The Big Idea with Ron Davis
June 29, 2011
8 Is Enough
Idea of the Month
If you had just one really great idea you could share with the alarm industry, what would it be?
This month's great idea comes from Andy Snyder, co-owner of Oklahoma City, Okla.-based LV Systems Inc.
Snyder's great idea: Sometimes the best idea is more of an all-encompassing concept that lays at the root of a solid business plan.
Andy Snyder's multiple great ideas show us all why his business is over the top. He gives more than is asked of him and the quality of what he gives is greater than what anyone might expect.
Snyder and his partner Ron Lee are the proprietors of LV Systems Inc., a full-service low-voltage installing security contractor in Oklahoma City. The company has served the residential and commercial markets throughout Oklahoma for nearly 25 years.
When asked to offer his great idea for this month's column, Snyder instead responded with a multifaceted proposition:
- Don't just sell price, market quality solutions
- Develop a solid business plan and goals
- Surround yourself with a talented and professional staff, both technically and administratively in nature
- Understand your target market and your competitive position in that market
- Don't overextend your company's expertise and capabilities
- Develop an employee-friendly business because they are your most valuable assets
- Stay in touch with technological advancements; your customers certainly will
- Your monitoring account base breeds tomorrow's successes
The totality of all this sage advice presented somewhat of a problem for me. I usually build my column around a single great idea, but Snyder has given me eight essential objectives. Each one of them is worthy of a column unto itself! However, I'm going to pull a little switch on Snyder and take all of his great ideas and call them something else: a marketing plan that can help all installing security contractors accomplish their business goals.
The eight points that Snyder has laid out for us here can almost be considered as individual sections of a business plan. Each idea tells us something that Snyder and his partner have learned about successfully running today's alarm business. By the way, when I visited LV Systems, I saw Snyder's ideas at work. The company has developed a customer-centric business concept that asks the question, "What are our customers looking for and how qualified are we to provide it for them?"
Snyder's idea about how your monitoring base can breed tomorrow's successes is pretty much spot on. I know of several organizations that send management teams off-site who then convene around a table and discuss new ideas for increasing the services that are being subscribed to by today's customers.
What other products and/or services would your customer base get passionate about? If the answer is an admission key into the wonderful world of geekdom, you've picked a pretty good time to be in the industry. Yesterday's senior citizenry, of which I am one, is fading. The so-called baby boomers are getting older. What is emerging is a techno-centric population of people who really understand what's going on out there.
LV Systems is tapping into this new breed of customer. It has a well thought-out show room. Its people seem to be happy. When you walk in the building you sense professionalism, and when you walk into the central station you feel that if you were a customer you would be in good hands.
That's why I thought best to present the full complement of Snyder's insightful suggestions. Just because you've got eight for the price of one, don't sell anyone of them short — each one really is a great idea!
Ron Davis is Security Sales & Integration's "What's the Big Idea?" columnist and contributing market analyst. He is president of Davis Group, a full-service consulting firm serving the security industry, which also includes GraybeardsRus. He has 35 years of industry experience, including founding Security Associates International in the 1980s.