As the owner and CEO of Alarm Guard Security, the largest ADT authorized dealer in Canada since 2003, Mike Chaudhary, like so many business owners, was feeling the financial pinch of the COVID-19 epidemic. Sales of his security systems — which include complete, customizable packages for residential, commercial and rental properties — had started off strong in March, but by mid-month had begun to slip as the door-to-door contact that is such a vital part of their sales process was put on the back burner during the global health crisis.
Despite serving all of Canada and four U.S. states, system sales were taking a nosedive. Chaudhary realized he needed to modify his business model in a way that would eliminate or at least greatly reduce physical contact with customers.
For Chaudhary, the pivot he needed to make was clear: offer a DIY security option. In doing so, he would be able to provide contactless installs, avoiding customer interaction. Plus, he would eschew the door-to-door sales in favor of online ads, social media and the inbound inquiries that, fortunately, they were still receiving. Luckily for Chaudhary, because the company was in a relatively sound financial position, he simply went out and bought an existing DIY security company.
The company he purchased was DIYProtection.ca, a Toronto-based start-up that creates customized DIY security systems for consumers throughout Canada. Their systems can be augmented with a variety of home automation devices such as smart locks, thermostats and sensors; video monitoring services including cameras and video doorbells; and even senior protection devices, such as medical alarms.
Once details of the deal were worked out between Alarm Guard and DIYProtection, DIYProtection became a wholly owned subsidiary of Alarm Guard and is reaching out to Canadians in smaller, isolated areas, providing DIY security and home automation systems and, when the need arises, helping guide them through the installation process. Chaudhary now has a new weapon in his arsenal that he can use to wage war with the pandemic. With sales at Alarm Guard down by about 50 percent, the addition of DIYProtection came not a second too soon.
“This new entity is definitely helping us weather the storm,” Chaudhary said. “It’s not only generating revenue for us; it has allowed us to keep all of our people employed — including the new employees we acquired in the deal.” — By Paul Spinella, key account manager for Kwikset and Baldwin