If you are like the owners of most security companies, you want to grow your business and your bottom line. The most obvious solution is to increase sales. But that only provides a quick fix without any lasting results.

What this tactic fails to recognize is that unless your entire organization, from the receptionist to the owner of the company, is actively involved in building awareness of the security business, your company cannot achieve and sustain the long-term growth it needs to survive. While your receptionist or accountant may not be going door-to-door selling alarm systems, they and your entire team are engaged in some form of branding, selling, marketing and networking of your company’s products and services.

Two techniques that I teach – “time and task management” and “building a powerful network team” – are ones that employees can put into practice immediately and see results immediately, as well. These two training topics already have helped companies in the electronic security industry, including Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Syracuse, N.Y., increase sales and marketing without increasing costs and by using their existing employee base.

Time and Task Management

What would you do with an extra 30 minutes to two hours each day? Think of the tasks that you’ve kept languishing on the back burner that you could finally complete. Better yet, think of the sales that you could close and the marketing tasks you could complete. You might even get home at a decent hour.

If you’re already working 10 or more hours each day and you’re still having trouble finding the time to take care of all the loose ends, don’t panic. I’m not suggesting adding more hours to your work day. This technique allows you to work smarter, not harder.

The extra time that will allow you to accomplish both your professional and personal goals is there – you just have to find it.

The extra time is really not hard to find. Set aside four half-hour segments out of each day. These segments, called “time bytes,” are designed to be 30-minute uninterrupted periods during which you focus on specific tasks. The key to time bytes is being uninterrupted, so place a time byte sign on your office door. Because everyone in your company has been through the same training, they know better than to interrupt.

For instance, you can set your first time byte for 7:30 to 8:00 a.m. During that period, do something productive for the day. Early morning is a perfect time to clear out all your voice mails and e-mails from the previous day.

I’ve found that 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. is best for the next time byte. At that time each day, you might start to feel tired, so you might go get some coffee, juice or soda. Bring your snack or drink back to your desk and get to work on a specific task that you’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t yet found the time.

The third time byte should come at around 2:00 in the afternoon – after lunch, when you’re starting to drag again; your body is tired.

When you choose to take your final time byte is up to you. Many people use a half-hour at the end of the day to clean work off their desk and prepare for the next day.

Within a 21-day period, which is one full business month, you will pick up an additional half-hour to two hours of productivity. At that point, when you get into your time byte zones, you will have become so efficient at the practice that you won’t have anything to do. Then you can use that extra time to concentrate on branding, marketing and prospecting for the company.

Once you get your time bytes aligned and get through that initial 21-day process, you can focus on the second topic – building a powerful network team.

Building a Powerful Network Team

In this exercise, everyone – from the front desk receptionist to the back office employee – learns how to brand and market your security company. This powerful network team of people spreads the message to friends, family, community and even acquaintances. The goal is to build awareness and name recognition of your alarm company.

In the program everyone is part of the team and takes an active role in marketing and selling. Networking even comes into play every time the phone rings. For example, the receptionist answers the phone and the caller says, “I’m sorry, I must have the wrong number.” Most likely, both parties hang up and that’s the end of the story.

Even a wrong number can be the right opportunity to build brand awareness. The next time the receptionist answers the phone and it’s a wrong number, he or she says, “No, sir/ma’am. You got the right number for all your security needs. If you’re ever in need of security products or services for your home or business, kindly call us at XYZ Alarm Company.”

In 10 seconds, a wrong number has turned into a marketing opportunity. It’s the best free advertising available. That short interaction plants the seed in the callers’ minds, if only because they’ve never heard a response like that before. And if the situation ever arises where one of those callers is looking for an alarm system or has any other security need, he or she will remember your company.

One of my rules that I instill during a training session is that everyone in the company, regardless of their position, must answer the phone like that from then on.

The positive impact is long lasting, because you’ve not just increased sales but changed the thinking and culture of your security company now that all employees are involved in the branding, marketing and networking process. Once everyone understands their responsibility in managing their time and building their network, your company will see immediate results that positively impact your bottom line. Getting employees on board with these two topics is a win-win-win: your employees win, your customers win and your company wins.

Side Bar: Krisby’s Tips to Manage Time

Set aside four half-hour segments, called “time bytes” each day, which are uninterrupted periods of time when you focus on specific, productive tasks. To ensure that you’re left alone, place a time byte sign on your office door.

  1. Early morning (7:30 to 8:00 a.m., for example) is a perfect time for your first time byte of the day. You may want to clear out all your voice mails and e-mails from the previous day.
  2. 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. is best for the next time byte. At that time each day, you might start to feel tired, so you should get some coffee, juice or soda while you work.
  3. The third time byte should come at around 2:00 p.m. – after lunch. Get up, stretch, then jump right into another half-hour uninterrupted time byte.
  4. For the final time byte, many people use the half-hour at the end of the day to clean work off their desks and prepare for the next day.