KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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Inflation buster tool essential for your alarm business
May 21, 2022
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Inflation buster tool essential for your alarm business   
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            This is a follow up to the article on May 20, 2022 with my take on inflation and what it means in the alarm business and to you personally.  This article gives you at least one good idea to combat inflation and stay ahead of the curve.
            When inflation is causing increased pricing you too need to get on that band-wagon.  Raising your prices is of course too obvious to me meaningful advice.  If you use the Standard All in One agreements you have the right to increase prices 9% each year; that's still ahead of inflation.  And customer need to pay those increases because it's not optional.  Some of you may still be using contracts that permit the subscriber to cancel service or require you to roll-back the increase if objected to by the subscriber.  Can't help you if you're not using updated Kirschenbaum Contracts™.
            Increasing your prices goes hand in hand with increasing your services.  Increased services can be achieved by offering additional types of equipment and systems as well as additional services.  Technology in this industry is moving so quickly there are new types of equipment hitting the market all the time.  You can't become a dinosaur; whatever you knew and offered 10 years or 5 years or 3 years ago should not define your level of service or scope of your service.  I am not suggesting that you get into some alarm areas where you aren't yet qualified, such as commercial fire.  But what excuse can you have for not offering cameras or access control?  What excuse can you have for not offering smoke or CO detectors?  What excuse can you have for not offering self-monitoring or even self-installation for those customers who want only that level of service?  And what about the customer that does want to step up the security, why can't you offer and arrange for inspection, runner, patrol and guard service?
            OK, I know you have labor issues, not to mention supply chain issues.  But I am discussing a long range plan for growth.  "It takes money to make money."  Someone said that.   If you have the money, invest it in your business.  If you don't think you have the money, find it even if you have to cut back on your own expenses for a while until you get over the hurdle from red to black.  If you don't take the plunge you'll never get wet. 
            The Standard All in One agreements are designed in increase your RMR; the All in Ones are designed to increase the services you provide.  These contracts weren't designed with inflation in mind, but they were designed to promote growth in both services and revenue.  How?
            The All in One agreements have line items for your services.  I get calls often by companies who don't offer all of the services that the All in Ones cover; they would like to remove the provisions for these services.  I usually talk them out of that and suggest that they leave the different services.  They almost always admit that if a customer were to insist on these services [for example, guard service] and was willing to pay for the service, the alarm company could arrange it.  Get enough call for the service you can start doing it in-house if that makes more economic sense. You don't get enough call for the service?  Well how could you if you don't offer it and discourage it if a customer asks about it?  It's not rocket science. 
            By using the All in One agreement your customer is going to be presented with an array of services.  Each service is a separate line item, separately priced for RMR. 
            If the All in One with its separate itemized services is not enough to generate more work and increased RMR then the Disclaimer Notice should accomplish that.  Once your sales pitch is done and the All in One presented for signature, then the Disclaimer Notice is presented.  What's the Disclaimer Notice?  It's your customer's acknowledgement that they have been advised, by you, that they should be getting certain additional equipment, systems and services, and they decided not to; they declined; they opted to accept and assume the risk for their reduced level of security.  Will the Disclaimer Notice cause every customer to increase services? No, but it will cause enough of them to increase service, increase the RMR, to make a difference to you; it will be worth your effort.  I designed the Disclaimer Notice to deal with customers who claimed they didn't read their contract, didn't understand what they were getting, claimed they were or weren't offered something more and lots of other claims that they came up with to get out of the protective provisions in the All in One contract.  The price of the Disclaimer Notice has not changed in 20 years, it's still $275.  A real inflation bargain. 
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com