I Want Out

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I've been an alarm dealer for nearly 20 years and I want out.  I don't have  
a bunch of accounts 140-160 give or take.  I don't have asshole contracts.  
Just simple annual auto renewing contracts with 60 days written notice to  
cancel.  Last time I looked into it none of the big contract buyers wanted  
to talk to me (I had 180 or so contracts then), so I am not sure where to go  
with this.  I'm just tired of being a contractor.  I want to do something  
else. Heck even just being an unlicensed handyman would be a pleasant  
change.  Anybody know who I would talk to about getting a decent buy out on  
my accounts?

Somewhere out west.  (Not Kalifornika)



  


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Re: I Want Out
John Smith wrote:
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Maybe your monitoring station will buy them from you.

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Jim Rojas
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Re: I Want Out
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I did once before and they were not interested, but maybe now that they have  
other dealers in the area...

  


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Re: I Want Out
On Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:22:09 PM UTC-5, John Smith wrote:
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ve  
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.  
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d  
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Not that I can help you much but all I can suggest is that you keep trying.
 You might even try calling some of the local alarm installation companies  
or other central stations in your area. Sometimes they're open to taking ov
er a small quantity of accounts. Of course, since you don't have contracts,
 it's going to be tougher to find a buyer but sometimes there are alarm com
panies that are looking to grow and will take a chance on buying non contra
cted accounts. Don't expect that they're going to pay a whole hell of a lot
 for them though. I would expect that if you could show that your accounts  
were with you for a long period that it would add some credibility when you
 were talking with them. Keep in mind that if you sell your accounts to any
one but your own central station or to a company that also uses your centra
l station, you will have to go to all of your accounts and reprogram them t
o dial the new owners central station and they will also want to hold some  
money in escrow for a year or so to cover any accounts that cancel in the y
ear following the sale.  You might ask your central station if they know of
 any of their other installation company customers that might be interested
 in buying your accounts.  

Just an aside, there used to be a participant in this group that swore that
 term contracts weren't necessary and he was selling systems with one month
 cancellation notices. He just couldn't come to terms with his thoughts tha
t term contract were taking advantage of the customers versus benefitting f
rom his years of efforts.  I sure wish he was still here to read this. I ca
n't imagine what would make anyone not want to protect their investment. 18
0 accounts @ $20.00 a month could have brought you somewhere around $40 to  
45,000.00. Maybe even more during this time of low interest loan rates. I w
onder if you can even expect half of that.

Re: I Want Out
replying to John Smith , Mark wrote:
I'd be very interested in your accounts or anyone that has accts to sell.  My
e-mail is mark@activatedalarm.com  
15 years in the alarm industry

Re: I Want Out
On Friday, November 22, 2013 8:37:50 PM UTC-5, Mark wrote:
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  My
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No, long term contracts are not necessary; however, they will help a buyer  
who doesn't know you. If for example, you are using the monitoring faciliti
es of a large alarm company, and they know your attrition rates, then the r
isk is much lower. I have a standing offer for my 1200 accounts, NONE of wh
ich have more than a month to month contract, of 28 times monthly. I don't  
intend to sell, so it's pretty academic anyway

Re: I Want Out
On Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:46:39 PM UTC-5, tourman wrote:
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l.  My
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r who doesn't know you. If for example, you are using the monitoring facili
ties of a large alarm company, and they know your attrition rates, then the
 risk is much lower. I have a standing offer for my 1200 accounts, NONE of  
which have more than a month to month contract, of 28 times monthly. I don'
t intend to sell, so it's pretty academic anyway

Hello Robert,

Haven't heard from you ..... didn't think you were stopping in anymore.

I see you're still beating the ol no contracts drum .... Oh well you old fo
lks never seem to want to try it a different way.  

By the way, I don't know if there's a market difference between here and th
ere but I've got a $40.00 on the dollar offer on the table right now. I hav
e no idea what it would be without contracts but it was the first question  
asked after "how many accounts do you have?" I haven't decided yet if I wan
t out but I know as the interest rates go up the offer will be reduced. We'
ll see what happens.  (what that really means is .... I have to check with  
my wife :-)

Re: I Want Out
John Smith wrote:
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I just saw this today or I would have replied sooner.  I am not in the alarm  
business.

Years ago, I used to work for a business broker listing and selling small  
businesses.  One small business that I listed was a small ambulance  
transportation company.  The first thing that I did was write a letter to  
all of the other ambulance transportation companies in the area (there were  
only about 4 or 5 of them) and, without giving the name of the company, I  
wrote that I had just listed an ambulance transportation company for sale,  
and if they wanted to sell their business, or if they wanted to expand their  
business and buy this one, to contact me.  The listing sold in about 2  
weeks.

A year ago, and completely unrelated to the above, the oil company that I  
buy my heating oil from for my home announced that they were "merging" with  
another local heating oil company.  What really happened was that the other  
company bought the oil company that I was using, but they did it in the form  
of a "merger" and kept my heating oil company's name for a while.

Your circumstances are different, of course, and you are not a business  
broker.  But, the point of all of this is that I think your best potential  
buyers for your company would be your local competitors in the business.  
You may want to just contact them directly and pitch is as you are thinking  
of expanding your business by merging with another local company where the  
two companies could benefit by sharing administrative and overhead costs,  
etc.  But, the reality would be that any merger that you do would end up  
being a takeover of your company.  They wouldn't have to know that at first,  
and they could initially think of it as a merger or partnership deal.  My  
guess is that my oil supplier company sold their business to the oil  
supplier which probably paid them for any assets such as vehicles, maybe  
real estate, etc. and then paid them a percentage of the revenue on all of  
their existing accounts for "X" number of years.

I just thought that I would pass those ideas along in case they are helpful.

