Do you want to start a security camera installation business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a security camera installation business with NO money and no experience.
Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample security camera installation business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample security camera installation marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for security camera installation companies. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a security camera installation business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.
Table of Content
- Why Start a Security Camera Installation Business?
- 1. Understand the Industry
- 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
- 6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
- 7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
- 8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
- 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. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Why Start a Security Camera Installation Business?
One of the easiest means of tracking criminals and lawbreakers in a society or organization is through security cameras installed in strategic positions in and around facilities. As a matter of fact, if criminals know that there are security cameras installed in a facility that they intend raiding, there is a likelihood that they will back down from such raid. Good enough, it is a business that is open to all and sundry as long as you have the technical skills.
In the united states of America, Europe and of course other countries of the world, you will notice that a good percentage of banks, homes, offices, public facilities and government facilities have security cameras installed in them because in some cases it is made compulsory.
This goes to show that there is indeed a large market for the security camera installation business. The fact that security camera installation is a technical business does not in any way rule out the fact that an entrepreneur with zero technical skills can learn the trade within few months if they are smart.
Before launching any business, the rule of thumb is to carry out market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies. If you get things right before launching your security camera installation company, it will not take you long before you secure enough clients that can give you leverage in the industry.
So, if you are nursing the ambition to start your own security camera installation company, all you need do is read this article and you will be well informed on the ins and outs of the business. You can start your security camera installation company from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand especially if you choose to work for government contractors and other clients all across the United States of America.
Starting a Security Camera Installation Business – A Complete Guide
1. Understand the Industry
In the United States, both security camera installation companies, security alarm installation businesses and other related security services businesses operate under the same umbrella (they are grouped under the same industry); security services industry.
Security camera installation companies are engaged in security camera system installation, security system monitoring and surveillance, security camera system repairs and maintenance and other related surveillance and security system services.
In recent time, the industry has grown due to rising residential and commercial construction activity, which bolstered demand for new security camera installations. 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 security cameras as a means of combating crime will continue to drive industry revenue expansion in the residential market.
The Security Services industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries like United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, China, Japan, Holland, Switzerland, Australia, Canada et al.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 64,720 registered and licensed security services companies (security camera 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 a 3.5 percent annual rate within 2012 and 2017. ADT Security Services, Allied Universal, G4S PLC and Securitas are the organizations that have a lion market share of the available market in the security services industry in the United States of America.
A recent report published by IBISWORLD shows that the Security 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 and camera systems and are also hired to monitor possible security breaches and respond by notifying the proper authorities. It is important to state that larger companies that are also into implementing online surveillance monitoring systems spend more on wages due to the hiring of skilled engineers and computer programmers.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own security camera installation company could be that the business is a thriving and profitable business; it is a business that can be started with minimal capital and of course minimal full-time employees.
The security system services industry is highly regulated in the United States of America and anyone who aspires to start a security camera installation company must apply and obtain a license before they can legally operate in the industry. If you have a criminal record, you will find it hard to secure business license for this type of business.
Considering that security is of great importance not only to the government, but individuals and business owners especially with the increase in the rate of crime and terrorism in our society, those in this line of business will always be busy and if you are able to build a successful brand; a brand that can be easily trusted, then you are sure going to maximize profits in this industry. No organization or client would be able to trust you with the installations and perhaps surveillance monitoring of their environment and facilities 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 security camera installation companies cut across all government agencies, households and corporate organizations hence the demographic composition for a security camera installation company is all encompassing.
The truth is that when it comes to the security camera installation business, there is indeed a wide range of available customers, so 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.
Therefore, if you are thinking of starting your own security camera 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 and every private facility in and around the location where your security camera 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 camera installation line of business because security camera installation business is a subset of the security services industry. Every security camera installation company primarily engages in the installation of security cameras and other surveillance and monitoring system for residential, government facilities, commercial, institutional and industrial markets.
So, if you are looking towards starting your own security camera installation company, then you should clearly define your market so that you will be able to know how to get to them. In addition to their core operations, some security camera installation companies may decide to add any of the under listed to their business offering if they have security clearance;
- Security camera 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
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in this line of business goes beyond competitions amongst security camera installation companies in your location; you are expected to compete with other businesses in the security system services industry who are also into installation of security cameras. So, it will be right to say the competition in the security camera installation line of business is tough.
In 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 your workforce can carry out efficient and thorough security camera installation, you can deliver excellent after sale and customer care services and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Regardless of the industry you choose to start a business from, 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 camera installation companies/security services companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- ADT Security Services LLC
- Security Systems of America
- Mid America Security Systems
- Protect America Home Security
- 1st Security USA LLC
- USA Total Security LLC
- Bosch Security Systems
- Digital Security Controls
- Techpro Security Products, LLC
- Clear Protection
- Electronic Security Corporation of America
- HD Cameras USA – Security Surveillance Camera Installation
- Safe Streets USA
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 camera installation business is not a Green business as you will come across several security camera installation companies and other players in the security system services industry that also carry out security camera 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 camera installation company, the required working tools and equipment and also the cost to successfully run the business.
If you are considering starting a security camera installation company, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting an office space, securing your license, and purchasing the needed working 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 camera installation company, you have the option to either start from the scratch or purchase the franchise of an existing security camera 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 acquired the required technical skills.
