Security integration is not an easy industry. Becoming a successful business requires hard work, determination, and willingness to take big risks. It also means sourcing a trustworthy team of security integrators who can take care of your customers without constant support.
As either a security integrator yourself or the owner of a security solutions company, you may feel like every day is a struggle to stay on top of everything you need to do. This can make it difficult to keep growing your business the way you want.
When you find yourself so bogged down in day to day management that you are unable to focus on the company’s future, it may be time to look for a financial partner.
But, What Does an Investor Know About Security Systems?
The idea of bringing on a partner who may know nothing about your business can seem unwise. But with the right arrangement, working with someone who has strengths in different areas can be the key to greater success.
For example, by working with someone who has experience helping other businesses grow, you have the benefit of their financial expertise. But they also have the advantage of working with you and utilizing your specific knowledge of your industry to help their financial strategies work.
If you are not ready to exit your business but want it to reach new heights, your partner doesn’t need to know your industry. The investor just needs to know the good business principles that will help you reach the next level of growth.
There are Buyers in the Security Industry Itself
If you are more comfortable with the idea of selling your security integration company to someone who knows your industry, you’re in luck! Not only will private equity firms invest in services, but so will larger players in the security space itself.
By becoming part of a larger company in the same industry, you not only grow your own business but also gain access to even more systems integrators who can help your employees progress in the integrated security space.
Why A New Owner Will Still Care About Your Business
Whether you start working with a larger security solutions company or transfer financial ownership of your business while maintaining management, your business will change for the better!
Instead of trying to navigate everything alone, you now have a partner whose sole intention is to help you succeed. If your business doesn’t produce, your partner doesn’t profit. By investing in your company through its purchase, the new owner has tied his own fate to yours. You will sink or swim together now, and neither of you want to sink!
How Investors Can Help Security Integrators Thrive
You’ve spent the last few years, or even decades, becoming an expert of integrated security. You know the ins and outs of your customers’ security needs, and you’ve trained your team to provide state of the art solutions. You’ve also learned how to grow and manage a successful small business.
But, you can’t be good at everything! Once your business reaches a certain size, navigating the path from there becomes harder. There are more financial hoops to jump through and ways to streamline your operations that you just don’t have the time to learn.
That is why a new owner or financial partner can help you take huge strides towards business expansion faster than you could have imagined. That is because, while you were becoming a security system expert, your potential buyers were progressing in their own financial and strategic expertise.
A New Owner Can Make You a Better Security Systems Integrator…
Owning and running a business are not for the faint of heart! It takes years of long days and interrupted weekends, juggling all the hats and learning how to hire the right people while letting go of the wrong ones. It’s a process that takes your whole self, every single day. Sometimes it is rewarding and exhilarating, but other times it is just plain exhausting.
More importantly, when you’re wearing all the hats, your own expertise can start to lag. When you’re spending so much time trying to balance books, brainstorm new sales approaches, and recruit employees, you can feel disconnected from the changing trends in the integrated security solutions space.
Many service industry owners prefer the field and the warehouse to the office or cubicle, but so often the office is where they end up during the day. As the business expands and the integrators on their team handle the “dirty work”, they find themselves spending less time with the people and services they love and more time doing the tasks they don’t.
By bringing in a new owner who predominately manages the financial and strategic side of the business, you are free to focus back on what you do best and the things that inspired you to start your business in the first place.
…and Manager of Your Team and Company
Being able to return your focus to the heart of the business enables you to show up strong for your team as well. The employee training or customer interaction you missed before can now be part of your daily responsibilities.
With your new owner handling a large part of the financial side of things, it’s your job to make sure your team is meeting performance standards and your customers are staying happy. Being free from the additional responsibilities, even paperwork depending on the arrangement, lets you manage the business. It also gives you an opportunity to collaborate with an experienced business strategist. The new ideas he brings to the table and the experiences either he or the larger company have had with helping other businesses grow will be yours to bring to the team.
By helping your employees remain enthusiastic and focused during the transition of ownership, you set the right tone for them to remain committed to you and your customers.
Why the Security and Access Control Industry is Gaining Attention
You might be wondering why an investor would be interested in a service-based business at all, or why a larger player in the industry would choose to acquire your company rather than just open a new branch. Those are good questions, but they also have good answers!
Many service-based industries that boast recurring monthly or semi-annual revenue are attracting interest from investors looking to diversify their portfolios. From fire protection to security integration companies, the fire and safety space in particular has transformed over the past five years as it receives more outside funding.
This new level of interest means a couple of different industry shifts have occurred. Thriving medium-sized companies have caught the attention of investors ready to take their business national. When those businesses sell part of their ownership, they are then expected to meet competitive year-over-year growth goals. To do this, they often grow by acquiring profitable companies on a good trajectory.
This all means that successful small to medium-sized businesses have become valuable targets. If you are an owner looking for a strong partner while still wanting to remain involved in your business’s growth, now’s the time to start those conversations!
Security Systems Integrators: Ready to Learn About Your Opportunities?
If you are a security systems integrator ready to consider the opportunities that await you, the best thing to do is start talking with a broker in your industry. Until you know you want to sell and who you want to sell to, it can be risky to start conversations with buyers directly. It’s hard to know whether or not you can trust them to keep your interest and information confidential.
By working with a broker, you can learn more about the types of buyers who are in the market for an integrated security company and familiarize yourself with them. You can also start to hear the real interest that exists in a company of your size, without having to make a single detail public.
In many ways, it’s like having a realtor who spends all day trying to get you an incredible house for a great deal, while you keep doing your day job. A few times a week, you review the houses available, and if you’re interested in one, you’re already poised to jump on it because of the work you did with the realtor ahead of time to collect and prepare your information.
Unlike a house search, when looking for a new business owner, the well-being of your whole team is at stake. That is where a realtor that knows your industry makes all the difference. Rather than simply comparing numbers, a broker who has experience working with security integrators knows what your team is like and how to look out for their needs, too. And he will enter every conversation with interested buyers keeping that total picture in mind.
Don’t Try to Navigate These Conversations Alone!
Navigating difficult financial conversations is intimidating. It can be especially hard when the thing for sale is your own business and the stakes are high because you and your team need to mitigate risk. It’s one thing to start talking to interested buyers, but negotiating is a much trickier skill. It includes financial terminology and expectations of reports and figures that you will not have had time to learn or prepare.
But you don’t have to navigate these conversations alone! By working with a broker, you can trust that you have an experienced financial advisor looking out for you in these negotiations.
Rory Russell: Former Security Company Owner, Now Here to Help You!
When you work with Acquisition and Funding Services to sell your business, you have a former security company owner looking out for you and your team. AFS owner Rory Russell started out as a security company owner, building his company to over 150 employees and becoming a leading service provider in the Northeast.
After selling his own business decades ago, he started helping other security integrators do the same when they were ready. Rory now has over thirty years of experience brokering the sale of fire and security companies across the country. He knows how to make sure you find the right arrangement at the right price for you and your team’s continued success.
Whether you’re ready to sell all of your company, part of it, or interested in additional funding, AFS is here for you! Call 800-354-3863 to speak with Rory today and start talking to buyers about your business’s next steps.
Read testimonials from security solutions providers who have worked with Rory to sell their businesses.