Harper Morgan
Success at the Security and Fire Excellence Awards

Success at the Security and Fire Excellence Awards

Harper Morgan, the leading management consultancy that is dedicated to the security industry is proud to celebrate another award win with one of our clients.

Universal Security Systems have won their ninth prestigious Security and Fire Excellence Award at the 2021 ceremony held at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

Wes Harper, Managing Director of Harper Morgan commented: “We are very proud of our long association with Universal Security Systems and to have been the marketing power behind them being finalists on six occasions and winners of Security & Fire Excellence Awards a record breaking nine times since 2008 which is a reflection on Universal’s capabilities and of Harper Morgan’s knowledge and expertise in the security sector”.

About Harper Morgan Ltd

Established in 2006, Harper Morgan is the only management consultancy dedicated to helping manufacturers, suppliers and integrators in the security industry to promote their companies and grow their businesses.

Click here to read more about Harper Morgan.

About Universal Security Systems

Universal Security Systems specialises as a security technology integrator in the design, installation and support of converged security solutions. The company’s portfolio includes IP CCTV, network based security systems, enterprise access control and intruder detection systems, all using the very latest network based technologies.

10 things that make your security business more valuable than that of your industry competitors

10 things that make your security business more valuable than competitors

The value of your company is partly determined by the industry you are in. For example, cloud-based software companies are generally worth a lot more than traditional manufacturing companies these days.

However, when we analyse businesses in the same industry such as the Security Industry, we still see major variations in company values. So, we data mined the information available to us from our partners at The Value Builder System™ and were able to identify 10 things that will make your Security company more valuable than your competitors.

1. Recurring Revenue

The more revenue you have from automatically recurring contracts, licenses, apps or subscriptions, the more valuable your business will be to a buyer. If you can find some form of recurring revenue it will make your company much more valuable than those of your competitors. For an installer that will be service and maintenance contracts and for a manufacturer it could be software licenses.

2. Something Different

Buyers buy what they cannot easily replicate on their own, which means companies with a unique product or service that is difficult for a competitor to copy are more valuable than a company that sells the same commodity as everyone else in the security industry. Differentiators can be product and feature related or service delivery based or a combination of both.

3. Growth

Acquirers looking to fuel their top line revenue growth through acquisition will pay a premium for your business if it is growing much faster than your competitors in the security sector, whether that be installation and maintenance or manufacturing of CCTV, Access control or other products for the security industry.

4. Brand visibility

Have you ever wondered why successful brands like Apple, Samsung and BMW all continue to advertise and promote themselves? The answer is simple. They are increasing the value of their brands and their brand equity.If your brand is highly visible and has a good reputation (High Brand Value) then expect to get a premium acquisition offer when you choose to sell and more repeat sales as your brand is front of mind in purchaser’s decisions.

5. Location and Channels

Location is very important in improving the value of your business. For security installers you need to have engineers available to service your customer base and for manufacturers, location is normally about the sales and distribution channels you use to ensure customers have easy access to your products.

For a potential acquirer having established channels will save them the time and cost of developing a network of resellers and distributors which makes it easy for them to enter the market.

6. Diversity

You will no doubt have heard about Pareto’s law which is often called the 80/20 rule. Acquirers pay a premium for companies that avoid having 80% of their business with just a few customers as the loss of a single customer can cause major problems. Ensure no customer amounts to more than 20% of your revenue and your company will be more valuable than an industry peer with just a few big customers.

7. Predictability

If you’ve mastered a way to win customers and documented your sales funnel with a predictable set of conversion rates, your secret customer-acquiring formula will make your business more valuable to an acquirer than an industry peer who doesn’t have a clue where their next customer will come from.

8. Clean Books

Companies that invest in audited statements have financials that are generally viewed by acquirers as more trustworthy and therefore worth more. You may want to get your books reviewed professionally each year by a reputable accountancy firm.

9. Loyal staff and management

Companies with a strong management structure and competent staff are more valuable than businesses where all the power and knowledge are in the hands of the owner. Consider creating some standard operating systems and processes to help automate the way you do business.

10. Happy Customers

Being able to objectively demonstrate that your customers are happy and intend to re-purchase in the future will make your business more valuable than an industry peer that does not have a means of tracking customer satisfaction.

Like a rising tide which lifts all the boats in the harbour, the security industry typically defines a range of multiples within which your business is likely to sell for; but whether you fall at the bottom or the top of the range comes down to factors that have nothing to do with what you do, but instead, how you do it.



8 ways to know if you have a job or own a business

Do you have a job or do you own a business? The ultimate test of this can be found in a simple question: would someone want to buy your company or is it dependent on you?

Whether you want to sell next year or a decade from now, you must be building an asset someone would buy – otherwise, you have a job, not a business.

