Security Ops and Props

   I for one have grown tired of the doom and gloom. I’ve stopped checking the stock reports twice daily and steer clear of data on unemployment claims and job losses.

But wait. Aren’t these the times you dreamed of– when it was just a bit slower so you could work on sales training; a new Web presence; or get out in the community more? Well, here it is. Now don’t blow it. Because when 2009 starts to close out, maybe even sooner, we’ll turn the corner again to expected double-digit growth for the security industry and many other sectors of the economy so you’d be wise to be ready to deliver some kick-butt services and solutions to your customers—and fast.

It’s also the time to position your company, carve out new successes and obtain additional skills and credentials.

“Don’t lose sight of your branding,” commented Christie Hefner, former chairman of the board and chief executive officer (CEO) of Playboy Enterprises in Chicago during a newscast announcing her departure from the ½-century media giant. Everybody’s hurting, but the savvy guys are still straddling the lines of profitability. Consider recent year-end reports by Big Blue, aka IBM. Sure, business is down, but the company offered a rosy outlook even in 2009. Know why?  Continued focus on service and software contracts, in other words, recurring revenue. In fact, stated Parks Associates, Dallas, monitoring revenues are still the financial bedrock of the U.S. security industry, constituting 75 percent of all revenue (Home Systems: Home Security Update).  In addition to monitoring, don’t forget service, inspection and maintenance. If you aren’t selling these, get going!

No matter what you hear, opportunities abound. According to recent reports from the big construction forecasters, bright spots over the next five years include public buildings, courthouses, military, detention, public works and utilities, educational buildings and dormitories and healthcare. Nuclear sites are experiencing growth and they need security, perimeter detection and controls. Cities, towns, villages and municipalities are renovating and upgrading. Wireless infrastructures are going up all around—especially as part of the critical infrastructure and emergency response preparedness.

It makes sense to focus on your current customers and work hard to keep them with superior service, rather than flush dollars down the toilet by crashing and burning existing accounts with poor customer relations.

Our job is to help you succeed and we feel we can do that with content you can use. We’re going out in the field to our readers to find out how to work more efficiently, see page 50 or add value with monitoring, page 54, and find opportunity around every corner, see page 36. Check out the table of contents on pages 4 and 6 to find lots of stories to read.

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NBFAA Thinks Fast with Stimulus Bill
As we headed to press, NBFAA revealed that it had been poising the security industry for participation in the economic stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. NBFAA-supported language was included in the $819 billion stimulus bill for the professional installation of fire/life safety alarms in schools and universities. Visit www.alarm.org for the latest update.

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