Access control is one of those physical security technologies that is necessary for customers from every market, from large universities to the smallest retail stores. Controlling and restricting access to a facility is a cornerstone of safety and security, which makes access control an exciting field to specialize in.
However, with such a wide-open access control industry, it can be challenging for an access control specialist to identify the best niche for themselves. And yet focusing on one particular vertical can certainly help your business succeed. Here we count down the top five tips for finding your own specialty:
1. Consider your local market.
What types of businesses and industries dominate your local city and state? Consider how many schools, retail stores, event venues, hospitals, and other organizations are within your local market and how many may arrive there in the next several years. Visit your local chamber of commerce and research the area’s business climate. This will help you identify the strongest potential verticals in your market in order to get started in the right niche.
2. Take a look at the competition.
If a particular vertical is booming in your area, the market might already be crowded with competition. But if you can get in on the boom early, you stand to establish yourself as one of the first experts in that field.
Do some digging, both online and in person, in order to discover how many similar VARs are operating in a given vertical in your local area. Ideally, you want to find a niche that is growing but not already overcrowded.
3. Think about how your prior experience might apply.
If you come from the world of IT, you may already have experience in a particular vertical that makes it a natural fit for your physical security work. This can be especially helpful in those markets with a lot of required certifications, such as healthcare and education, because relevant experience and industry contacts can be useful in getting your business noticed during the bidding process.
4. Plan for the long term.
Although certain verticals may be hot right now, be sure to think long-term. Ask yourself a few key questions: Is there plenty of growth potential in your area in a particular market? Will the customer base be able to support your company’s success both now and in the future?
Depending on your specialty, you should also consider how new technologies can help your business be successful over time. For example, wireless access control and access control as a service are both newer innovations that are gaining popularity. As your business and the industry continue to mature, you might consider adding these types of solutions as a way to stay ahead of the competition.
5. Find a niche that interests you.
Once you start building your customer base in a given vertical, you may find yourself working in that niche for years to come. So be sure to hone in on a market that actually interests you.
Access control is a vital part of any physical security solution, and VARs that operate in this space are doing important work to help keep their customers safe. Whether you end up in education, government, retail, hospitality, or event security—or something else altogether—be sure that it’s something you can feel passionate about. If you can find the right niche, your business is bound to succeed.
What access control vertical are you considering for your own specialty? Why have you honed in on that particular market?