Why you should never sign on as a dealer with a large company

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When I first started my company 25 years ago as an independant third party  
dealer, I signed on for the monitoring services of Protectron, a large alar
m conglomerate up here in Canada. I also made the major mistake of having t
hem do my billing, which was a much easier way to go while in "startup mode
". My business grew over the years primarily because we were able to sell f
ull priced services with bundled service and warranty in the monthly, witho
ut the need for a long term contract committment. And we did so at a far mo
re reasonable price than any of the larger companies. Many people wish the  
more personal services of a small, family oriented company versus the facel
ess and expensive service of a large company, regardless of pricing. For ye
ars we could barely keep up, and that was with no advertising; only word of
 mouth. This still holds true today.

Along the way though, we made two major mistakes, which we are now paying f
or:  

First mistake - to make a long story short, when I finally went to them to  
take over our own billing, the horror story started. Due to their complete  
incompetence, the billing data which they sent to us was in such shambles t
hat I had to hire an outside contractor to put the data in a format that I  
could input to the new independant billing company. This cost $3500 up fron
t just to have the data file corrected. I also found dozens of credit cards
 which hadn't been billed, several for some years. I concluded that they di
dn't follow up properly because it simply wasn't their money and thus didn'
t really give a damn !! It has taken nearly a full year to get the billing  
sorted out. Now that my son is running the business, I am working strictly  
in the office, and it has been my major job for 2015 to sort out this mess.
 It has taught me a hard lesson in dealing with large security companies, a
nd one which I hope I can pass along to others thinking of making the same  
mistake

Second mistake - not setting up my own independant lines for alarm transmis
sion. Now that Protectron has been purchased by ADT, I am beginning to see  
the start of the cheapening of their monitoring services. As such, we are m
oving our accounts off Protectron/ADT's station on to the facilities of a l
arge independant monitoring station. However, without the ability to quickl
y shift all accounts, this is another major job for us.The top quality of s
ervices now being reported by clients on the new station is astounding comp
ared to what they were receiving before, with loads of extra options availa
ble to them for less than I am paying with ADT. Bottom line, I am not bashi
ng ADT here, it's just that their services are not in keeping with the more
 personal monitoring services available through a top quality independant s
tation.It's more "cookie cutter" due to the large quantity of clients they  
have to deal with (over 8 million last I heard), and their big company emph
asis on the bottom line.

So, anyone thinking of starting an alarm company today would be well advise
d to heed the following:

1- Take control of your billing from day one and resist the urge to have th
e large company do it for you. Although this can be the more expensive way  
to go, especially at the beginning, it's far better for your company down l
ine
2- Make sure all your accounts are dialing numbers that YOU control, and no
t using the large company receiver numbers directly. Today, this is pretty  
easy to do and definately FAR easier than when I started in the '90's.
3- Make sure all your accounts are electronically on line with a server you
 own, and all information is available digitally on that server for all acc
ounts ie: contract, programming, correspondence unique to that client, etc.
 This way, you can access all relevant data on site with the client. Nor do
 you have to keep 8 or 10 filing cabinets around to house your files.

We have overcome all these obstacles and our business is full steam ahead,  
including all the high tech options customers are needing today. The busine
ss has never been more profitable than it has since my son started offering
 services, and I personally couldn't be happier with the outcome. It took 1
5 years of working with me to learn the business, and most importantly, to  
finally become a top quality businessman in his own right (the son should a
lways exceed the father). And his outlook is somewhat different than mine (
with the exception of ethics) and he is bringing a new approach to things w
hich has shown in the results.  

But I wanted to put this email out to warn startups about some of the easy  
but disastrous lures of the larger company's dealership options.

If you are unable to sell services on your own, you will do slightly better
 "hitching your wagon to the star" of a large corporation at the beginning,
 but you will fare much worse over the longer term.