Besides, starting the business from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other related businesses in the security services industry which usually requires detailed groundwork. With a security camera installation company, you should just try as much as possible to acquire the technical skills, acquire 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.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own security camera installation company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established security camera installation companies and other players in the security services industry that also carry out security camera 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 camera installation companies usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new customers. unfavorable government policies can also hamper the growth of your security camera 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)
- Best legal entity to use for this type of business
If you are considering starting a security camera installation company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can develop.
You have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company, or even a sole proprietorship for a security camera installation business. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small scale security camera installation company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital in a small neighborhood and carrying out selected security camera installation services for households within your locality.
But 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 proprietorship is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
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. 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 camera 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 camera installation company with the ability to sell franchise and having offices and corporate clients all across the United States of America, you will agree that limited liability company is most suitable. You can start this type of business as 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 camera installation company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- City Watch® Security Camera Installation Company
- Eagles’ Eyes® Security Camera Installation, LLC
- Agent Hillary© Security Camera Installation, Inc.
- Karl Lindsay® Security Camera Installation, Inc.
- J P Lawson and Sons™ Security Camera Installation Company, Inc.
- Alex Branson & Co ™ Security Camera Installation Company, Inc.
- Closer Watch© Security Camera Installation Company, Inc.
- Paulson Raul® Security Camera Installation Company, LLC
- Perfect View© Security Camera Installation Company, Inc.
- Abel Boston & Sons© Security Camera 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 camera installation company.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own security camera installation company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health/Medical insurance (for your workers and yourself)
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own security camera installation company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is 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 are also into the production of security cameras or 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. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Aside from the results you produce as it relates to security camera installations, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some security camera installation companies stand out. If you want to make an impact in the security system services industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.
Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career, and up-to-date in the competitive market. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own security camera installation company;
- Security Installer Certification
- Certification for Security Service Providers
- Security Camera Training Certification
Please note that you cannot successfully run a security camera 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 system 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, it won’t be too 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 camera installation company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Security Camera Installer License
- Security Clearance
- 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 camera 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 work tools and equipment and raising working capital et al are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital. If you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large scale security camera 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 startup capital for your security camera installation company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
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.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing an office facility for your security camera installation company in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business.
These are some of the key factors you should consider before choosing a location for your security camera installation company;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for security camera installation services in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents and businesses in the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of security camera installation companies and other players in the security alarm services industry that also carry out security camera installation in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community
- Traffic, parking and security et al
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there are no special technology or equipment needed to run a security camera installation company except for the security gadgets to be installed (security camera and other related gadgets), 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 camera 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 camera Installers, maintenance and repair technicians), Sales and Marketing Officer, Accountant, and Customer Service Executive. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a medium scale but standard security camera installation company.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
The way security camera installation companies work vary from one company to another, but ideally, a security camera installation company is expected to first and foremost build a robust company profile before biding for security camera installation contracts from corporate organizations and even government agencies; it will give them an edge over their competitors.
The process starts with biding or submitting proposal for a security camera installation and perhaps monitoring and maintenance contract. Once the contract is won, then it is expected for all the contract documents to be signed and advance payment made as required.
Once the payment has been sorted out, the next step is for the security camera installation company to deploy workers and equipment, materials and security cameras (CCTV) as required to execute the job. If the contract covers monitoring of the security cameras, then it means it is a long – term contract which will require additional manpower to execute.
It is the practice for security camera installation companies to first access the hazard and risk involved and the nature of job they are to do before billing the organization that requested for their services.
It is important to state that a security camera installation company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated security camera installation business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- Marketing ideas and Strategies
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 camera 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 camera services industry.
People and organizations will hire your services if they know that you are going to deliver an excellent job, they are going to get value for their money and their lives and properties will become safer.
As a matter of fact, your marketing strategy will center on attention to details, reliability, swiftness, safety, pricing, thoroughness, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers hire your services, they will get excellent service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
Businesses this days are aware of the power of the internet and 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 camera installation company;
- Introduce your security camera installation company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to government agencies, households, estate managers, corporate organizations, small scale businesses, medium scale businesses and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your security camera installation company is located
- Advertise on the internet and on 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 roadshows in targeted business communities from time to time to promote your security camera installation business
- Join local security camera installation business owner associations for industry trends and tips
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry with the aim of marketing your services
- Advertise our 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. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be.
If your intention of starting a security camera 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, boosting and promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your security camera 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 camera 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 of your security camera installation company
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact households, corporate organizations, small scale businesses, medium scale businesses and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your security camera installation company is located informing them about your security camera installation company and the services you offer
- List your security camera installation company in local directories
- Advertise your security camera installation company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position your Flexi Banners in strategic positions in the location where your security camera installation company is located
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and vans are well branded with your company logo
In order to successfully run a security camera installation business, you must establish good business relationship with wholesalers of security gadgets and other materials within the city where your security camera installation company is located. You would need a steady supply of security cameras and other materials from wholesalers in order to remain in business.
You are also expected to create business networks with players in the real estate industry, landlord associations, managers of residential estates and public facilities and also government contractors. They are in a better position to give you security cameras installation contract. Depending on your agreement with them, you might be compelled to pay certain fee or commission.
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