KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR 2022
December 31, 2021
Happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all. If you’re reading this, congratulations, you survived another year. We are all looking forward to this virus being behind us. It's that time of year again, so here are some thoughts on New Year Resolutions for 2022:
1. Stay healthy. Get your vaccinations and don’t expose yourself unnecessarily; it’s just not worth it. See your doctor regularly. Be sure to get age appropriate testing. I need you healthy, working and growing your business.
2. Update your contracts. The two year wait time is not applicable this year, there have been too many changes in the contracts for 2022, including the inflation and supply chain problem, which we could not have anticipated. You should be using the All in One forms. Call our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 ext 312 for assistance. The Kirschenbaum TM contract forms are continuously being updated based on changes in technology, services, laws and court cases. Technology continues changing at a pace faster than ever, requiring contracts to undergo revision. Your contracts are the most important asset you have in your business. It's your contract that will protect you from liability and build equity in your business. Your goal for 2022, and every year, should be significant RMR growth.
3. Check out what your alarm company is worth at WhatsMyAlarmCompanyWorth.com. If you haven’t increased in value then get with the program, the Concierge Program and follow our advice. We are on your side.
2. Diversity. Stop thinking about it and start offering all the new technology. Most of it is wireless and there is a demand for these products and services. You’re for the picking. Check out all the contracts at www.alarmcontracts.com and you will see services that you haven’t even thought of. Get the contracts, get the equipment, get the customers and raise your RMR.
4. Check your insurance coverage. You must have alarm industry specific Errors and Omissions coverage. Check out knowledgeable insurance brokers and insurance companies on The Alarm Exchange in the Insurance category. Not all insurance companies are the same and not all premiums are equal but unfortunately one is worse than the other. You need to have confidence in how your carrier handles your claims and this is becoming a real problem as carriers are using “house counsel” or “insurance defense” attorneys with no familiarity in the alarm industry. The last thing you need is aggravation from your carrier's claims department when you have a claim. You want to be sure your E&O coverage is current and sufficient.
Take some time to evaluate your life, health and disability insurance needs and be sure to look for competitive pricing. If you have young kids be sure to load up on term life insurance. It's cheap and your family will be protected. How much? At least one million per beneficiary, so a wife and 2 kids is 3 million. If you're under 40 years old you'll be surprised how cheap the insurance is. And get it while you're healthy. It may not be available if you have health issues.
5. Check with tax experts to see if and how tax laws affect you. Make that call now; don't wait until it's too late to plan. If you're not sure you have access to proper advice, call Mitch Reitman. He's listed on The Alarm Exchange in the Financial Services category. There may be a better way that saves you lots of money. If you are still conducting business in your own or an assumed name, you need to incorporate; do it now. You don't want to continue to invite personal liability for your business activities. I recommend a business corporation, sub chapter S election, and despite some accounting advice to the contrary, elect to be on a cash basis. Call K&K’s corporate department: Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq at 516 747 6700 x 302 or Jennifer@Kirschenbaumesq.com
6. Make sure your license to conduct your business is active and up to date. If you are a qualifier for someone else's business then make sure you have a Qualifier Agreement. Don't be foolish to take on that responsibility without an agreement. And if you're the business owner and not the license holder you need the Qualifier Agreement too so that you can be more comfortable with the arrangement with the license holder. Be certain you know all of the licensing requirements in all of the jurisdictions you do business. It's not enough to get the license. There are all kinds of regulations that go along with that license, many of which affect your employees. Be license compliant and avoid heavy fines and possible suspension or loss of your license. If you need a Qualifier Agreement - call our License Coordinator [also Contract Administrator] Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312 to get it done right.
7. Review your accounts receivables. It is essential to stay on top of your receivables. You may need to become more aggressive with your collection efforts and procedures. Don't carry subscribers who are in default, which means falling out of their regular payment schedule or more than 90 days in arrears. K&K can handle your collections if you have our Standard Form Agreements with the arbitration provision. Contact our head paralegal Kathleen Lampert at KLampert@KirschenbaumEsq.com or (516) 747-6700 ext. 319. We support the contracts we sell.
8. If retirement or the sale of your business is remotely in your future start thinking of an exit strategy now. If you have fellow shareholders, partners or LLC members you must have an agreement between you. This is especially important if you are family members or best friends. People often think that agreements are not necessary when dealing with family and friends, but those relationships account for more of the litigation than strangers who decide to partner. Why? That's easy; people think they don't need an agreement when dealing with family. However, without an agreement too many disputes can arise where no agreement controls the outcome. Be mindful of tax consequences. If transition to family members is your plan then perhaps you need a Trust and should start transferring stock to that Trust or to your kids now. If you think you might sell then you need to start running your business like a business. In either event, you should be increasing your RMR under contract. For transactional legal services, which you should seek before you start making deals, make sure you engage a competent alarm attorney - give me a call [516 747 6700 x 301] or call K&K’s Acquisition Team headed by Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq. 516 747 6700 x 302
9. Try to pay down debt. Manage your business to operate within its means. I think the days of free money in the form of handouts and cheap interest is changing. Free money is gone; cheap interest is going up. That's sound advice for your personal finances as well. Working harder and making better sales decisions is the best way to raise money. Selling your subscriber accounts and contracts is like selling your soul to the devil. If you belong to a dealer program or group that encourages you to sell your subscriber accounts then consider whether you’d be better off retaining those accounts and building equity for your company. If you sell your accounts to your dealer program you may as well get a job with benefits, you'll probably end up with more money, vacation time, health benefits, retirement plan and less headache.
10. Make sure you are getting the best deal from your suppliers, and that includes your central station and equipment distributors. Make sure your central station is using the Standard Form Dealer Agreement so you know it is dealing fairly with you. Times are tough for them too and they are looking to hold on to good accounts, like yours. Be sure you have your own lines, your own IP address and that your control panels are remote programmable. If you pay your bills you have a right to be demanding. Affordable services are available from reputable suppliers; you don't have to continue dealing with suppliers that are not responsive to you or your subscribers' needs and requirements. For a listing of those who want to do business with you, check out The Alarm Exchange. It's updated daily and it's sent out with our daily emails.
11. Get the Standard Form Contracts at www.alarmcontracts.com. They will make you lots of money and protect your business. The longer you wait the longer you put your business at risk and delay in growing your RMR.
To order up to date Standard Form Alarm / Security / Fire and related Agreements click here: www.alarmcontracts.com
CONCIERGE LAWYER SERVICE PROGRAM FOR THE ALARM INDUSTRY - You can check out the program and sign up here: https://www.kirschenbaumesq.com/page/concierge or contact our Program Coordinator Stacy Spector, Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304.
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Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301