A Case for HoustonSecurity.com
Houston, Texas is the fourth most populous city in the nation, with an estimated 2017 population of 2,312,717 (trailing only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago), and is the largest in the southern U.S. and Texas.
Houston is expected to become the third most populous U.S. city during the second half of the decade of the 2020’s.
A unique opportunity exists to enter Houston’s Industrial/Commercial “Security” market. Houston has numerous national, regional and local “security and fire alarm” companies available in Houston area. National names like ADT, TYCO and Brinks, regional names like Smith/Thompson, Knight Security and numerous “Houston” based companies… all vie for their piece of the “Security market” as the area grows in population and commercial/industrial expansion.
Steven Carr has been in the “Houston Security” market since 1989. He has worked for local and national companies and has participated in Industrial System Sales, Installation Management, Sales Management and Marketing Management for a total of four (4) security companies including ADT. He has also participated in both the Houston Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (HBFAA) and Houston Gulf Coast Alarm Association (HGCAA), having served on the boards of both.
The design, Installation and service of Computerized Access Control , Closed Circuit TV systems, industrial gates and turnstiles, gate controllers, intercom systems, security automation and fire alarm systems is part of the “commercial/industrial” services needed.
Business Description & Products
The market we would be focused on is commercial and “high end” residential security. The two (2) markets go together as many “high end” clients manage or own commercial businesses. Additionally, you can offer a special deal for all their employees to better brand your name and services from the top down.
With voice driven interfaces combined with “the Internet of things” devices, technology is making “security” easier to operate and more secure. The product offering would be Security Systems, Camera Systems, Access Control, Home and Commercial Automation, Intercoms and Fire Alarm Systems.
Most of the revenue generated in the past by traditional security companies has been in the remote monitoring of the alarm system for either commercial/industrial and residential. The Internet has changed this focus by lowering the monthly cost and increasing the effective level of services offered. No longer can you resell the monitoring that cost you $3.00 per month for $25.00. You can successfully sell a $3.00 per month service for $9.95 to $14.95 monthly or annuals around $100.00.
Today’s cashflow must be generated by successfully installed quality equipment with gross margins exceeding 40%, profitable service department revenue and revenues from monitoring.
Most of your large national alarm companies have been thru so many changes in the Houston market that there are very few employees with tenure. Management for the most part does not get out and meet new clients on a regular basis so there is no relationship adhesiveness between the company and the client, except for the sales person. Smaller companies might do a better job as some of the sales people are actual owners and installers of their products. This is not a healthy long-term relationship for business owners because they are looking at the health of service and growth being on one or two individuals instead of a larger company. The most successful are those mid-sized companies with a broad customer base and well-staffed with trained, experienced installers/managers.
National DIY market – There have been several large DIY Security component manufacturers getting in the market in the last couple of years. The Simply Safes, Adobe, Life Shield, Ring. The DYI market is not competing in the markets we want to penetrate.
One approach to capture successful market share will be one of M & A with a single or multiple substantially sized existing company(s) with a strong reputation for quality, service and sales. The other path to success could be the development of a company from the ground up, building daily upon successful business practices.
Management is key to success in this industry. Too often mid-level managers are those who have been technicians or in sales and had the “needed” tenure to fill available positions. Aside from the personnel required to provide accounting/billing, customer support, service and internal sales, management personnel need to be well trained and have customer service skills so focused it is contagious to their staff.
Upper management needs to be engaged with their staff and with clients on a daily basis. A manager who sits in an office trying to manage over the phone is not properly engaged. Sales, Operation and installation managers must be where the services are being provided. Arm Chair managers who are not the first to work and the last to leave, need to leave.
Having personally hired well over 200 security installers, support and sales personnel since 1994, I have a pulse on the required training and needs in order to grow a successful “customer service focused” team who are positive, engaged and look forward to going to work. Unfortunately, many good employees, who are managed by poorly trained mid managers, get to a point where they leave due to lack of management engagement, non-existent reviews, and total lack of training outside of the control of the hiring team.
Customer Care Management
In today’s work place, operations automation is key to success. Online customer interactivity can streamline the function of sales, installation, service and billing by providing the “tools” to assist in the Sales to completion processes. The operating systems today allow for complete back office management of assets, employees and customers with excellent real-time reporting, customer engagement, sales and sales forecasting. Providing the necessary management tools in the field that communicate real time with the office results in streamlining the entire “Customer Centric” focus. Sales people can track and monitor their sales leads, sales and installations. Management can track the progress of installation via real-time reporting. Accounting can see real-time cash flow and provide projections and reporting quickly for management. Marketing can measure effectiveness of online and offline (traditional) marketing offers and promotions.
Traditional Marketing Plan
Online Marketing Plan
Over the last 18 years, Carr has been accumulating “Houston Centric” domain names to compliment his flagship domain, HoustonSecurity.com.
A believer in “total online market domain control”, a concept proven effective by Carr with his ownership of HoustonJobs.com and 15+ related domains from the late 90’s to 2016, a powerful collection of domain names are now ready to be capitalized into the creation of an easily branded major security player in the Houston, Texas market.
These domains include:
Research conducted by Verisign in late 2015 concluded…”Internet search users are almost twice as likely to click on a domain name where the second level includes at least one of the keywords in their search query, compared to a domain name that does not include any of the keywords in their search query.”
By combining the word of the local area with the word “Security” and using the right content/Best SEO practices, this combination of domains would provide a tremendous online “edge” to put forth a strong online presence for the above domain(s).