The security, lighting and temperature control systems he sells may be futuristic, but Craig Curran, 42, counts on a down-to-earth argument to win converts for his "low voltage" wiring and installation company: Once drywall is up in a house, it's much, much harder to retrofit without making a mess.
A typical contract for his company, Smart Systems Technologies, can run $15,000 to $20,000 for an entertainment setup or a home surveillance system that lets you peek at your front stoop through an image displayed on your TV screen. But again appealing to practicality, Curran's sales team makes it easier for buyers to justify the price tag by working with home builders in Irvine, California, to wrap the cost of Smart Systems' services into the mortgage for a new home.
Projecting $23.5 million in 2005 sales, Smart Systems has expanded to fast-growing Phoenix and is eyeing burgeoning cities in Florida, Georgia and Texas. However, you won't find the company in markets where new-home construction schedules are subject to the whims of winter weather. Says Curran, "We need to be full-speed 12 months a year."