Good luck to you

Bob Campbell
www.homemetal.com

PS: Jim, if you're still on this forum, this is probably the only post wher
e you and I would agree completely....:)) Feel free to say..."I told you so
..."


  


Re: Why you should never sign on as a dealer with a large company
?? ???????, 8 ???
??????? 2015 - 6:07:35 ?.?. UTC+2
, ? ??????? roberc...@gmail.com ?
??????:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
y dealer, I signed on for the monitoring services of Protectron, a large al
arm conglomerate up here in Canada. I also made the major mistake of having
 them do my billing, which was a much easier way to go while in "startup mo
de". My business grew over the years primarily because we were able to sell
 full priced services with bundled service and warranty in the monthly, wit
hout the need for a long term contract committment. And we did so at a far  
more reasonable price than any of the larger companies. Many people wish th
e more personal services of a small, family oriented company versus the fac
eless and expensive service of a large company, regardless of pricing. For  
years we could barely keep up, and that was with no advertising; only word  
of mouth. This still holds true today.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
 for:  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
o take over our own billing, the horror story started. Due to their complet
e incompetence, the billing data which they sent to us was in such shambles
 that I had to hire an outside contractor to put the data in a format that  
I could input to the new independant billing company. This cost $3500 up fr
ont just to have the data file corrected. I also found dozens of credit car
ds which hadn't been billed, several for some years. I concluded that they  
didn't follow up properly because it simply wasn't their money and thus did
n't really give a damn !! It has taken nearly a full year to get the billin
g sorted out. Now that my son is running the business, I am working strictl
y in the office, and it has been my major job for 2015 to sort out this mes
s. It has taught me a hard lesson in dealing with large security companies,
 and one which I hope I can pass along to others thinking of making the sam
e mistake
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ission. Now that Protectron has been purchased by ADT, I am beginning to se
e the start of the cheapening of their monitoring services. As such, we are
 moving our accounts off Protectron/ADT's station on to the facilities of a
 large independant monitoring station. However, without the ability to quic
kly shift all accounts, this is another major job for us.The top quality of
 services now being reported by clients on the new station is astounding co
mpared to what they were receiving before, with loads of extra options avai
lable to them for less than I am paying with ADT. Bottom line, I am not bas
hing ADT here, it's just that their services are not in keeping with the mo
re personal monitoring services available through a top quality independant
 station.It's more "cookie cutter" due to the large quantity of clients the
y have to deal with (over 8 million last I heard), and their big company em
phasis on the bottom line.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
sed to heed the following:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
the large company do it for you. Although this can be the more expensive wa
y to go, especially at the beginning, it's far better for your company down
 line
Quoted text here. Click to load it
not using the large company receiver numbers directly. Today, this is prett
y easy to do and definately FAR easier than when I started in the '90's.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ou own, and all information is available digitally on that server for all a
ccounts ie: contract, programming, correspondence unique to that client, et
c. This way, you can access all relevant data on site with the client. Nor  
do you have to keep 8 or 10 filing cabinets around to house your files.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
, including all the high tech options customers are needing today. The busi
ness has never been more profitable than it has since my son started offeri
ng services, and I personally couldn't be happier with the outcome. It took
 15 years of working with me to learn the business, and most importantly, t
o finally become a top quality businessman in his own right (the son should
 always exceed the father). And his outlook is somewhat different than mine
 (with the exception of ethics) and he is bringing a new approach to things
 which has shown in the results.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
y but disastrous lures of the larger company's dealership options.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
er "hitching your wagon to the star" of a large corporation at the beginnin
g, but you will fare much worse over the longer term.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ere you and I would agree completely....:)) Feel free to say..."I told you  
so..."

