Decide what alarm systems the monitoring station will support. Among the different types are hardwired alarms, wireless systems and video systems. Additionally, temperature monitoring can be offered to larger commercial clients. Consider the needs of potential clients as well as the community and select a few options to specialize in. Offer added services once the business expands. Create a sales model that is fair and competitive with other alarm companies in your area.
Contact your county clerk or town hall to determine what permits and licensing are needed for an alarm monitoring station. Inquire about pricing and renewing periods. File the needed applications, and be sure to keep documentation on all paperwork that is processed. Obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service.
Create a means of capital. Open a business bank account at a bank of your choice. Present the licensing paperwork to open a merchant account at the bank. Choose a method of payment for customers. Most places accept cash, credit card and check payment. Place money in the account as a seed fund.
Select a location for the business. Make sure the building has fireproof walls and a backup power source if electricity is lost. Allow one area of the building to be entirely dedicated to alarm monitoring. This will keep the service central and help distinguish it from other parts of the building. Obtain business insurance to protect the monitoring station from lawsuits. Consider both liability and property insurance offered to business owners. Also purchase unemployment and workers compensation insurance for your employees. This will save you from lawsuits if conflicts do arise.
Order the necessary supplies to operate the station. A phone system is needed to take incoming and outgoing calls and to communicate with police and fire departments. Video monitors and two-way voice communicators need to be in operation as well. With more services comes more supplies, so be sure to only purchase the necessities when it comes to protecting homes and businesses. Try to buy security equipment in bulk to get a better cost per item.
Hire and conduct a background check on a staff of dedicated employees. First, hire technicians, who will establish communication between the monitoring station and the business or residence signals will come from. Second, operators is needed to observe communications and monitoring devices. They should have experience and training in alarm monitoring and detecting. There should be at least two operators working in the station at all times. Likewise, a technician should be on call 24 hours a day to deal with faulty alarms.
Publicly advertise the alarm monitoring station. Be sure to include advertisements in local newspapers and newsletters and conduct a direct-mail campaign. Target areas that are in possible need of a monitoring station. Develop a television or radio ad regarding the company’s opening. Offer discounts or promotional sales to attract clients to the business.