Industry sector: Consumer services

Burglar alarm fitter: Cash sales


'Cash sales' means all income from your main business activity which is received at the time you finish fitting a burglar alarm or other security system. While some of your customers may pay you in actual cash, Cash sales are also likely to include debit and credit card payments and cheques.

To prepare your cash flow, you need to estimate how much income you will receive over the next twelve months, including VAT. To do this you will need to work out how many systems you are likely to install, at what price and when you will receive the payment. You will also need to decide on the range of services you will offer and what you will charge for them.

There are a number of things to consider when you make your estimates:

Type of business

  • who will your customers be - homeowners, residential and commercial landlords, local businesses and other organisations, or a combination of some or all of these
  • where will your premises be
  • will you have more than one outlet
  • will you offer a consultation and security system design service
  • what hours will you work

Your products

You will need to consider the range of security products you will install. As well as fitting burglar alarms, you might also offer:

  • fire alarm systems, including smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
  • security cameras
  • security lighting
  • access control systems and electronic entry systems
  • intercom systems
  • electric gates
  • window locks and strengthening film
  • uprated door locks

Your services

There are a number of services you might offer your customers in addition to your core work of installing security systems. You might offer some of these free of charge in the hope that they lead to a paid job. These may include:

  • inspecting premises and pointing out security weak spots
  • designing and drawing up proposed security system plans
  • working out quotes

Additional paid-for services that you might offer include:

  • 'key holding'
  • inspecting, testing and repairing existing systems
  • hiring out security equipment for special events

Pricing

  • what will your pricing policy be (don't forget, you must be able to cover your costs, overheads and drawings)
  • how often will you review your prices
  • what will your policy on repairing faults or exchanging goods be
  • will you offer credit
  • will you offer discounts, run periodic special offers and so on

To help with your decisions, click on the checkpoints for guidance. Once you have worked out a Cash sales figure add it to the relevant field in your cash flow forecast.