Great post my friend. I totally agree. From day one i am dealing the billin
g with the clients and i collecting the money with the help of my employees
. Also when you make the collection you have a constant touch with the clie
nt and while on collection (every 3 months) always someone will remember a  
new project to ask from us.
100 % you are right!

regards,
Spyros

Re: Why you should never sign on as a dealer with a large company
On Monday, November 9, 2015 at 5:07:35 AM UTC+13, roberc...@gmail.com wrote
:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
y dealer, I signed on for the monitoring services of Protectron, a large al
arm conglomerate up here in Canada. I also made the major mistake of having
 them do my billing, which was a much easier way to go while in "startup mo
de". My business grew over the years primarily because we were able to sell
 full priced services with bundled service and warranty in the monthly, wit
hout the need for a long term contract committment. And we did so at a far  
more reasonable price than any of the larger companies. Many people wish th
e more personal services of a small, family oriented company versus the fac
eless and expensive service of a large company, regardless of pricing. For  
years we could barely keep up, and that was with no advertising; only word  
of mouth. This still holds true today.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
 for:  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
o take over our own billing, the horror story started. Due to their complet
e incompetence, the billing data which they sent to us was in such shambles
 that I had to hire an outside contractor to put the data in a format that  
I could input to the new independant billing company. This cost $3500 up fr
ont just to have the data file corrected. I also found dozens of credit car
ds which hadn't been billed, several for some years. I concluded that they  
didn't follow up properly because it simply wasn't their money and thus did
n't really give a damn !! It has taken nearly a full year to get the billin
g sorted out. Now that my son is running the business, I am working strictl
y in the office, and it has been my major job for 2015 to sort out this mes
s. It has taught me a hard lesson in dealing with large security companies,
 and one which I hope I can pass along to others thinking of making the sam
e mistake
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ission. Now that Protectron has been purchased by ADT, I am beginning to se
e the start of the cheapening of their monitoring services. As such, we are
 moving our accounts off Protectron/ADT's station on to the facilities of a
 large independant monitoring station. However, without the ability to quic
kly shift all accounts, this is another major job for us.The top quality of
 services now being reported by clients on the new station is astounding co
mpared to what they were receiving before, with loads of extra options avai
lable to them for less than I am paying with ADT. Bottom line, I am not bas
hing ADT here, it's just that their services are not in keeping with the mo
re personal monitoring services available through a top quality independant
 station.It's more "cookie cutter" due to the large quantity of clients the
y have to deal with (over 8 million last I heard), and their big company em
phasis on the bottom line.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
sed to heed the following:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
the large company do it for you. Although this can be the more expensive wa
y to go, especially at the beginning, it's far better for your company down
 line
Quoted text here. Click to load it
not using the large company receiver numbers directly. Today, this is prett
y easy to do and definately FAR easier than when I started in the '90's.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ou own, and all information is available digitally on that server for all a
ccounts ie: contract, programming, correspondence unique to that client, et
c. This way, you can access all relevant data on site with the client. Nor  
do you have to keep 8 or 10 filing cabinets around to house your files.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
, including all the high tech options customers are needing today. The busi
ness has never been more profitable than it has since my son started offeri
ng services, and I personally couldn't be happier with the outcome. It took
 15 years of working with me to learn the business, and most importantly, t
o finally become a top quality businessman in his own right (the son should
 always exceed the father). And his outlook is somewhat different than mine
 (with the exception of ethics) and he is bringing a new approach to things
 which has shown in the results.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
y but disastrous lures of the larger company's dealership options.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
er "hitching your wagon to the star" of a large corporation at the beginnin
g, but you will fare much worse over the longer term.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ere you and I would agree completely....:)) Feel free to say..."I told you  
so..."

Great advice, Bob, and its the same things that I tell all installers that  
come on board with our station as a bureau.  Most listen, and a few don't.  
 The more control you have over your own clients, the better off everyone i
s.  We don't have to chase up individual bad debts if the installer is resp
onsible for them as a whole.  


