We've assembled many useful advice on how to go about opening an alarm systems dealership.
Navigating the Challenges of a Dealership Startup
The overwhelming majority of alarm systems businesses in the U.S. are dealerships. A dealership business model is a double-edged sword for entrepreneurs. Although there are many benefits to being an authorized alarm systems dealer, there are also some drawbacks that can impact your ownership experience.
Alarm system dealerships deliver brand recognition, marketing support and other advantages to their dealers. However, as a dealer of a brand name alarm system, you are inevitably connected to the brand(s) you sell. If the brand succeeds, your dealership will prosper. If it doesn't succeed, your startup may be doomed.
In our opinion, the most significant business decision you will make as a startup entrepreneur is selecting the right dealership opportunity. Don't rush into a decision! Instead, take your time and carefully evaluate what each alarm systems provider can bring to your startup now and over the long-term.
Selling Strategies for Alarm Systems Dealers
Alarm systems dealerships live and die based on their ability to sell installations, monitoring and alarm system packages. Your dealership's startup business plan should include a sales strategy that addressing at least three critical factors:
- Goals. Effective sales strategies set goals and evaluate performance. Sales drive revenue and if your dealership fails to meet the forecasts described in your business plan, your entire operation could be in jeopardy. As the business owner, plan on establishing and monitoring weekly/monthly sales goals during your first year.
- Customer Acquisition. New customers are critical for growth. So a substantial part of your sales strategy should focus on the tactics and techniques your dealership will employ to identify prospects and convert them to customers.
- Customer Retention. In an alarm systems dealership, customer retention is just as important as customer acquisition. Your team needs systems to help them stay on top of service and monitoring plan expirations, enabling them to re-enroll customers before they have an opportunity to shop around for another alarm system provider.
Core Characteristics of Alarm Systems Dealership Business Plans
Ask a dozen people how to write an effective business plan and you'll get a dozen different answers. But despite the diversity of approaches, there are some business plan features that are absolutely essential.
If your plan lacks required elements like an executive summary or marketing plan, it could jeopardize its potential to deliver real benefits to your startup.
To discuss the external factors that will influence your startup, consider dedicating a section of your business to a PEST (Political, Economic, Social & Technological) analysis.
Look Over the Competition
Before you open an alarm systems dealership within your community, it's a smart move to determine how many competitors you have. We've provided the link below to help you generate a list of competitors in your city. Just enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of alarm systems dealerships in your community.
Is the local market large enough to support another alarm systems dealership? If not, you had better be sure that you are doing things much better than the competition.
Talk to People Who Are Already in the Business
If you want to open an alarm systems dealership it's essential that you speak with somebody who is already in the business. If you think owners of nearby alarm systems dealerships will give you advice, think again. What's in it for them?
But, a person who owns an alarm systems dealership in another town will be much more likely to talk with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
What's the best way to find an entrepreneur who is running an alarm systems dealership outside of your area who is willing to talk?
Simply, try our helpful link below, type in a random city/state or zipcode, and start calling.
Advice for Acquiring an Alarm Systems Dealership
Many entrepreneurs elect to acquire a profitable alarm systems dealership instead of navigating the challenges of a business startup.
But without adequate financing, your plans to own a first-rate alarm systems dealership are going nowhere. If you're prepared to deal with lender requirements, you'll find that lenders are more open to financing established operations than they are to take a chance on a startup.
Our Business Acquisition Financing Tips have the information you need to successfully navigate the challenges of financing your new business.
The odds of surviving in business are substantially improved when you choose to franchise rather than going it alone.
Before you get too far along in your plan to open an alarm systems dealership, you may want to investigate whether purchasing a franchise might make it easy to get started.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing alarm systems dealership, try these useful resources:
If you sell to alarm systems dealerships, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.