Do you want to start a security alarm installation business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a security alarm installation business with NO money and no experience. With the rise in global insecurity, staying safe at all times is of paramount importance not just to you as an individual, but to everyone around you. The security industry is an integral part of our world especially in a period such as this when crime and terrorism are at an all – time high.
As a matter of fact, the united states and of course all the countries of the world spend fortunes annually on security; and the budget for security is always on the increase every New Year because people that perpetuate crimes and terror are becoming sophisticated as the year goes by.
In the United States of America and in most countries in Europe, you will notice that a good percentage of homes, offices, public facilities and cars have security alarm. This goes to show that there is indeed a large market for the security alarm installation business. Even though security alarm installation is a technical business, that does not rule out the fact that an entrepreneur with zero skills can learn the trade within few months if they are smart.
So, if indeed you want to start your own security alarm installation company, all you need to do is read this article and you will be well informed and equipped. You can start your security alarm installation company from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand especially if you choose to work for clients all across the United States of America.
18 Steps to Starting a Security Alarm Installation Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- 18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
Security alarm installation business just like locksmith services business are part of the Security Alarm Services Industry and the industry is made up of companies that sell security systems such as burglar and fire alarms and locking devices. Players in this industry also offer installation, repair and monitoring of electronic security alarm systems.
In recent time, the industry has grown due to rising residential and commercial construction activity, which bolstered demand for new security alarm systems. Acquisitions among major industry players have been common during the period.
Even with these consolidations, the popularity of value-added offerings helped boost industry demand. Going forward, small-business growth and increased disposable income levels will contribute to rising industry demand. So also, the growing acceptance of new technologies will continue to drive industry revenue expansion in the residential market.
The Security Alarm Services industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Australia and Canada et al. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 64,720 registered and licensed security alarm services companies (security alarm installation companies inclusive) scattered all across the United States responsible for employing about 191,537 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $22 billion annually.
The industry is projected to grow at 3.5 percent annual growth within 2012 and 2017. ADT Security Services can boast of having a lion share of the market in the security alarm services industry in the United States of America. A recent report published by IBISWORLD shows that the Security Alarm Services industry has a low level of capital intensity. IBISWorld also estimates that for every $1.00 spent on wages in 2017, $0.02 will be spent on the use and replacement of buildings and equipment, indicating a high level of labor intensity.
In 2017, wages account for about 32.6 percent of industry revenue. The report shows that the industry demands a high amount of labor, as employees are used to install and maintain alarm systems and are also hired to monitor possible security breaches.
The security alarm services industry is highly regulated in the United States of America and anyone who aspires to start a security alarm installation company must apply and obtain a license before they can legally operate in the industry.
If you are able to build a successful brand, a brand that can be easily trusted, then you are going to maximize profits in this industry. This is so because trust is a leveler in the security alarm services industry. No organization or client would be able to trust you with the security of their life and property if you have not proven yourself to be trustworthy in the first place.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who patronize of security alarm installation companies cut across all households and corporate organizations; hence the demographic composition for a security alarm installation company is all encompassing.
The truth is that when it comes to the security alarm installation business, there is indeed a wide range of available customers. In essence, your target market can’t be restricted to just households within your location, but to all corporate organizations and businesses around the city where you have your business presence.
So, if you are thinking of starting your own security alarm installation company, then you should make your target demographics all encompassing. It should include households, religious organizations, public facilities, corporate organizations, event centers, sports centers, schools, car owns, and every private facility in and around the location where your security alarm installation company is located.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is safe to say that there is no niche area in the security alarm installation line of business because the security alarm installation business is a subset in the security alarm services industry; all security alarm installation companies primarily engage in the installation of security alarm for residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings.
In addition to their core operations, some security alarm installation companies may decide to add any of the under listed as part of their business offering;
- Alarm system monitoring
- Alarm system sales, installation and repair
- Burglar alarm monitoring
- Burglar alarm sales, installation and repair
- Fire alarm monitoring
- Fire alarm sales, installation and repair
- Security systems monitoring
- Security alarm sales, installation and repair
- Providing locksmith services
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in this line of business goes beyond competition amongst security alarm installation companies in your location; you are expected to compete with other businesses in the security alarm services industry who are also into installation of security alarms.
