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 Post subject: Advise appreciated! branching out
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:18 am 
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Whats up guys? I have been in the CCTV industry for the last 4 years I started out in a monitoring center setting up Cameras remotely and dealing with alarms until about a year ago I moved to a CCTV vendor company and shortly after I starting doing installation work.

I am trying to make some moves forward with starting my own business. I would stay longer with my boss but he is so disorganized he is chasing all his business away and work is slow because of it. My friend is a locksmith and we are making strides towards starting up together cctv/locksmith company. I am not licensed so I cant do work in Mass legally. Just new hampshire. Personally I think its a crock of ****. But hey.

How did you get your buisness started?
Did you ever have issues with someone paying you for your services? If so what kind of things can you do to avoid that?
What is your hourly rate for installs compared to service
what companies do you sub for?
what kind of different venues can I find work here?

Any advice that you guys have would be greatly appreciated. As you know best trial and error!!!


THANKS!


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 Post subject: Re: Advise appreciated! branching out
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Jan 2012
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Location: Australia

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I've been in the electronic security industry for 16 yrs and had my own business for 14 years. In my previous life I worked for a very large telecommunications company and had a high level of technical expertise but not in the security industry. So while I could do equalisations for optimal video transmission over cable or microwave, I had never even mounted a camera on a wall. When I comenced in the security industry I recognised that I would need to get industry experience quickly and opted to begin by working for an established security business. Fortunately my technical qualifications seemed to be of more importance than my lack of experience. So I spent two years gaining knowledge & making contacts. During this time it became apparent that the industry survived on low technical aptitude, poor workmanship and a total disregard for customers.
When I commenced my business it was on the basis of minimum cash outlay (I didn't want to be hostage to a business debt if the business was unviable) and the belief that if I treated my customers right they would stand by me.
14 years on and I have absorbed 3 other companies that I sub contracted for, I carry no debt, have never advertised other than the first year (a waste of money) and operate soley by word of mouth. The only non payment problems I have had have been other businesses or the more wealthy individuals. Never a problem with the average Joe. Having said that I don't ask for any payment up front & I dont invoice them until they are 100% happy with the job. I know that if I wanted I could grow my business to be quite a large operation but I detest paperwork and stress and enjoy living my life with family & friends - I am happy where I'm at.
I think if you treat people with respect and show you trust them then the same is returned.

An example of how kama works. In my first year I was subbying for a large international security company and was installing a security system in a liquor outlet. These jobs were costed by a sales rep who were only concerned with winning the job for the sake of their sales figures. During the installation process I noticed that there was a whole area at the back of the shop that was unprotected. It turned out that the salesman had decided that protection back there was not required as there were no doors/windows and access could only be had via the front of the shop. I mentioned to the store manager that a common entry method is through the roof and the whole security system was compromised because of the lack a one PIR detector. When he asked how much extra another detector would be I said that he would need to contact the sales office but I couldn't see it being more than $100 or so ($50 for PIR + bit of cable) if it was done while I was on site. He made the call and then told me he was quoted $790. He declined the offer. Two days later he rang me direct (he saw my business name & number on some of my equipment) and I gave him a price of $300 to put that extra PIR in. Some people may say I did the wrong thing but I maintain that I cared out the outcome whereas the other mob tried to hold him to ransom & only cared about the money. The company I subbied for found out what had happened soon after and terminated my services. BUT guess what ? I picked up the whole chain of 47 liquour stores and now look after all their security, cctv , BGM and comms. ALL BECAUSE I CARED ABOUT THE OUTCOMES.

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 Post subject: Re: Advise appreciated! branching out
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:22 pm 
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Thats great advise! Can I ask you how you went about finding new business during your start up? Is there any nationwide companies that you could recommend?


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 Post subject: Re: Advise appreciated! branching out
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:23 pm 
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Great advice toss...


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 Post subject: Re: Advise appreciated! branching out
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:28 am 
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Joined: Jan 2012
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Location: Australia

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I must confess business was slow to start but that was why I wanted no debt to have to repay. Like I said , I did advertise the first year. Everything from letterbox drops (time consuming) , yellow pages (ripoff) local paper trade ads. trade directories etc. All the people that sell this advertising are really only concerned with their own jobs.
I always ask customers how they learnt about me when they ring and 80% say its word of mouth 20% just picked me from the phone book. I now get people who are willing to wait until I am available to get their work done.

good luck with your endeavours Johnathon

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 Post subject: Re: Advise appreciated! branching out
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:25 am 
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Thank you sir!


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 Post subject: Re: Advise appreciated! branching out
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1668
Location: ST Joe , MI

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I was in the low voltage business for 14 years and we did phones cabling access and cameras. My advice is don't sell crap. You will lose some business to the low ball guys but you have to stand behind your product and service. Find good vendors and they will in the long run give you the best prices you are going to get when you factor in service, warranty and product in stock. Customer is not going to remember that you saved them 10.00 when they have to wait 6 months for a warranty repair. If bidding, know your costs and don.t try to work below them.


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