Cheers

Graeme McKenzie

Re: Why you should never sign on as a dealer with a large company
On Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 11:07:35 AM UTC-5, roberc...@gmail.com wrote
:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
y dealer, I signed on for the monitoring services of Protectron, a large al
arm conglomerate up here in Canada. I also made the major mistake of having
 them do my billing, which was a much easier way to go while in "startup mo
de". My business grew over the years primarily because we were able to sell
 full priced services with bundled service and warranty in the monthly, wit
hout the need for a long term contract committment. And we did so at a far  
more reasonable price than any of the larger companies. Many people wish th
e more personal services of a small, family oriented company versus the fac
eless and expensive service of a large company, regardless of pricing. For  
years we could barely keep up, and that was with no advertising; only word  
of mouth. This still holds true today.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
 for:  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
o take over our own billing, the horror story started. Due to their complet
e incompetence, the billing data which they sent to us was in such shambles
 that I had to hire an outside contractor to put the data in a format that  
I could input to the new independant billing company. This cost $3500 up fr
ont just to have the data file corrected. I also found dozens of credit car
ds which hadn't been billed, several for some years. I concluded that they  
didn't follow up properly because it simply wasn't their money and thus did
n't really give a damn !! It has taken nearly a full year to get the billin
g sorted out. Now that my son is running the business, I am working strictl
y in the office, and it has been my major job for 2015 to sort out this mes
s. It has taught me a hard lesson in dealing with large security companies,
 and one which I hope I can pass along to others thinking of making the sam
e mistake
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ission. Now that Protectron has been purchased by ADT, I am beginning to se
e the start of the cheapening of their monitoring services. As such, we are
 moving our accounts off Protectron/ADT's station on to the facilities of a
 large independant monitoring station. However, without the ability to quic
kly shift all accounts, this is another major job for us.The top quality of
 services now being reported by clients on the new station is astounding co
mpared to what they were receiving before, with loads of extra options avai
lable to them for less than I am paying with ADT. Bottom line, I am not bas
hing ADT here, it's just that their services are not in keeping with the mo
re personal monitoring services available through a top quality independant
 station.It's more "cookie cutter" due to the large quantity of clients the
y have to deal with (over 8 million last I heard), and their big company em
phasis on the bottom line.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
sed to heed the following:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
the large company do it for you. Although this can be the more expensive wa
y to go, especially at the beginning, it's far better for your company down
 line
Quoted text here. Click to load it
not using the large company receiver numbers directly. Today, this is prett
y easy to do and definately FAR easier than when I started in the '90's.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ou own, and all information is available digitally on that server for all a
ccounts ie: contract, programming, correspondence unique to that client, et
c. This way, you can access all relevant data on site with the client. Nor  
do you have to keep 8 or 10 filing cabinets around to house your files.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
, including all the high tech options customers are needing today. The busi
ness has never been more profitable than it has since my son started offeri
ng services, and I personally couldn't be happier with the outcome. It took
 15 years of working with me to learn the business, and most importantly, t
o finally become a top quality businessman in his own right (the son should
 always exceed the father). And his outlook is somewhat different than mine
 (with the exception of ethics) and he is bringing a new approach to things
 which has shown in the results.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
y but disastrous lures of the larger company's dealership options.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
er "hitching your wagon to the star" of a large corporation at the beginnin
g, but you will fare much worse over the longer term.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ere you and I would agree completely....:)) Feel free to say..."I told you  
so..."


Hello Robert,

and yes ..... I will graciously accept your invitation  

I TOLD YOU SO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

45 years is greater than 25 years in a trade. You should always seriously l
isten to your "Elders"

I'm waiting to hear the long term results of free service and no term contr
acts although I doubt I'll be around when it comes time for your son to sel
l .... if ever.  

Glad to hear you're prospering presently though.  

