The Stable Business Curve

Someone recently asked me if there were any statistics on how the security industry is doing, and how it will fare in the next few years. This is not a new type of question. At least once a week, somebody with either a new product or new service calls to ask about the size and scope of the security industry.

It is hard to answer most questions about sales numbers for the security industry. With the amount of consolidations and company purchases in the last few decades, sales for most individual lock companies are almost intentionally lumped together with the total sales figures of the parent company.

A speaker at a security industry stock holder meeting mentioned that his company controlled 70 percent of the total market for his product line. As I grabbed for my notebook to write down that figure, a company official sitting next to me asked that I do not make that statistic public. It shows how hard it is to find exact sales facts.

Managers at large companies producing security products have their own worries but they can have those headaches. Your responsibility begins and ends with how your individual locksmith business is doing.

Here is my stock, educated guess when people ask about locksmithing. When the economy is down, the public tends to try and protect anything they already own. Locksmithing may be affected by a bad economy, but not to the extent of many other types of industries. When the economy is good, people are less apt to think of security because they can more easily replace anything lost or stolen. The result is that locksmith income is not overly affected by either a bad or good economy. Since there are presently few new building starts, people need repairs and replacements of hardware in their existing buildings -- another added boost for locksmiths.

My educated guess is a huge generalization and a local contingency may affect your particular business situation. Factors such as the scammers, new legitimate locksmiths opening in your area or a big box store may cut into your sales, but these happenings have little to do with the economy.

During the dozens of phone calls to my office from locksmiths each week, the economy is rarely mentioned. My father’s locksmith business survived through the depression of the 1930s, WWII and still exists today. Locksmithing is a great occupation.

So how does the economy affect your business? Are my theories wrong, or are you at least doing OK? Let me know: Gale.Johnson@cygnus.com.

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