Very good forum everyday with valuable information.
    I am a small alarm company growing slowly, but at a good pace. What are the items that need to be in order to have successful alarm accounts and be ready to sell at a later date. Your help is greatly appreciated. Would it be better to call you and discuss even if there would be a consultation fee; it would be worth the call.
New Jersey Alarm Co
    I'd like to plan a webinar entitled How can a small alarm co get big.  I'd like a few panelists who have done it.  Might not be that easy getting your successful competitors to share their insight, experience and knowledge.  But since I'm a supporter not competitor, I'll give it a shot.

  • diversify your subscriber base if possible, residential and commercial subscribers
  • offer a wide range of product to attract the broadest clientele
  • be sure your techs are up to date, not easy in today's emerging electronic market
  • keep your debt under control, spend less than you make
  • retain your RMR, or as much of it as you can
  • new sales are essential.  If you can't train sales help then find them
  • Door knockers?  certainly has worked for some
  • nationwide DIY?  all you need is computer internet presence, phone, cs relationship [see The Alarm Exchange] and equipment vendor
  • ePers.  nationwide.  same thoughts as DIY
  • E&O insurance [see The Alarm Exchange]
  • marketing advice [see The Alarm Exchange]
  • Proper alarm contracts.  This is going to be the single most important factor in evaluating your RMR, which is going to determine the value of your business and your ability to attract a buyer willing to pay top dollar

    You ought to do some price testing for your contract updates.  Maybe a set price for the updates. 
    I print my contracts for almost free.  You can get NCR paper on Amazon and print them in-house.  Using Filemaker, I can enter info from a referral, print their contract, and spend just a minute getting signatures on the paperwork in their home.
    One thing I did when customizing ours was add a signature line on for pages 3 and 4.  I was worried someone might say they never got those.  Has that issue come up before?
    I heard a lot of alarm companies are 1 or 2 man operations like myself.  I have about 100 in-house accounts.  Other guys around town that have companies are in a similar situation.  We're trying to get away from the "dealer program" to build accounts for ourselves.  We're very budget conscious as we compete with free this, that, and the other.  So, I would pay at most $200 a year for updates.  The utility is really low for me.  My insurance agent told me he has never paid on a claim after 70 issues because of the contracts.  He said you were great!  I guess you have to know who your market is and how much money they have, too.
    I perceive you as knowledgeable and the Dear Attorney advice columnist for the industry.  Because of your emails I have referred you to my other alarm company friends and even the sales rep and business manager of my central station.  They, Criticom, said they already read your emails.  Your emails are a huge marketing resource for you.  We're getting the need for contracts pounded in our heads every day.  I don't see how anyone could read your emails and not get your contract if they have none.  And, I do know a couple companies that DON'T have a contract and they DON'T get your email or care to read it - UNBELIEVABLE. 
    Thanks for the plug and marketing advice.  Managing updates is not an easy task.  Fortunately, even though we do update the contracts frequently it's not usually necessary or essential for our clients to print new contract for each update.  Sure you want to have the most up to date, but interestingly enough the alarm contracts I first created in 1977 are still enforceable and work just fine.  Just like that intrusion alarm with unbroken foil on the windows, though more than likely the dialer was changed.  Some people take pride in driving the same car for one million miles over 20 - 30 years.  Others want the latest gadgets and style.  It would be wrong to equate that with the alarm contracts because insulating you from liability claims and structuring your business to maximize your RMR and the multiple you are going to command on a sale, is not really the same as driving around with a smile on your face in an old shinny car with no radio, no satellite, no seat belts, no air conditioning, no power seats, no power steering, etc.  Do security business without a proper, up to date contact and sooner or later you're going to lose that smile.