Re: Why you should never sign on as a dealer with a large company
On Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 11:07:35 AM UTC-5, roberc...@gmail.com wrote
:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
y dealer, I signed on for the monitoring services of Protectron, a large al
arm conglomerate up here in Canada. I also made the major mistake of having
 them do my billing, which was a much easier way to go while in "startup mo
de". My business grew over the years primarily because we were able to sell
 full priced services with bundled service and warranty in the monthly, wit
hout the need for a long term contract committment. And we did so at a far  
more reasonable price than any of the larger companies. Many people wish th
e more personal services of a small, family oriented company versus the fac
eless and expensive service of a large company, regardless of pricing. For  
years we could barely keep up, and that was with no advertising; only word  
of mouth. This still holds true today.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
 for:  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
o take over our own billing, the horror story started. Due to their complet
e incompetence, the billing data which they sent to us was in such shambles
 that I had to hire an outside contractor to put the data in a format that  
I could input to the new independant billing company. This cost $3500 up fr
ont just to have the data file corrected. I also found dozens of credit car
ds which hadn't been billed, several for some years. I concluded that they  
didn't follow up properly because it simply wasn't their money and thus did
n't really give a damn !! It has taken nearly a full year to get the billin
g sorted out. Now that my son is running the business, I am working strictl
y in the office, and it has been my major job for 2015 to sort out this mes
s. It has taught me a hard lesson in dealing with large security companies,
 and one which I hope I can pass along to others thinking of making the sam
e mistake
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ission. Now that Protectron has been purchased by ADT, I am beginning to se
e the start of the cheapening of their monitoring services. As such, we are
 moving our accounts off Protectron/ADT's station on to the facilities of a
 large independant monitoring station. However, without the ability to quic
kly shift all accounts, this is another major job for us.The top quality of
 services now being reported by clients on the new station is astounding co
mpared to what they were receiving before, with loads of extra options avai
lable to them for less than I am paying with ADT. Bottom line, I am not bas
hing ADT here, it's just that their services are not in keeping with the mo
re personal monitoring services available through a top quality independant
 station.It's more "cookie cutter" due to the large quantity of clients the
y have to deal with (over 8 million last I heard), and their big company em
phasis on the bottom line.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
sed to heed the following:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
the large company do it for you. Although this can be the more expensive wa
y to go, especially at the beginning, it's far better for your company down
 line
Quoted text here. Click to load it
not using the large company receiver numbers directly. Today, this is prett
y easy to do and definately FAR easier than when I started in the '90's.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ou own, and all information is available digitally on that server for all a
ccounts ie: contract, programming, correspondence unique to that client, et
c. This way, you can access all relevant data on site with the client. Nor  
do you have to keep 8 or 10 filing cabinets around to house your files.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
, including all the high tech options customers are needing today. The busi
ness has never been more profitable than it has since my son started offeri
ng services, and I personally couldn't be happier with the outcome. It took
 15 years of working with me to learn the business, and most importantly, t
o finally become a top quality businessman in his own right (the son should
 always exceed the father). And his outlook is somewhat different than mine
 (with the exception of ethics) and he is bringing a new approach to things
 which has shown in the results.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
y but disastrous lures of the larger company's dealership options.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
er "hitching your wagon to the star" of a large corporation at the beginnin
g, but you will fare much worse over the longer term.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
ere you and I would agree completely....:)) Feel free to say..."I told you  
so..."

Within the scope of the whole marketing approach, the free service and no l
ong term commitments have been a boon to us over the long term. It allows u
s to stand out from the crowd of companies who many times seem little bette
r than the Alarmforce scammers and other "contract monkeys" in our industry
. I can say with absolute certainty, that we have dozens of clients who are
 with us because they have been so absolutely screwed by companies misusing
 these long term contracts to extort money when it wasn't necessary. People
 appreciate honesty and openness in business, and our providing services wi
thout the requirement to needlessly lock in, and our standing behind the pr
oducts and services we sell and install, has been a hallmark of our busines
s approach since day one. Good service means we don't lose customers unless
 they are moving, and it ensures they return to us when they need our servi
ces again.All our clients pay for their services up front, so from a busine
ss perspective, there is no need for a long term contract. If they want a f
ree system, they go elsewhere.  

