This article includes many useful bits of advice on starting an alarm services business.
Alarm Services & Security Sector Snapshot
According to industry growth trends, personal and business security is becoming an increasingly important concern in the U.S. With the nation's total monitored population topping 32 million, annual sales of professionally installed security alarm products and services exceed $26 billion.
The current alarm services industry is equally divided among residential (33%), commercial (37%) and industrial (30%) customers. While many alarm services startup entrepreneurs may initially set out to serve one sector of the market, the temptation to diversify to other sectors is often overwhelming. As a result, most alarm services SMBs cater to multiple customer categories within their geographic territory.
Creating Strategic Alliances in an Alarm Service Startup
Alarm service companies are essentially full service distributors for alarm system manufacturers. Unless your startup plan includes manufacturing your own system components, you'll need to create a strategic alliance(s) with reputable system manufacturers.
Integration is an important consideration in today's alarm services sector. Residential and commercial clients fully expect their fire, burglar, surveillance and other security systems to seamlessly integrate with each other. So for startups that plan to offer systems and components from multiple manufacturers, it's essential to make sure that you have the capability to merge diverse components into a single, integrated security solution.
Reputation Development & Monitoring for Alarm Service Businesses
The alarm services marketplace is crowded and fluid; new businesses enter and exit the market at a brisk pace. To some degree, the success of your alarm services startup will hinge on your ability to develop and maintain a reputation as a first-rate alarm services provider.
Public relations and marketing initiatives undoubtedly play a role in developing your brand's reputation in the local market. But to become an industry leader, you'll also need to apply advanced brand reputation strategies including online reputation management and social media marketing.
Additionally, you'll need to make sure your staff is competent and fully trained in the latest security products and services. The Electronic Security Association (ESA) provides ample training opportunities for alarm services personnel and offers a ready-made platform for industry networking opportunities.
Best Practices for Writing an Alarm Services Company Business Plan
Many new alarm services business owners feel unprepared for the challenge of writing a business plan.
Fortunately, you don't have to tackle your alarm services company's business plan by yourself. These days, there are tons of great resources and solutions available to support the business plan writing process.
Our Business Plan Help section discusses some of the business plan resources other entrepreneurs have found useful.
Long before you open an alarm services business within your community, it's worthwhile to see how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Try our link below to get a list of local competitors nearby. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of alarm services businesses near you.
It's important to be aware of what the competition is doing. Take the time to visit the competition to properly assess their strengths and weaknesses.
A Good Source of Advice
If you want to open an alarm services business the next step is to talk to somebody who is already in the business. If you think owners of nearby alarm services businesses will give you advice, think again. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
However, an entrepreneur who owns an alarm services business on the other side of the country may be more than happy to give you a few tips, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
How do you find an alarm services business manager who is willing to advise you because you live in different cities?
Simply, try our helpful link below, type in a random city/state or zipcode, and start calling.
Benefits & Drawbacks of an Alarm Services Business Acquisition
An acquisition can be a great way to enter alarm services business ownership. But it's important to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of buying a business before you decide on either an acquisition or startup approach.
BENEFITS: Acquired alarm services businesses should be profitable right out of the gate; they should also be capable of demonstrating a loyal customer base, brand identity and operational efficiencies.
DRAWBACKS: On the downside, alarm services business acquisitions can be difficult to adapt to your unique business philosophy so it's important to make sure the business is capable of achieving your ownership goals before you initiate the buying process.
Explore Franchising Options
The odds of becoming a successful entrepreneur are much better if you become a franchisee and leverage their successful brand and track record.
As part of your process in starting an alarm services business, a smart move is to check out whether franchising might be worth investigating.
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 currently own an alarm services business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to alarm services businesses, you're in the wrong place. 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.