52 Ways Firms Have Found Their Financial Footing

Welcome to our annual Bright Ideas Issue. The mission is to dig deep into all areas of the electronic installing and monitoring security systems and services business to compile the best possible industry intelligence to maximize the likelihood of achieving success. This is accomplished through the hallmark integrator executive roundtable, the Operations & Opportunities Report (OOR), and several technology- and sales-focused articles. Plus this year we’ve teamed up with Parks Associates to further up the ante with an additional research project zeroing in on residential systems. It’s all designed to help you close out this year with a bang and look ahead to strategize a sensational 2014.  

The cover line associated with the new OOR (page references 72% of survey respondents stating their companies are better off financially now than they were three years ago — strong evidence the recessionary foot is off most providers’ throats. Awesome news, right? But why exactly are these owners and managers feeling so much better about their solvency, profitability and prospects?

We asked just that as an open-ended question within the ORR. So let’s now take a look inside the numbers to find out what’s behind the resurgence. Note that these are only some of the responses among the hundreds of survey participants, with duplicate answers eliminated. See my Under Surveillance blogs online for more OOR analysis. 

Why is your company better off today than it was three years ago?

1. We have lowered our overhead by office relocation and reduced the number of poor performing employees.

2. We are always trying to improve and increase RMR.

3. Better training and more marketing. 

4. Clients are upgrading equipment.

5. More effective upper management.

6. Eliminated waste and bad practices, consolidated offices and functions.

7. Better leadership, improved employee morale, stronger team effort.

8. Improved management and larger size of projects.

9. Structured well for the industry moving into IP-oriented product lines and support.

10. Better management of our resources.

11. More RMR and a more streamlined approach.

12. Better processes in place to generate sales and deliver quality installations. 

13. Our revenues have reached a point where our overhead can be maintained and we have excess cash flow for growth.

14. Semi-retired and only do the jobs I want to and those that give good return.              

15. Overhead and vehicle expenses kept to a minimum.

16. Consistent work ethics.

17. Residential monitoring of well qualified customers creates long-term stability even through tough economic times.

18. Better market awareness.

19. Better CPA.

20. Better staffed and trained.

21. Partnered with a dealer program.

22. More repeat customers and more negotiated work.

23. We have completed our design stage and now have saleable services and products.

24. Stable, minimum debt.

25. Continued market growth based on reinvestment(s).

26. Separation of business units and a loss of national accounts business.

27. Staying focused on vertical markets.

28. Higher quality installations.

29. Improved sales and marketing.

30. Better managed financials.

31. Restructured leadership.

32. Theft is up.

33. Record performance in 2011 and 2012.

34. Advertising and marketing.

35. Overall rebounding economy.

36. Revenue and gross margin percentage is increasing.

37. Steady growth, greater market share, market consolidation.

38. We flexed when the market changed and saw new opportunities.

39. Our business is construction-based and construction business is booming!

40. In our security division we have grown our customer base by three times.

41. Newly implemented company structure and ownership.

42. Offering the newer technologies with an efficient operations manager.

43. Stronger culture focusing on customer expectations.

44. Increased training and product knowledge.

45. Automation software.

46. Company developed a good reputation for fast response to problems and quality installation practices.

47. Better sourcing and distribution.

48. Increasing work flow.

49. Equipment pricing has decreased, and we also carry only one-two lines of panels and don’t have a large inventory. 

50. Making strategic acquisitions.

51. Focusing on the cutting edge of IP integration has made us a market leader.

52. Working harder at cold customer sales.

Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine has spent nearly 15 years with SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (704) 663-7125 or [email protected]

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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