I have no intention of arguing these points once again. This business model
 works well for us and our clients and my son is carrying the business to n
ew technological heights, with great success.  

I wish you well in your business...

Re: Why you should never sign on as a dealer with a large company
On Monday, November 16, 2015 at 8:49:56 AM UTC-5, roberc...@gmail.com wrote
:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
 long term commitments have been a boon to us over the long term. It allows
 us to stand out from the crowd of companies who many times seem little bet
ter than the Alarmforce scammers and other "contract monkeys" in our indust
ry. I can say with absolute certainty, that we have dozens of clients who a
re with us because they have been so absolutely screwed by companies misusi
ng these long term contracts to extort money when it wasn't necessary. Peop
le appreciate honesty and openness in business, and our providing services  
without the requirement to needlessly lock in, and our standing behind the  
products and services we sell and install, has been a hallmark of our busin
ess approach since day one. Good service means we don't lose customers unle
ss they are moving, and it ensures they return to us when they need our ser
vices again.All our clients pay for their services up front, so from a busi
ness perspective, there is no need for a long term contract. If they want a
 free system, they go elsewhere.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
el works well for us and our clients and my son is carrying the business to
 new technological heights, with great success.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it

If I may ..... let me give you another tidbit of possible things to come. A
nd I have to say that in all my planning of how this business was going to  
pan out for me, the one thing I overlooked was after being in business for  
so long that the original clients would begin dropping off at a rate commen
surate with the period of time over which they were signed up.  

That is .... back in the beginning, I was signing up customers at a pretty  
fast rate. They were all pretty much new business and home owners. Now ....
 that they've aged .... 20, 30,40 years, they're beginning to retire (no mo
ney), and/or  move away or die. Somehow, I just never planned for that. And
, of course now ..... and over the last number of years, add to that the fa
ct that I've ramped down on the amount of work that I do,(not many 12/16 ho
ur days) my rate of attrition has increased. Although I could opt out at my
 whim, I continue to stay involved with all the new technology ..... becaus
e it's fun .... my account base is going to be less than what I had estimat
ed it was going to be when I finally decide to opt out.  

HOWEVER .....I'm willing to make the trade-off though because the size of a
 number of the installations I do every year are falling into the $10 - $20
,000,00 range and cover the gamut of technologies. It's really satisfying t
o start at the Cable and Internet hookup and do a completely connected home
 from expanded whole house WiFi network to whole house audio, to TV's, home
 theater, CCTV, Alarm system, with remote viewing and notification, automat
ed lighting, remote door bell viewing, remote garage door control .... It'  
just goes on and on and I'm lovin every minute of it.  

I'm finding that there's not too many people out there in my vintage that c
an keep up with the technology so I'm fortunate in that regard. Additionall
y it's obvious that there's not too many people out there who really like w
hat they do and can make good money at it too. Never planned on that either
.

Anyway, just fair warning about the attrition thing ..... Don't know what y
ou can do about it but knowing that it's there might help. Obviously, I've  
downsized through the years so this "effect" is not going to be a problem f
or a company that keeps growing.

