For manyÂ security dealers, the most important thing about their company is its reputation.Â Period.
As in any business, a company that hasÂ a good reputation willÂ likely see other good thingsÂ follow suit, such as happy customers, referrals, and increased profits. Of course, getting that good reputation requires you toÂ communicate well with your clients andÂ do excellent work at a competitive price.Â It also means that when things go wrong, you do everything possible to reach a satisfactory solution for the customer.
I've had dealers in the past tell me that, in the short term,Â one employee can essentially ruin years of good PR.Â Â Granted, that might seem extreme, but it's a legitimate consideration.Â Especially considering that we very much live in a "What have you done for me lately?" world.
In order to maintain a good reputation as a security dealer, youÂ obviouslyÂ need good employees; and when an employee does mess up, you'll likely be relying on either thatÂ employee or anotherÂ one to help set things right.Â If they are unable to do so, either by being rude or incompetent, then that hurtsÂ business.Â (If you're a small dealer, word can spread through town like a wildfire.Â If you're a big dealer, you could lose a lucrative contract.)Â Â Â Â
While there are many talented and dedicated security technicians in the U.S., security dealers will tell you that they can always use more.Â A larger pool of talent would mean that security dealers would have an easier time hiring and maintaining a quality staff.Â
With this in mind, last week I was heartened to hear that the Department of Labor has approved the NBFAA's Apprenticeship Program.Â I think it will be a major step toward improving theÂ industry's laborÂ pool by giving somewhat of a plan and guidance for technicians to follow.Â One of the best ways that you can show somebody that their career matters is byÂ sharing a "roadmap" that lets them picture how to get from Point A to Point B... and then to Point C and so on.Â Â ItÂ gets back to that old adage, "Plan the work, then work the plan."
GeorgeÂ P. Gunning, NBFAA president, said in a news release, "This (Fire/Life Safety and Electronic Security Apprenticeship) program will provide a foundation of knowledge that allows technicians to advance in their profession and improve the ability of the industry to recruit, train and retain the very best technicians from a competitive labor pool."Â Â
Let's hope he's right and the plan works.