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Posted 01 March 2010 - 09:22 PM
I have considered some sort of security/HA business for years. I just found out my division may be sold. All the expansion of the company is in Asia, including the engineering. I have done the security and very limited HA for my own new home and previous ones as well. But it has been more DIY than commercial equipment and I understand the need for professional stuff when doing it as a business. I am not ready to quit my regular job (Electronics engineering) so am thinking I might start out part time. Have considered getting a job with a local security/HA company to get some exposure to the business end of things, see what the competition is, and get up to speed on the professional gear. What do you think?
Also have a few leads on energy audits for companies. Have been involved in them internally before so that seems like a reasonable thing to do. But I am not sure how to charge. Some of the ones I have been involved in were funded by the government or utilities so were essentially free.
Since my job isn't very secure I don't want to spend a bunch on equipment to use it at home and get familiar with it.
Posted 01 March 2010 - 09:29 PM
Posted 01 March 2010 - 10:28 PM
Fortunately I have been doing installs with a few local pro's when I am out of work. They were used to installing lower end systems and I have been showing them how easy the Elk Product line is (its what I have been using at home for about 5 years or so). An iPhone and ekeypad make a great selling tool for the ELK M1 and the "add ons" are an easier sell. I have been learning a lot of installation tricks from these guys and even though its much harder work then pushing papers I enjoy it for the most part.
See if there is a local trade school class at night that teaches alarm system and other low voltage system installation. It might be a good place to learn and network. If you want the sales end see if a local installer would let you work on commission only to start (nights and weekends) and then salary and commission if you go full time.
Posted 02 March 2010 - 12:43 AM
Maybe offer RA2, as well as a slightly more affordable UPB line?
Posted 02 March 2010 - 12:15 PM
In my state, I've heard that registration for a tax ID is free, and easy. You could start your new business before you get let go.
Stop into the local ADI and AVAD electronics distributors, to find out about training opportunities. Tell them you've just started a new business, and you're eager to start selling and installing their equipment. They'll work hard for your business, they want you to succeed. Don't tell them that you're 'thinking about it', best foot forward.
Find your local Lutron rep, register for Radio RA2 BLAST training. Bring your game face, you're motivated to sell their devices.
Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:58 PM
I took an early retirement myself about two years ago. I had found and had accepted a part-time job that began immediately after my retirement... but didn't find it to my liking. I have tried to find a position and re-enter the work force. But have failed to find a position.
My employment needs are small. Being I have my retirement income I have considered starting a business. I truly enjoy my Home Automation, and my Home Theater and have done some installs for friends. However I don't believe these to anymore than niche markets. However I do think recent advancements in DVR and security camera technology does provide a potential market in residential installs of the lower priced units.
In my area... unemployment is high... and crime is rising. Break-ins and burglaries are up. A guy with the local branch of nationally advertised alarm company told me they are hiring because of increased demand. That isn't much in the line of "market research"... I know. Just my thoughts.
Posted 03 March 2010 - 11:09 AM
Maybe alarm installer tech school at night? Government loan for school, if finances are an issue.
Posted 08 March 2010 - 06:31 PM
My advice, having watched and been a part of just about every scenario possible in this business for the last 16 years.. Would be to look for a job working for a company that does large enough projects that you can get exposed to as much product/technique as possible and small enough so that you dont get lost in the shuffle and forgotten about, forever stuck in the same position.
By themselves, Lighting or CCTV or Distributed Audio and Video are easy to tackle. Integrating them though can be a challenge. You have to choose a capable control system to work with as you build your brand. The nonsensical idea that a HA company can carry, install, sell, service every brand is the quickest route to bankruptcy. At most you should have 2 go-to companies. 1 for higher end installs and 1 for lower end single zone stuff. The reason it is important to choose 1 company and choose wisely is because you have to train yourself and your employees on that product. The more focused your product lines are the better your installers will be and the faster your installations will go and the lower your labor bill will be and the more projects you can do in a given period of time etc etc etc.
For years our one room systems were Fujitsu plasma, Denon AVRec, DirecTV, Denon DVD player, Crestron ST-1700 touchpanel and ST-CP processor. This 1 room combination was installed in a single day, worked flawlessly every time. There was a slight struggle coming up with this combination but once we found it it became highly profitable because it could be repeated many times over and we KNEW it would work every time. No money was lost trying to figure out how to calibrate a new TV or AVRec every project. Now that Fujitsu is gone every project has the issue of "What TV? How will it be controlled? Do we have the protocol?" While it may seem like a small issue imagine going thru that on a 16 or 32 zone system with 10+ displays.
Good luck sir.
Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:37 AM
Everything is going IP based including Lighting, Security, CCTV, Audio and now TV's are going on the network.
Check out CEDIA, CompTIA DHTI+, and your local Community Colleges.
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