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dave1983

CCTV Business: Marketing Ideas Discussion

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Hello,

 

I'm starting a new CCTV business, I have 15 years of IT experience and have installed and configured several CCTV systems in the past for businesses and residential customers. I plan on using high quality systems like Hikvision and cater small to mid-sized businesses primarily. I started by advertising on a local magazine without much success, I'm about to start advertising locally on Google and I might also send out direct mail pieces to businesses.

 

Can someone share some ideas that might help?

 

What type of businesses should I reach out the most? Restaurant, offices, liquor stores, gas stations, etc?

 

Besides word-of-mouth, what do you think would work best for a new business?

 

Is there a better area in this forum for CCTV business owners to discuss these topics?

 

Thanks

 

Dave

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Hello,

 

I'm starting a new CCTV business, I have 15 years of IT experience and have installed and configured several CCTV systems in the past for businesses and residential customers. I plan on using high quality systems like Hikvision and cater small to mid-sized businesses primarily. I started by advertising on a local magazine without much success, I'm about to start advertising locally on Google and I might also send out direct mail pieces to businesses.

 

Can someone share some ideas that might help?

 

What type of businesses should I reach out the most? Restaurant, offices, liquor stores, gas stations, etc?

 

Besides word-of-mouth, what do you think would work best for a new business?

 

Is there a better area in this forum for CCTV business owners to discuss these topics?

 

Thanks

 

Dave

 

I also run my own business (not my primary source of income - I still have a "9-5"). I've found that the best marketing is word of mouth and actual footwork. I've gone into establishments in my area and just asked for a manager and asked them if they were interested in upgrading their systems. It helps that I'm in a very populated part of the country and there are tons of small businesses. I have been wanting to get into more commercial work and have been getting invitations to bid projects, however I simply can't bid them since I'm a one-man show.

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I also run my own business (not my primary source of income - I still have a "9-5"

 

Hi Eric, thanks for your response. I also plan on keeping my 9-5 job as an IT director until this business works well. I love IT, but I'm tired of sitting on a desk most of the day :/

 

I have gotten my state's low voltage license and I'm looking into CCTV certifications and attending trade shows, have you taken any certification exams yet?

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I honestly think direct mail is a thing of the past. The problem is getting it into the hands of the right person; I would say there's about a 90% chance of it just getting tossed by whoever opens the mail. We used to do this years ago until we started being contacted by the same companies we were sending them to asking us why we hadn't contacted them.

 

Advertising through Google is great...but only if you know what you're doing. If you don't know what you're doing with Pay Per Click (PPC) you're going to lose a boat load of money in a big hurry. You need to know your market before you even get into that so you know what days, times, and locations to be running those ads in.

 

Advertising in local publications works well for us but I think it's very area dependent. Newspapers, for instance, aren't always limited to running ads in the normal paper. A lot of them will have special sections that go out on occasion. For instance, our local paper delivers a specific elitist magazine with the paper once a year to the wealthiest 10% of the area. We've been contacted by a good deal of business owners and decision makers as a result.

 

There are a good deal of niche areas you can directly tap into and contact depending on your area as well. For example, anyone breeding animals, sleep study offices/centers, etc... A little imagination with alternative uses for security cameras can open up a whole list of new customers.

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Hi Don, great points! I also fear that direct mail is a thing of the past, but I still might try a small, targeted campaign to know for sure. Regarding PPC, I agree with you. I happen to have extensive PPC experience as that is something that I do for other businesses, and will start it for myself very soon.

 

I'll give local publications another shot by moving it to a more affluent area. Would you say that small businesses are you core business? Thanks!

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I also run my own business (not my primary source of income - I still have a "9-5"

 

Hi Eric, thanks for your response. I also plan on keeping my 9-5 job as an IT director until this business works well. I love IT, but I'm tired of sitting on a desk most of the day :/

 

I have gotten my state's low voltage license and I'm looking into CCTV certifications and attending trade shows, have you taken any certification exams yet?

 

I did the NICET exams and have taken the alarm installation course for my state. Honestly, the NICET stuff is mostly outdated and most customers won't know the difference. Look into establishing relationships with smaller general contractors in your area.

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I just started a small but highly targeted PPC campaign. So far it seems that terms including "cctv" as part of the keyword are searched far more often than terms like "surveillance camera" or "security camera". It's obviously too soon to tell

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It's all about relationships and networking. I spend ZERO dollars in advertising and we have doubled revenue year over year for the last 6 years without signs of slowing down.

Edited by Guest

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It's all about relationships and networking. I spend ZERO dollars in advertising and we have doubled revenue year over year for the last 6 years with on signs of slowing down.

 

That makes total sense and it's my ultimate goal, but for me as a new business, I have to start somewhere and advertising should help to get there. If you don't mind me asking, how would you start building relationships and networking for a new business? Trade-shows, distributors?

 

I've been following your tweets and your company is transparent and honest. Definitely a business model to look up to.

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Well I got our first police department by getting a ticket At my old house we live on a snow emergency route. I moved my car out to the street so I could clear my driveway and I went inside to go to the bathroom and when I came out I had a ticket on my car. At that point it hit me this was an excuse to speak with the police chief!!! So I went to the township building and spoke to the police chief and explained what happened. He waved the ticket and then I asked them if they needed cameras for the police station and township building. He said yes and then we did a presentation for the township. We won the bid and the rest was history. I was then able to use that relationship to open other doors with police departments.

 

One Sunday I got a phone call from a person looking to have a subwoofer cable ran in their house. I had nothing better to do at the time and my wife was going grocery shopping so I said I would be right over. After I completed the job the customer told me he was the GM for ski resort. At that point I told him about how we specialized in IP cameras. About a year later I get a phone call from the GM and he would like me to come look at the system at the ski resort. We now have over 230 cameras at this customer and because of this relationship we now do two other ski resorts.

 

I was able to leverage these projects to many of our other current projects. It takes ALOT of hardware and a little bit of luck and it can happen.

Edited by Guest

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I was able to leverage these projects to many of our other current projects. It takes ALOT of hardware and a little bit of luck and it can happen.

 

Those are some great (and somewhat bizarre) anecdotes. Thanks for taking the time to respond, I now look forward to getting tickets lol.

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Hello,

 

I have one idea for marketing your business. Digital marketing can make a business. If you are not on social media (including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Periscope [yes, all of them!]), then you won't be able to reach your maximum audience.

 

Videos are also a huge part of digital marketing. Try creating a YouTube channel and creating videos for your business. Check out these business video ideas to get you started: https://valoso.com/blog/business-videos-startup/

 

I hope this helps!

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DIGITAL MARKETING

 

New to this so have patience with me as i'm going to ask another question here , sorry as unsure on where to start a new topic

 

I'm interested in setting up a cctv business , actually taking over a large volume of existing cameras in various businesses .

Service , Maintenance , cleaning etc with roll out of additional new and upgrades .

What level of manpower would i need for a 400 cam total in lets say , 12 different locations all within a 1hr drive ?

Could i manage this and be profitable with 1 other employee , or would i need more or is this too small for 3 employees ? No 24/7 monitoring for now but maybe in the future .

I myself would be learning as only basic knowledge and experience but in the process of doing extra exams to learn as much as i can .

 

Any info however small would be great , thanks

John

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