Labor Shortage? DO LESS! With Alarm Software

magnifying glass on a newspaper help wanted page

Not shocking news: we’re in the tightest labor market in over 20 years. Security alarm dealers, and many other industries, are having real trouble finding enough people to get all the work done. What’s a business owner to do? Until the labor market improves, here are some ideas that may help. You’ve heard the adage,…

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Management: Many Flavors

Person carrying binders

To state the obvious: effectively managing your small business is difficult! It’s easy to get derailed. Whether that’s getting hit by a big surprise problem, losing a large customer you thought was happy, losing a key person, battling inflation-driven cost increases, and so on. Management is a very broad term, and it may be better…

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CRM Software for Security Dealers: A Must Have

Gears with the words customer and management stamped into them

A CRM is generally understood to be software that helps you manage your customers and prospects. But when I hear “I really need a good CRM!” the real question is: what are you trying to manage? Lead Management CRM vs. Customer Management CRM Often what they really want is not a customer management system, but…

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Recurring Credit Card Transactions: Painful to Comply

A close up of three credit cards on a table.

Over the last few years, the credit card industry has adopted new rules that make it tough for small companies to stay in compliance. Including for recurring payments charged by security alarm companies. IF your company accepts Visa and Master Card for recurring subscription invoices, please review your processes versus the list below. Does your…

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Customer Acquisition Cost: Do you Know Yours?

Black and yellow cubes that spell out the letters CAC.

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…

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DON’T SELL! (But Be Ready To)

Pile of notebooks. The top book as a cover that says "Be Prepared" with a red paperclip attached to the top.

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…

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6 Tips for Improving Alarm Company Office Communication

Technology tools can facilitate easier office communication.

Security dealers usually have different departments—sales, service, administration, accounting, and so on. Because these departments are in regular contact, interoffice communication is a crucial factor for success. Technology tools can facilitate easier office communication. Cornerstone Billing Solutions, as a cloud-based company, has used a work-from-home office model for over 20 years. We understand that poor…

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3G Upgrades: Good Process can Ease the Pain

A sunset with a cellular tower in the foreground.

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…

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Making Sense of Your Numbers – Part 3

Blocks that spell out the word health. The block with the H is being turned to show a W. There are coins on top of the blocks.

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.…

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