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Tips for Creating & Maintaining a Successful Monitoring Center

Nov 13, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Starting a central monitoring station can be a great way to get into the security industry. Beginning any new business venture takes time and preparation, but with the right steps and goals in place, it can become a reality.

Creating a Center

To start, there’s some important logistical tips to keep in mind. First, make sure to file your business with state, federal, and local documentation. This will make it a legal entity, and begin your venture down the road to a monitoring center.

Next, determine what alarm industries your service will support. For example, AvantGuard offers monitoring for fire, PERS, security, and IoT. Consider your target audience and what needs they will have. As your business expands, offer additional services. It might be difficult as a startup to cover multiple bases, so think about specializing in one and then extend from there as business grows.

When selecting a location for your monitoring station, be sure to know the Underwriter Laboratories criteria. The building must have a secured power room, fireproof walls, and a backup power source. If your business will be offering answering services there will need to be a dedicated area, separate from other personnel, for the operators working there. This area cannot be on the ground floor, so make sure to select a location that will allow for another floor to be added.

Before your company is up and running, obtain commercial insurance. This will protect you from lawsuits and damages. A general liability policy will protect your business from bodily injury, property damage, and advertising damages against your company. Professional liability protects from financial losses of accidental false advertising. Knowing the difference between a general liability policy and professional liability, and how they protect you, can help keep your company covered.

Maintaining a Center

So, let’s say you’ve done all the correct documentation, selected a location, and obtained commercial insurance. What now? As you begin to build your station, keep in mind UL requirements. If your company meets the criteria after it’s inspected by the Underwriters Laboratory, it will become UL certified, which let’s consumers know that your business follows guidelines that promote a high-level of safety and security standards.

Having a UL certification also can be used as a great marketing device. While it will cost to maintain it, homeowners insurance is discounted when the alarm monitoring company they use is UL certified. This will help retain clients, and attract new ones, overall growing your company’s profit.

When hiring staff to run your monitoring station, look for operators that reflect qualities you want your company to stand for. For AvantGuard, those are empathy, attention to detail, and a passion for service. Each characteristic plays a part in how operators respond to situations or emergencies that arise in this line of work. Operators are often the main contact for your subscribers, and the professionalism they have gives confidence to dealers and subscribers to stay with your company.

AvantGuard was first founded in 2002 as a mom-and-pop central monitoring station, and has since grown to a national leader in wholesale monitoring. To find out more about the services we offer and maintaining a successful center, be sure to reach out.

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