocking technician, Neil is good at sympathizing with his customers and making them feel at ease in stressful situations. On top of that, he knows how to make quick work of getting relieved motorists their keys back.

In his down time, Neil spends time with his wife, four kids, and dog at home. While he says he’s not much of a hobbyist, he and his wife do take a painting course together every Saturday.


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LEXINGTON SOUTHERN IN 859-253-6736 502-895-6736 812-288-7576 LOUISVILLE






TECH OF TOMORROW What’s Coming in 2020?

Here we are in the future. We may not have flying cars yet, but 2020 promises to be an exciting year for multiple tech industries. Judging by predicted developments for this year, this new decade could see many of our sci-fi fantasies come to life. Here are a few of the most promising trends we have our eyes on.

and it is expected to become a household term this year. While price and hardware limitations have made this technology little more than a novelty until now, interest in XR is burgeoning in major industries like architecture and education. The line between digital and physical worlds may truly start to blur this year.



While the long-coveted 5G mobile network became a reality in 2019, it was by no means widespread. Now, with many cellphone companies upgrading their equipment at the beginning of this year, it’s likely the average American will soon have access to this latest generation of mobile internet. If it’s anything like the rollout of 4G, we may not see much of a difference in our connectivity right away. However, as access increases, 5G devices will become more common, paving the way for some very high-speed experiences in 2021 and beyond.

While devices like pacemakers and artificial hips have been around for decades, a new generation of implanted care devices has begun to emerge. For example, Stimwave’s micro-stimulators made a splash in the medical world last year when early tests showed they were an effective means of pain relief. As an alternative to drugs, these wireless implants block pain signals using an electrical field. This breakthrough alone may bring an end to the opioid epidemic. No one can say for certain what the future may hold, but with so many promising new technologies being implemented and improved upon today, the sky’s the limit for what we might see tomorrow.


Extended reality, or XR, is an umbrella term covering virtual reality headsets, Instagram filters, augmented reality devices, and more,


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