Customer Acquisition Cost: Do you Know Yours?

How much does it cost you to acquire a new customer? Most security companies don’t really know – but they should. If you’ve ever seen an episode of “Shark Tank”, one of the most common questions from the Sharks is: what’s your customer acquisition cost? It’s a key metric for any business, and one you…

Read More

DON’T SELL! (But Be Ready To)

Many of our customers have owned their security alarm business for a long time…20 – 30+ years. Some are baby boomers that are no doubt thinking about retirement. Other owners have pulled back from their business a bit, and are in maintenance mode, enjoying the recurring cash flow. In the latter case, Cornerstone serves the…

Read More

AlarmBiller or Cornerstone? Compare your Service, Software, and Accountability

Our security dealer customers are in a very competitive market. They compete with large national players like ADT, usually several local independent dealers, “DIY” companies like SimpliSafe, and others. In order to compete successfully, our dealers need to be clear about their competitive advantages. “We are your best choice because…” The advantages could be unique…

Read More

Weather Disaster: Is your Alarm Business Prepared?

Planning for a weather disaster is no fun at all. Yet, when the winter storm hit last month Texas businesses that did have a disaster recovery plan were much better able to preserve their revenue streams and reputations. Many of those that did not…failed. Having no plan meant many companies suffered both short-term financial and…

Read More

3G Upgrades: Good Process can Ease the Pain

Security dealers have worked very, very hard for their base of loyal subscribers. Every year, it takes work to KEEP those subscribers. This year, it’s going to take more work than usual. Major wireless companies like AT&T and Verizon are sunsetting their 3G networks, as you know. What a pain in the butt! Ignoring this…

Read More

Alarm and Security Service Software: Why SSaaS beats SaaS

One of the big buzzwords right now is “SaaS”: Software as a Service. Today  I’m coining a new term (drum roll please…): “SSaaS.” Let me elaborate on both of these and explain why SSaaS is superior.  Cloud-Based or Local?  The old business model for software, of course, was to buy it, install it on the local network, then maintain and upgrade it over time. MANY companies in…

Read More

Making Sense of Your Numbers – Part 3

In Parts one and two, we outlined a simple model that helps to easily understand how you’re doing, and to set minimum sales & margin levels based on your goals. This final post will cover owner compensation, followed by a look at how a “zero overhead” view of your financials can reveal your true margins.…

Read More

Good Quoting: Fast, Flexible & Classy

Winning a new customer starts with a good conversation, then a good quote. The conversation should uncover the prospect’s needs and priorities in making a decision. The quoting process should then address those needs and priorities, in a professional and compelling way. A good quote can be the difference between winning and losing the business.…

Read More

Making Sense of Your Numbers: Part 2

The main point of Part 1 is that most security dealers would benefit by separating their ‘steady Eddy’ recurring revenue / profit (RP) from their more messy and volatile Service & Installation revenue / profit (SIP). These two simple buckets will drive your company’s success or failure, because they drive your operating profit. Knowing your…

Read More