Here are eight ways to ensure you are building a company, not just doing a job:

  1. A job requires that you show up at work to make money, whereas a company generates revenue whether you are there or not.
  2. If your company is so reliant on a single customer that they can dictate how you deliver your product or service, your company is more like a job than a valuable business.
  3. A job is a place where your personal reputation and customer relationships impacts your results, whereas a company is a place where the brand is more important than the personality of the founder(s).
  4. A job requires you to use your personal experience and expertise to get a result, whereas a company is a place where a process – not a person – consistently produces a desirable result.
  5. In a job, you’re limited to how much holiday you can take and often worry about what’s happening when you are away, whereas if you own a company, the more holiday you can take without impacting your company’s performance, the more valuable your business will be.
  6. In a job, the harder you work, the more money you earn. In a company, the smarter you work, the more money you earn.
  7. In a job, you solve the problems. If you own a company, your employees solve the problems.
  8. If the majority of your customers know your mobile phone number, it’s likely you have a job, not a company.

If you’re still not sure whether you have a job or own a business, it’s time to get your Value Builder Score and learn how to reduce the dependency of your business on you.

The Value Builder Score assessment allows you to see your business as a buyer would see it, and helps you identify how you perform on each of the eight key drivers of company value.

You complete a questionnaire and after you’re finished you’ll get a customised 27-page report outlining how you performed and where you could improve the value of your company. Get your score now.

How to win new customers...

How to win new customers...

Asking how to do this is a bit like asking ‘what is the meaning of life?’. Simple stuff at its core – but it can get complicated along the way…
The central principles are:

Define your key added-value deliverables
Be very clear about what it is you are really selling. I don’t mean just the products or services (as important as they are) – but what they can potentially do for your customer. Think carefully about your deliverables and where they are advantageous versus the competition – i.e. where do you have competitive advantage? (bearing in mind that this could be different depending on who the competitor is).

Identify where you are most likely to succeed with new business opportunities
Make a list of the factors which determine where you should seek out your new business and apply some form of ‘weighting’ to allow you to prioritise. At the top of your list should be a question which allows you to define those most likely to be receptive to your ‘story’.

Understand your prospect’s world so you can identify with them
Do your homework on the organisations you plan to approach. What is going on in their world? What’s topical and ‘hot’? What is likely to be on their business agenda?

Consider where your strongest propositions lie
Do some preliminary thinking about the proposition/s you have in your portfolio (see first principle above) which potentially connects with your understanding of what’s likely to be on their agenda.

Where do you first make contact?
Also as part of your homework, consider who the most appropriate first stage contact is.
Remember that:

  • This very often isn’t who the organisation points at the outside world and uses as its ‘filter’
  • Further downstream in your dialogue it will be much easier to be delegated downwards than vice versa.

What message is threaded through your initial communication?
Decide how you will approach the organisation with the ‘lead’ proposition threaded into your communication:

  • Linkedin communication
  • Phone in direct
  • Call PA first
  • Work with partner
  • E-mail/letter in first instance ready for telephone follow-up
  • Seek out introduction from a networked contact
    - In relation to the last point above, it has been our consistent experience that people in selling in the UK give nowhere near enough thought to how they can get an introduction
    - Do you know someone who works there or has worked there?
    - Do you know someone in a complementary business?
    - Can you find out something about their business/market which allows you to make a connection?

What impact do conversion ratios have on the way you plan sales activity?
Do some conversion rate-based arithmetic which ensures that you plan enough activity to achieve your target.

Matching their needs to your deliverables…
When you are with your prospect, put the emphasis on making the connection between your knowledge of what’s happening in their world, his/her needs (as identified by your questions), and your potential deliverables.

Hey presto – the meaning of life…!!

Managing future sales results...

Managing future sales results...

In a recent issue of Director magazine, Philip Sadler attributes the UK’s positive economic outlook for the 21st century to the fact that ‘some learning has been going on’.

He is of course, correct to say this, but I fear that UK industry still has much to learn about the noble art (or is it science?) of selling.

Whilst the salaries offered for senior sales and sales management professionals in places such as the Appointments section of the Sunday Times prove that there are exceptions to the rule, I believe that in the UK today, the profession is still widely misunderstood, undervalued and shrouded in hype.

The snapshot which follows is an attempt to separate the reality from the mythology and nonsense.
Consistent success in selling can be distilled down to the planning and on going management of the three elements of sales activity which produce results:

1. Direction

In relation to the company’s marketing policies (and how well have these been articulated throughout the organisation?):

  • Which products / services are the best bets for the future, and thus require the most sales emphasis?
  • Which customers / potential customers will yield the best results for the future, and which ‘selection criteria’ have been assembled to ensure that the most applicable organisations are targeted for sales attention?
  • At what level(s) within the customer’s hierarchy do you need to be selling to be most likely to secure directly a buying decision?

2. Quantity

Plan the raw effort required.

  • Know the broad stages of your ‘sales cycle’ – from initial appointment-seeking telephone call, to successful conversion.
  • Know your ‘success (conversion) rates’ at each stage.
  • Use your regularly updated knowledge of both to plan the action needed.

3. Quality

Know your products in hard-edged ‘customer deliverable’ terms.

  • Which opportunities do they help your customers to exploit?
  • Which threats do they help your customers to offset?
  • Be aware of how this varies by customer type.
  • Know how your deliverables stack up against those of your key competitors. Plan and execute your questions and overall sales approach around this analysis, and use it as the springboard for selling the real value of what you do for customers, and where applicable, as the justification for resisting price pressure.

It is simple, really, then. Forget the hype and concentrate on carefully planning and managing the three elements of sales activity which will produce your successful sales results of the future.