In the actual sense, no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure that your workforce can carry out efficient and thorough security alarm installation, you can deliver excellent after sale and customer care services and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
But over and above, there are several security alarm installation companies and other players in the security alarm services industry that also carry out security alarm installation scattered all around the United States. So, if you choose to start your own security alarm installation company in the United States of America, you will definitely meet stiff competitions amongst these security alarm installation companies. Besides, there are larger security alarm installation companies that determine the trends in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Regardless of the industry you choose to start a business, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading security alarm installation companies/security alarm services companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- ADT Security Services LLC
- U S a Fire & Burglar Alarm LLC
- Security Systems of America
- Mid America Security Systems
- Alarm Protection USA
- Protect America Home Security
- 1st Security USA LLC
- Alarmlink USA
- USA Total Security LLC
- USA Alarm Systems Inc
- Bosch Security Systems
- Digital Security Controls
- Zions Security Alarms – ADT Authorized Dealer
- T&R Alarm Systems
- Techpro Security Products, LLC
- Clear Protection
- Electronic Security Corporation of America
- HD Cameras USA – Security Surveillance Camera Installation
- Safe Streets USA
- Guardian Alarm Co
If you are planning towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Security alarm installation business is not a Green business because you will come across several security alarm installation companies and other players in the security alarm services industry that also carry out security alarm installation when you drive through town, search through directories and browse through the internet.
So, if you are mapping out your economic and cost analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required amount for renting a space where you are expected to open your security alarm installation company, the required working tools and equipment and also the running cost to successfully run the business.
Over and above, if you are considering starting a security alarm installation company, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting an office space, securing your license, and purchasing the needed work tools and equipment, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
If you are looking towards starting a security alarm installation company, you have the option of either starting from the scratch or purchasing the franchise of an existing security alarm installation company. But it is advisable to start from the scratch because it is a business that is open to all and sundry as long as you have successfully acquired the required technical skills.
Besides starting a security alarm installation company from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other related businesses in the security alarm services industry which usually requires detailed groundwork before launching the business.
With a security alarm installation company, you should just try as much as possible to acquire the technical skills, the required license, get the right employees, build business relationship with key stakeholders and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your services.
Please note that most of the big and successful security alarm installation companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own security alarm installation company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established security alarm installation companies and other players in the security alarm industry that also carry out security alarm installation. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn; if the economy is in bad shape, businesses such as security alarm installation companies and other players in the security alarm services industry usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new customers.
unfavorable government policies can also hamper the growth of your security alarm installation business. There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
You can either choose a general partnership, limited liability company, or even a sole proprietorship for a security alarm installation business. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale security alarm installation company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate start – up capital in a small neighborhood and carrying out selected security alarm installation services.
But people prefer limited liability Company for obvious reasons. As a matter of fact, if your intention is to grow the business and have offices and corporate clients all across key cities in the United States of America and other countries of the world via franchising, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
For instance, Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your security alarm installation company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your security alarm installation company with the ability to sell franchise and have offices and corporate clients all across the United States of America, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as a limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When it comes to Choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own security alarm installation company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Owlets® Security Alarm Installation Company
- Eagles’ Eyes® Security Alarm Installation, LLC
- Swat Team© Security Alarm Installation, Inc.
- Gordons Johnson® Security Alarm Installation, Inc.
- Kelvin Marson and Sons™ Security Alarm Installation Company, Inc.
- Sean Nelson & Co ™ Security Alarm Installation Company, Inc.
- Closer Watch© Security Alarm Installation Company, Inc.
- Presidential® Security Alarm Installation Company, LLC
- Perfect View© Security Alarm Installation Company, Inc.
- Fred Callixtus & Sons© Security Alarm Installation Company, Inc.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your security alarm installation company.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own security alarm installation company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health/Medical insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Property/Building Insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own security alarm installation company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Aside from the results you produce as it relates to security alarm installation, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some security alarm installation companies stand out. If you want to make an impact in the security alarm services industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.
