The Covid-19 Pandemic is unlike anything that we have ever seen in our lifetimes. The global economy was basically shut down over night, leaving an economic contraction in its wake. The Security Industry has an inverse relationship with economic contraction – when the economy declines, crime goes up and ultimately drives security sales. But don’t count on that alone. Sure, there will be new sales driven by crime, but this contraction will cut deep and most likely, drive the United States into recession. Assessing business levels in the future is always a difficult task, even in expansionary times, as none of us have a crystal ball. Security professionals need to consider a variety of factors that can contribute to sales or lack of sales.
- Increases in crime – Will tough economic times lead to more crime? If so, will increases in crime drive new sales? What type of products will be in demand?
- Government stimulus – Stimulus dollars may come from state, local and/or federal programs and the security professional should investigate how to be a part of it.
- New Products – What new products have been introduced to solve virus related problems? Do they really work, and will it solve my customer’s needs?
- Existing products – New problems can be solved with existing products; what products are available to solve them (like face recognition readers and automatic door openers)
- Social distancing – How will social distancing affect how I do business? Will customers take in person meetings? If not, how can I differentiate myself remotely? How can I ensure to my customers that I am taking it seriously?
- Regulations – What new regulations may affect future sales?
- Supply shortages and overages – Will supply channels be enough to satisfy demand? Are manufacturers seeing a shortage in components limiting production and increasing lead times (yes).
- Pricing – Will short supply increase prices? Will over-supply decrease prices?
- Labor – Do I have the necessary labor to install what I sell in a timely manner?
- Government bans – Is there any products banned by the government like Chinese manufactured cameras? Will the FDA ban thermal cameras?
- Credit – Are my distribution channels decreasing my credit or terms?
- Competition – Will I be able to outwork my competition? What can I do to be competitive?
All these factors should be considered when planning for future business levels, but one thing is for certain, this too will pass but only time will tell how the security industry will fare during these unprecedented times.