How to Stay Competitive
This article features co-founder of FireandSprinklerInspections.com Ryan Hill, and founder of Inspect Point Drew Slocum. Prior to hopping in here, there are three questions to think about as you read this article:
1) What percentage of your business is sold in an online format (marketed, priced, sold)?
2) How strong is your “digital word of mouth?” aka do you have third-party online reviews available for prospective customers?
3) What stages of your operations are automated?
If your answers to these questions are “a very small percentage,” “not very strong,” and “not many,” don’t worry! You are not alone. With that said, this is changing, and the influence of the internet is becoming prevalent in many aspects of the life-safety business. Figure 1 on page 43 highlights changes on their way and how your business can leverage these changes to get ahead of the competition.
Q: You guys are relatively new. Can you quickly provide an overview of FireandSprinklerInspections.com? A: Yes, we are; we officially launched at AFSA37 in Washington, DC on October 1, 2018. This is an online marketplace in which businesses can buy and sell fire and sprinkler inspections. FireandSprinklerInspections.com is unique as the buyers of inspections are aggregated, resulting in much larger bids. In addition, buyers rate the contractors, increasing “digital word of mouth.”
Q: How can contractors best take advantage of the site? A: We’ve built the website with contractors as a large focus. We are focusing initially in specific areas as we ramp up: Denver, Colorado and the Northeast. The contractors who join our site early will be able to see the biggest rewards.
Q: What type of buildings (buyers) are on available? A: This will always be a changing answer; however, for now, it is safe to expect buyers from property management companies, hotels, residential buzildings, government facilities, office spaces, and medical outpatient facilities.
Q: What are the costs to apply and be listed? A: It is free. We make our money by taking a transaction fee which is paid for by the buyer.
More details from this interview can be found online at the website:
Regardless of what your focus is on fire and life safety, this technology serves to make your inspections much more organized and informative. Technology companies have revolutionized the fire protection industry by developing software which makes a much more efficient ITM process. Ease of use for the technician and back-office personnel is key to getting buy-in from everyone in the company. Every deficiency is tracked from the inspection while a report and proposal can be created to send immediately to the building owner. This is always-evolving technology.
In summary, commerce across many different industries has seen drastic changes with the advancements of computer technology. The life-safety inspection industry is currently going through a transition stage in how inspections are executed, bought, and sold. Utilize the learnings in this article to assure your business stays ahead of the curb.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Austin Hill is co-founder and CFO of FireandSprinklerInspections.com. Email him at AustinHill@TheBuyingPlatform.com.