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Comments on when you should retire
April 16, 2024
Comments on when you should retire from article on April 3, 2024

          This is to Joe Pfefer,
          Loved your comment. I'm 77 and have been in this business over 50 years and own the oldest, closely held alarm company in Richmond, Virginia, at 39 years and counting. I love working but the trick to being able to continue, as the "old man", as my GM calls me, is to either have the next generation behind you or really good employees that will take it over when you are gone.
          No more 80-90 hour weeks for me as when I was building this company.
          Ken always pushes the 3-5 years contracts. Our customers are long term on one year contracts. As you stated, the problem is when one of the big boys buys out a company, built on customer service and the buyer has none, they need the longevity contract to keep the customers from canceling. That is why if you give the buyer, recourse, you need to protect yourself for customers leaving due to their deficiencies. We old men of the industry need to stick together. I say that my kids keep me around because I know the old equipment. Be well.
Stan Corn
Alarms, Inc
Another comment
          The interesting part of this exchange is that every living alarm dealer will be faced with the sell/not sell decision sometime. No matter what, please practice running your business as if you were going to sell tomorrow or keep forever. Get your house in order and keep it in order.  Maximum profits while owning. Maximum payday when selling.  
james t Wooster sr
          Keep in mind that while longevity of contract term may have the effect of retaining your customer for at least the duration of the contract, having a proper contract has far more important reasons: guarding your equity as well as building that equity.  By that I mean that your contract provides contractual protection against claims that can help shield you from claims and lawsuits, both with and without merit.  The proper contract will also, primarily for the first reason, protection, have more value [command a higher multiple] when you sell the accounts [or when your heirs sell the accounts]. 
          There is in fact only one reason not to use proper up to date contracts: stupidity.
          Having turned into one of the old men still hanging around I suppose I should lend support for the notion that you should keep working, agreeing with Stan, and keep your business in order, agreeing with Jim, both well-known successful in their own right alarm industry icons.  You can’t get better advice, anywhere.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301