By: Don McClatchie


There is no doubt that our economy is undergoing changes and that the small business owner must adapt to those changes or suffer the consequences. As a design engineer for FM SYSTEMS, INC I have the pleasure of talking to business owners in the CCTV installation industry, almost all of them have reported lower than normal sales and when asked do you want to grow your business, the answer is always yes..

When I ask them what they are doing to boost their sales, some say they are just doing a lot more of the usual sales activities, but complain that it is not delivering the level of sales they need. Others I have spoken to have developed several interesting approaches that I would like to share with you. These approaches keep their work force busy and boost sales while improving relations with their existing customers, you can even gain new customers with the second approach.

This new approach starts with an offer to your existing customers for a FREE “SECURITY SYSTEM CHECK”. As the name implies you call your customers and schedule a time to go out and check their security system performance. You schedule this time when your workforce is not working on other jobs. If you were to simply call and ask the customer if they needed any CCTV work done they would generally say no because they are not focused on their security system, but when you go out there they will be focused and you will have their attention.

When they go out to the customer’s premise they check and make a record of the quality of the video signal on each camera. You can obtain a copy of this record from FM SYSTEMS INC free of charge just call 800-235-6960. This record is given to the customer at the end of the system check along with any recommendations for improvement of the security system. A CAMERA MASTER can be used to accurately measure the cameras performance. If a camera has a fuzzy or low quality picture you can recommend a GB-60 to improve the picture quality without having to replace the camera. Most interferences and abnormalities in the picture can be fixed with the GB-60.

Check to see if the framing of each camera is adequate to cover the area and look for any security breeches or “uncovered” areas in the system, if you find any then suggest that they add a camera to the system. We have a unit that will allow you to add an additional camera and use the existing coax cable to return the video back to the DVR its called the TVP/RVP-20.

When looking at the framing of the picture, be sure to evaluate any privacy issues that might appear like a video camera that overshoots the security area and looks into an adjacent window. A privacy mask like the VPM-1 can be installed to prevent privacy issues.

Sometimes a customer can be persuaded to convert some cameras to PTZ operation as an upgrade and if it is difficult to get the PTZ data wires to the camera a DLT-1 will deliver the data on the same coax cable as the video.

The object here is to get your customer to focus on his security system. Most CCTV systems could use some improvement and you want to be the one to do the job. The upgrades may be small but the goodwill and continued customer contact will pay off in the long run, and in the short run you will have work to keep your employees busy and bring in money as well. Not to mention when the economy does improve you will have a better position in the marketplace. This beats sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.

The second approach is to get a list of “New Construction” Permit Filer’s in your service area. These lists are available from list sellers like INFOUSA.COM and many other sources for a low cost. After they get the list they contact the Contractor and offer to do the low voltage building pre-wiring for data and video before the interior construction is completed. If you install CCTV equipment now you probably have all the tools needed to do the low voltage pre-wiring and the employee training needed to accomplish this work is relatively simple. This keeps the money coming in and allows you to keep your installers busy making you money.


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