To say this has been a tough year for the electronic security industry is most certainly an understatement. We all learned that security in general is not recession proof, as had previously been thought. Of course, security is better positioned than the automotive, airline and gaming industries, but the vast majority of security manufactures, integrators, monitoring centers, consultants and the associated security support industries have been hurting.
Now that the stock market has been showing signs of life, can we assume that the worst is over, that we will be back to the good old days of easy money, condo mania and building high-rise office buildings on speculation? You already know the answer. It will be a very long time, if ever again, when unqualified developers and Americans in general can build and buy whatever they want whenever they want it with cheap and available borrowed money. The credit bubble has burst and from here on out we will live with the consequences.
So how will this impact you? The most obvious place to start is a careful evaluation of your business plan. Then determine if your vertical market will be one of the survivors. If not, you had better adapt quickly.
Are you an alarm company that specialized in pre-wire business for new residential development? Are you a gaming specialist? Are you a consultant who specializes in high-rise condos? I could go on but you get the point.
If you have not repositioned your company for the new business environment, I suggest you make this a priority. A new and very different business environment is here now. From technology changes to financing options to large security companies dominating certain segments of security, it’s time to ensure your company is positioned to adapt and succeed.
Blow the dust off your business plan or, better yet, throw it away and plan for the new reality that will drive your success. Revamping your business plan can be daunting but it is necessary. Here are a few suggestions on what to focus on to position your company at the forefront of the new business era:
- Has the relationship with your financial partner changed? Do they understand and accept your new model?
- Have you incorporated a managed services plan for your company (RMR)? No excuses. If you are in the security business you must understand the days of high-margin box sales are coming to an end.
- Have you made the investment in IT yet? If not you had better get started NOW!
- Do you have strategic partners? I certainly hope so because no one can go it alone, not even the big boys.
- Do you have enough information and knowledge to make good decisions? Get involved with the players in our industry. Join an association or an organization that has knowledge they will share with you.
- Develop a change is good mentality. It’s good for business and good for your mental stability. Change is tough but we all need to adapt to a faster change cycle.