There's never been a better time to peddle home security. According to the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, sales of electronic security alarms and related products should increase 3.8 percent per year through 2010, hitting $4.6 billion.
One of the big trends shaping this highly competitive industry is the integration of alarm systems with home automation systems, "so the entire house can be controlled and programmed from a touch panel or even remotely," says Daniel Rosenberg of Global Security Consulting Inc. a security consulting company. Rosenberg also sees buyers interested in advanced perimeter detection with fiber-optic fencing and magnetic wires.
Mark Visbal, director of research and technology at the Security Industry Association, says cutting-edge businesses are putting structure cabling into place--meaning that instead of separate lines for phone, cable, DSL and VoIP, entrepreneurs are selling all-in-one services for new homes. And there's a market for wireless technology that protects existing homes.
Bringing home security into the 21st century, Jim Johnson, 43, founded uControl Inc. in late 2005. This Austin, Texas, entrepreneur realized that since many people no longer have landlines, home security systems needed to connect with new technologies. uControl customers can arm and disarm alarm systems via cell phone or the web and check personal data logs to see who enters their home and when. Projecting 2007 sales of several million dollars, Johnson says, "We'll use technology to change the game."