You are strongly encouraged to pursue professional certifications; it will go a long way to show your commitment towards the business. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in this competitive market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own security alarm installation company;
- Security Installer Certification
- Certification for Security Service Providers
- Installing Alarm and Fire Systems Certificate
- Security Camera Training Certification
Please note that you cannot successfully run a security alarm installation company in the United States and in most countries of the world without acquiring professional certifications and business license even if you have adequate experience cum background in the security alarm services industry.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, then it won’t be long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own security alarm installation company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License / Security Alarm Installer License
- Tax Payer’s ID / Tax Identification Number
- Business Plan
- Contract Document
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Building License
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a security alarm installation company is not capital intensive if you choose to start on a small scale. Securing a standard office space in a business district, purchasing the needed working tools and equipment and raising working capital et al are part of what will consume a large chunk of your start – up capital.
If you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large – scale security alarm installation company with over a dozen full – time employees under your payroll.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start – up capital for your security alarm installation company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Mostly, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your business is key to the success of the business; hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where there are high business activities and households with the required purchasing power, and lifestyle.
These are some of the key factors you should consider before choosing a location for your security alarm installation company;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for the security alarm installation services in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of security alarm installation companies and other players in the security alarm services industry that also carry out security alarm installation in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there are no special technologies or equipment needed to run a security alarm installation company except for the security gadgets to be installed (fire alarm, CCTV, and car alarm et al), customized security software apps for monitoring and your tool box. In other to run your office which is your operational base, you will need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
As regards leasing or outright purchase of an office facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent / lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location/facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard security alarm installation company with plans to have corporate clients all across major cities in the United States of America, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Project Manager, Technicians (Security Alarm Installers), Sales and Marketing Officer, Accountant, and Customer Service Executive/Front Desk Officer. These are some of the key employees that you can work with. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a medium – scale but standard security alarm installation company.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
The services process involved in the security alarm services industry depends on the niches or the services the security alarm installation company offers. On the average, the process starts with biding or submitting proposal for a security alarm installation and perhaps monitoring contract, once the contract is won, then all the contract documents would be signed and advance payment made as required.
Once the payment has been sorted out, the next step is for the security alarm installation company to deploy workers and equipment as required to execute the job. If the contract covers monitoring of the security alarms and CCTV, then it means it is a long – term contract which will require additional manpower to execute.
It is important to state that a security alarm installation company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated security alarm installation business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Normally, running a business requires that you should be hands-on when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a security alarm installation company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for the security alarm services industry.
People and organizations will hire your services if they know that you are going to deliver an excellent job and they are going to get value for their money and over and above, their lives and properties will become safer.
Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet, which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet to market their services. In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing effort will be directed to internet users.
These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your security alarm Installation Company;
- Introduce your security alarm installation company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households, estate managers, corporate organizations, small scale businesses, medium scale businesses and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your security alarm installation company is located
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on the social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your services
- Engage in road shows in targeted business communities from time to time to promote your security alarm installation business
- Join local security alarm installation business owner associations for industry trends and tips
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry with the aim of marketing your services
- Advertise your business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
A major factor that will help you offer your security alarm installation services at rock bottom prices is to purchase your security gadgets and other materials directly from the wholesalers and importers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items you purchase directly from importers and wholesalers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
One more strategy that will help you offer your security alarm installation services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.
18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If your intention of starting a security alarm installation business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by opening offices all across key cities in the United States and franchising, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and a create corporate identity for your security alarm installation company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and security related magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your security alarm installation company
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted residential communities to create awareness for your security alarm installation company
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact households, corporate organizations, small scale businesses, medium scale businesses and other key stake holders throughout the city where your security alarm installation company is located informing them about your security alarm installation company and the services you offer
- List your security alarm installation company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your security alarm installation company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions where your security alarm installation company is located
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your carts, vehicles, trucks and vans are well branded with your company logo