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Comments on Your intrusion alarm business should be booming / when to retire   
April 18, 2024
Comments on Your intrusion alarm business should be booming from article on March 28, 2024
          People have no money; Food is too expensive.  I know personally when your grocery bill goes from $200/ week to $400, there is little extra to buy stuff. And our utilities are almost double. 
          Elections have consequences!
Thank you,
John S. Romero, President  
Keystone Security Systems  
Rochester, NY 14611 
          There is no question that cost of living continues to rise at disturbing rates.  I find more disturbing the reasons, and while you are certainly correct that elections have consequences, I think we find ourselves, particularly in this country, spending more than we make or have, all in the name of equity or such.  If we intend to even the field for the entire 8 billion people on this planet then obviously anyone with anything will have much less; nothing, in fact. 
          Here, where most people do have something, they spend their money [with or without government assistance] on things they need and think they need, and then on what they want.  I think security will always be in the mix somewhere on the continuum of necessities. 
          Prices for everything keep moving up.  It’s crazy if you – and many in the alarm industry do believe – that prices for security cannot be raised; that customers won’t accept it.  Dealers think that of their customers; central stations think that of their dealers.  And yes, lawyers think that of their alarm clients; at least that’s how I think – haven’t raised my hourly rate in at least 15 years while watching my contemporaries double and sometimes quadruple [that’s right] or more my rate. 
          Yet, somehow we are making a living; a good one.  Whether you make money and live well involves a lot more than what you charge for your services.  Though in the law business a common saying – at least one I heard long time ago – if you service poor clients it’s hard to make a good living.  Better to serve the rich.  That’s one of the things I love about serving the alarm industry, serving the rich.  Be sure you’re part of that group [and you get there by using Kirschenbaum Contracts™ and joining the Concierge Program.  Give both a try.  Next comment ties into this one.
Comment on when you should retire
          You and others keep fueling the retirement tune, but what none of you are says is that the valuations for retail security companies have not changed.
          Maybe because you and the other M&A Brokers are just short on earnings, which I believe that the whole M&A Industry and attorney's over charge for, because the unknowing hear your song and sold out.
The marketplace is 30 to 36 times and EBIDTA is still in the range of 4 to 10 times both formulas are depending on many factors.
          My statement is much like Joe Pfefer's; sell when you don't like what you’re doing and find something you enjoy doing.
Bart Didden
          No one is “fueling” retirement.  I told you to retire because you’re old and crotchety.  The original article also, if I recall correctly, didn’t unequivocally suggest retirement, and didn’t suggest retirement based on your business.  I thought I made clear that I thought it a mistake to retire unless you had plans to do other things; probably more than just a bucket list; some passion that will keep you occupied and your brain [yes even yours] active and alert.  I don’t care if you want to play gin all day [as long as you’re not drinking it] if that’s what you want to do.  Point is, you can’t go from an active work life to basically a non-active life and expect to have a healthy [old] retirement. 
          If your security business is failing then maybe it’s because you haven’t keep with the times and evolved along with your territory or business.  The security [fire, etc] is a vibrant business with endless opportunity.  The hedge funds and third party money isn’t racing into this business for fun; they believe there is opportunity in the alarm business, and they love [though insist on looking at EBITDA] the RMR model.
          Build your alarm business from day one as if planning to sell and retire rich; Then one day you will.

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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