Oct. 27, 2008
Keeping you up at night

Dear Readers:
Going with what works for you seems to be the best sentiment that holds true for today’s security dealers when contemplating growing your business. One specific formula or model is not always good for the next guy.

A successful business strategy that is often suggested to dealers is the full-service business model. Within it, model dealers offer a full array of security products and services to home and business owners, including: intrusion detection; access control; video surveillance; remote video; fire systems; cellular back-up; carbon monoxide and climate sensors; emergency medical response, alarm and video monitoring services and even more.

It’s a big undertaking. It requires larger facilities to accommodate your growing residential and commercial sales and installation staffs, as well as support teams for those personnel. You have to worry about future growth and expansion. You have to be able to present and install the latest security technologies. You have to make sure every employee is properly trained from the bottom up.

The same holds true for another business model, when you specialize in certain technologies. Our profiled dealer this month, Stephen Govel of Service Works, Inc., for instance, made a conscious business decision to focus on the video and access control segments of the industry. What he found was that it required larger facilities to accommodate his growing sales and installation staffs, and other personnel. He has to worry about future growth and expansion. He and his staff have to be able to present and install the latest security technologies…and yes, everyone needs to be trained.

Now you also have the new age dealer model. If you choose to embrace installations that require IP and network technology, you fit into this group. As you'll read in this issue, there are many important concerns here, as well. It requires having specialized sales staff and installers who know the language and technology to communicate with customers. Training and manufacturers support are also vital. Yet, industry insiders are claiming this is what customers are asking for, so you'd better get on board or be left behind.

Whether this new age dealer model will actually circumvent the traditional security alarm installing dealer. I'm not so sure. I've been in this industry 16 years now and am always amazed by the resilience of steadfast and true traditional security dealers. Faced with one challenge after the next, you all manage to find your way, make it better and succeed.

The fact is, there is room in this industry for all types and sizes of security installing businesses. Basically, everyone of you deal with the same issues related to running a successful business, large or small. It is up to you to decide which avenues you need to travel on and the direction you should take.