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Leadership Learning

How to upscale when your industry is downsizing

4 min read

We heard of many instances of companies having a downturn in services, as we did ourselves, during the pandemic. If the client has to shut shop, there’s no point in us attending for banking. However, many security companies will not be returning after the restrictions ease. So many smaller security businesses could not survive the lack of income, and even some of the larger companies moved into smaller offices – a permanent downsizing as they would not require the return of all staff after the virus.

It has been a sad hit to the security industry. As in other industries. There will be permanent reminders that certain companies never returned from the lockdowns.

But it led me to thinking: How often do we check out Google listings of companies we’ve already hired? We put a lot of effort into finding the right fit for our businesses, make sure they provide the services we require. But then we set and forget.

Things to watch out for:

Updated Google Listings:

The company might relocate to a much smaller office, meaning they are in trouble and you should watch out for the demise of your services. Of course companies move office all the time, but if their Google picture changes from a double storey building, to an office within another building, perhaps they have less staff for a reason.

Verified Google Listings:

Keeping an eye on their premises helps you establish if the company you have chosen is stable at the very least. Some companies are not entirely truthful about their Google listing in the first place. We know of one business that inevitably posts a fraudulent photo and address, as we have seen their actual office. If you have visited their offices, and can tell it’s definitely theirs, then you can have some more peace of mind.

Unsolicited sales contact:

Other companies start to target you, even though you are not currently in the market for another provider. You might receive phone calls, LinkedIn messages or even emails from other security companies. This is because it is a very small industry. We all talk to each other. We all have contacts within other security services, and utilise each other’s services from time to time. This means we hear when each other are heading into trouble. There might be whispers and guesses, but we have been through this before. We’ve heard the companies talking to each other and perhaps letting us know they have less drivers, or are having to restrict days for collections. We know the signs to look for and are quick to offer our services to clients, or just remind them we are here if they need us.

The pandemic led to many clients having concerns about their staff being in contact with couriers, and these have led to a few companies that still use the old version of paperwork having more losses. Our CEO has always been a forward thinker and we have many technological advantages ourselves.

SecureCash has been utilising eDockets since its inception. The electronic docket replaced the old paper docket system most cash in transit companies used. Our courier also had booklets of paper dockets that the client had to fill out manually and the guard had to double check and sign off at the bottom. This was usually filed away in the head office taking up ample space.

eDockets removed all storage issues we had, as well as taking the paperwork stress away from our clients. Now that Covid-19 became a safety issue for our clients, we modified usage of the electronic docket and negated any contact for everyone.

Customers could still see the screen and verify the banking bags collected, but now they could verbally confirm details with the courier who would sign the eDocket for them, in plain sight of the client. Everything was still secure and confidential, the customer still received the immediate notification that the banking was in our possession, however, no one was exposed to any surface that might be contaminated.

Why It’s High Time for Security Industry to Embrace Digital

It was a very welcomed trend, even before Covid-19. We heard many reports that clients were grateful to not have to fill in the paper dockets, and even more grateful to have the immediate email notifications for the banking collected, and then for it being deposited. We can see that eventually, we will make accounting work easier, as the emails can automatically fill in charges in the invoicing system. It really is a win-win situation for us and our clients.

Our online services portal was launched pre-COVID and this led to clients being able to amend their own schedules in our database. They could see all invoices, at any given time, and they could update contact details whenever there was a staff turnover. And again, we can see this developing into a system whereby you could upload pictures of your company site so that couriers are certain to attend the correct location.

These electronic advantages led to us remaining intact at the end of the pandemic. All staff are still here, and we even have relocated to a larger office; one that was purchased and not leased anymore. We have grown so much recently we are able to buy an entire building, and will soon furnish it for everyone to relocate after the restrictions have eased. We’ve gone from a tiny office space to a larger one, and now have to buy to be able to expand the way we need.

Don’t be afraid to look outside of your industry. If there is some product you use in your home, for instance, that saves you time and effort, perhaps look at utilising it at work? You can invent things, more cheaply now you can go to Fiverr and hire someone to work for a shorter period of time than hiring full-time staff. Sit back during restrictions, take a minute and really analyse what your company does. Is there a newer way to achieve this? Check if you can rework your company to convenience your client. Then you can ensure your survival if we are under restrictions for some time.

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