Or, you could advertise in Craigslist under "Businesses" that you have an  
alarm company franchise for sale with good pricing, financing, and terms and  
with an initial existing account base to help them get started.  Then sell  
that sucker to the new buyer as a franchise and make money on the sale and  
maybe a small percentage franchise royalty fee on all new accounts that the  
franchise brings in.  



Re: I Want Out
On Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:22:09 PM UTC-5, John Smith wrote:
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Re: I Want Out
Well, I have had one extreme lowballer, and a couple that talked the talk,  
but when it came down to talking about numbers just stopped responding.



  


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Re: I Want Out
On Thursday, January 23, 2014 8:01:19 PM UTC-5, John Smith wrote:
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,  
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Hi John, I don't know where or how you obtain your leads from. I no longer  
have to hunt for leads but back in the day, I would designate a day to go d
oor to door in shopping centers just asking if people wanted an alarm syste
m. I would note where new shopping centers were being built, keep a log of  
my visits and noting possible installs and when to re-vist to take another  
shot at getting the job. Don't quote anything elaborate, front door, back d
oor, glass break and that's it. Keep the price as low as you can. Be prepar
ed for a high attrition rate as small business fail. So make sure you don't
 get into any long term payment agreements. What worked for me (depending u
pon the size of the job)  was to ask for two to four hundred up front and $
40.00 a month until the total was paid off then it would drop to $20.00 per
 month. Really, equipment is paid for by he $200 and the $40/60 per month i
s your profit to be paid off in a few months. Even if they go out of busine
ss in 6 months your ahead. Some of these accounts will thrive and eventuall
y you'll get their homes and referral. Another thing I've always done it to
 write a brief newsletter every 3 to 4 months that I include with the monit
oring bill. Nothing fancy, just a single sided typed review of some of the  
jobs you're doing, some statistics about the advantages of owning an alarm  
system, how to check their alarms etc, etc. And of course outlining what se
rvices you provide. Offer a month or two or three credit to anyone making a
 referral that turns into a job. Don't do random mailings. Depending upon t
he neighborhood, sometimes door hangers work. And don't forget to stop in a
t every construction site and ask to speak to the builder, foreman or homeo
wner or get their telephone numbers to follow up. If no one is there, tape  
you card to the front door. Write a short personal note on the card, tellin
g them what you can do for them.  

Just remember, you're sowing seeds. Some will come up and some wont but eve
ntually if you get enough seed out there it begins to grow a crop that you  
don't expect. I've had people call me two years after I scouted a housing p
roject while it was under construction.  

Also, networking with other trades helps some too. Join a business club in  
your area. The insurance guy will have a customer that's had a break in, th
e contractor will be rebuilding a house that had a fire, the plumbers custo
mer had a flood ...... and so on.  

Don't fret over the lowballers and free alarm phonies out there. Their cust
omers were never your customers to begin with. Anyone that believes they ca
n get something for nothing isn't smart enough to be your customer.

Re: I Want Out
Jim Wrote:  

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Excellent post - a "gem"  

Thanks Jim.


--  

I met a guy today who said he was addicted to brake fluid!
But he says he can stop anytime.

Re: I Want Out
Well, its still going pretty rough.  The low baller took the time to send me  
a note telling me the number I had put on the bottom of the info form I sent  
him.  LOL.  When he made his last offer it was to sign all the accounts over  
to him, and he would pay me one year revenue (AS IT CAME IN).  In otherwords  
zero risk for him and I have to trust he will send me some money someday.  I  
have two others who are interested, but have not heard any progress back  
from them.  I did get a call from a company in Texas asking if I would  
service their accounts in my home town.  I wonder if the one sales agency I  
have contacted was in touch with them and they were seeing if they could  
find a servicing dealer.

Sigh!  I guess I am doomed to die in my office pushing paper for the  
government for free.

  


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Re: I Want Out
On Friday, February 7, 2014 1:10:19 PM UTC-5, John Smith wrote:
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 me  
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ent  
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ver  
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rds  
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  I  
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Disregarding what your so called potential buyer are doing to you .... but
  

concerning your business potential.............  
  
I gotta tell ya, (and I know this is no consolation to you in your present  
mind set)  

but I know people who would give their left nut to be in your position. If  
you played it right, you can make a pretty penny doing service for large co
mpanies. And if they don't play nice and you set it up properly, you can te
ll them to shove it at any time. Have them set up a fund to draw from or se
t it so you have some way to not get stuck with the bills is your major con
cern. An attorney would be the best thing to have if it's a big company you
r dealing with. You have control of the expenditures, and the scheduling. S
et up an account that they pay into but no withdrawal. They set up a accoun
t that you send to. You set the rules. If they don't agree, pass on it. As  
I say, if you played your hand right, something like this could grow to a m
ulti state service company. There's a company in upstate New York that no o
ne has ever heard of that thrives on doing alarm service and maintenance fo
r large chain stores and national companies all up and down the east coast.
 Thousands of locations. Road crews in every state. They only have a few ac
counts of their own. The owners are hardly ever in the office and live in f
abulous homes.  
It's good to be King!

Re: I Want Out
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I did service work for other companies a long time ago.  I've either had to  
totally redo total shit work, or I had to bend over while simultaneously  
kissing ass.  I've got two other totally unrelated business concerns going  
that I enjoy doing.  I want to do those and get out of contracting.

In a year or two I'll be able to dump contracting whether I find a buyer or  
not.  I almost could now, but I hate to treat the customers who have  
supported me for so many years like that.





  


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Re: I Want Out
John Smith Wrote:  

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Did you ask your C/S for an offer?


--  

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety,
 deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben Franklin

Re: I Want Out


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Yes.  They don't buy accounts.  


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Re: I Want Out


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Yes.  They don't buy accounts.  

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