INSTALLATION businesses in Australia face a perfect storm of new technologies and powerful new competitors. Constructing a new business model based on system performance and customer satisfaction is the key to staring down these challenges and guaranteeing future profitability. 

Australia has a business model in which telcos have paid installers a percentage on every phone call an alarm panel makes – a rebate – for decades. Our installers and monitoring stations use this rebate as their profit margin and do everything close to cost. From a business perspective, it’s like mud wrestling with knives. No one’s domestic alarm tech is as good as it could be. No one remembers how to sell on features. No one has a truly sustainable business model. Few installation businesses even have a trained sales person. 

On the basis of a feedback loop created by rebates that end with the closure of the PSTN network at the end of 2016, monitoring fees have remained at $1 dollar a day for 25 years and alarm technology has stagnated for most that time. Aussie alarm systems are driven by dumb terminals and users are reluctant to pay more than a few hundred dollars for an alarm panel installed. Sales hooks? Why bother? Just slash the price! Over a long period of time our domestic security business has lost its sense of self worth and lacks creativity and energy. 

Now into this evaporating space are intruding super fast mobile comms technologies, capable app-based management solutions, video surveillance and home automation devices. Our biggest telco will soon be a huge new competitor and internet behemoth Google, is patenting domestic security solutions. How can Australian alarm installers break the old business model they are rusted onto by large client lists that still generate recurring revenue from rebates and continue to make money? How can they convert existing clients to a new business model, how can they gain new clients? 

Here’s the thing. The same battle Aussie installers are fighting is being waged and won by alarm installation businesses in the U.S. What works for hundreds of security installation companies in America’s small towns and big cities? How do living, breathing security installation businesses actually make money from cloud security and home automation in the rough and tumble of the real world?

What do Aussie installation companies need to think about when planning similar business models? What are the challenges experienced with including IT gear in the pipe? What sales hooks work best? What needs to be done to secure mobile connections to alarm panels? Have monitoring stations had success evidenced as growth in line numbers? How did they achieve it?

Register here to attend SecTech Roadshow's security and home automation sessions at 1.30pm and 3.30pm each day in Brisbane on May 4, Sydney on May 6, Melbourne on May 11, Adelaide on May 13 and Perth on May 18, and find out how alarm installation businesses are making money from security and home automation in a new and fast-changing networked world. ♦