Re: Why you should never sign on as a dealer with a large company
On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 7:23:41 PM UTC-5, Jim wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
te:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
no long term commitments have been a boon to us over the long term. It allo
ws us to stand out from the crowd of companies who many times seem little b
etter than the Alarmforce scammers and other "contract monkeys" in our indu
stry. I can say with absolute certainty, that we have dozens of clients who
 are with us because they have been so absolutely screwed by companies misu
sing these long term contracts to extort money when it wasn't necessary. Pe
ople appreciate honesty and openness in business, and our providing service
s without the requirement to needlessly lock in, and our standing behind th
e products and services we sell and install, has been a hallmark of our bus
iness approach since day one. Good service means we don't lose customers un
less they are moving, and it ensures they return to us when they need our s
ervices again.All our clients pay for their services up front, so from a bu
siness perspective, there is no need for a long term contract. If they want
 a free system, they go elsewhere.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
odel works well for us and our clients and my son is carrying the business  
to new technological heights, with great success.  
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 And I have to say that in all my planning of how this business was going t
o pan out for me, the one thing I overlooked was after being in business fo
r so long that the original clients would begin dropping off at a rate comm
ensurate with the period of time over which they were signed up.  
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y fast rate. They were all pretty much new business and home owners. Now ..
.. that they've aged .... 20, 30,40 years, they're beginning to retire (no  
money), and/or  move away or die. Somehow, I just never planned for that. A
nd, of course now ..... and over the last number of years, add to that the  
fact that I've ramped down on the amount of work that I do,(not many 12/16  
hour days) my rate of attrition has increased. Although I could opt out at  
my whim, I continue to stay involved with all the new technology ..... beca
use it's fun .... my account base is going to be less than what I had estim
ated it was going to be when I finally decide to opt out.  
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 a number of the installations I do every year are falling into the $10 - $
20,000,00 range and cover the gamut of technologies. It's really satisfying
 to start at the Cable and Internet hookup and do a completely connected ho
me from expanded whole house WiFi network to whole house audio, to TV's, ho
me theater, CCTV, Alarm system, with remote viewing and notification, autom
ated lighting, remote door bell viewing, remote garage door control .... It
' just goes on and on and I'm lovin every minute of it.  
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 can keep up with the technology so I'm fortunate in that regard. Additiona
lly it's obvious that there's not too many people out there who really like
 what they do and can make good money at it too. Never planned on that eith
er.
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 you can do about it but knowing that it's there might help. Obviously, I'v
e downsized through the years so this "effect" is not going to be a problem
 for a company that keeps growing.

We are not finding an increasing attrition rate within our base beyond the  
normal level when people move, but we are finding a growing interest and ne
ed for the higher tech solutions. And these generally lead to other tech op
tions clients are requesting from us which mean we end up being far more in
volved in their overall telecommunications and security solutions than we w
ere previously with just their alarm. This in itself makes our services mor
e valuable to the client and further cements our relationship with them.

I too find a lot of the older and smaller alarm dealers falling behind in t
echnology and as a result, losing a substantial part of their current base.
 My son often has to help them with tech solutions to prevent them from los
ing the client (a lot of smaller dealers help each other here, which I am t
old is somewhat unique in the industry). They simply don't understand the n
ew technology AND worse, have no interest in learning new things.The really
 sad part of this is it takes them out of the pool of available companies w
ho can bid on high tech jobs, and opens up the door to higher priced, large
r companies such as ADT and the like who have the knowledge and resources t
o do the necessary work (albeit with the same large company limitations on  
service quality and high pricing). Or it leaves the customer having to go t
o several suppliers, who don't seem to be able to work in close unison with
 each other, so the customer ends up more or less acting as a general contr
actor to try to get things done properly (and you know how that ends up....
). At this point, our one source solution becomes even more attractive to t
he client.  

This is no different than in any industry though. The business world is alw
ays changing and it is up to companies to adapt or die. Far more of our wor
k is comprised of customized solutions for each client. Our older base of c
lients are usually static, at least until they literally die off, but the y
ounger crowd are always moving from home to home, generating more work, but
 of a quite different nature.  

I am largely retired now other than doing the office functions. But I do se
e the quotes and correspondence between my son, our technicians and the cus
tomers. Some of what they discuss I hate to admit I don't understand at all
. So I personally am in the same boat as some of these smaller companies, b
ut was lucky enough to have a fully trained and excellent management person
 in my son to take over.  

I don't know your age, but I am 71 and still healthy, and plan to take far  
more time to tour on my Gold Wing motorcycle while I still have the faculti
es to do so. Remember, life after 70 is a crap shoot. No one ever went to t
heir grave saying they should have worked longer and harder.  

I hope you find your "balance" and truly wish you well for the future...


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