“With other companies, you don’t make any money. It’s $75 per camera and then you’re done. I like to make money, and with Solink I make money.” ~ Rick DeGaetano, CEO, IT Onsite Services, a Solink reseller.
- Most installation work represents a single payment, making it hard to increase revenue over time.
- Clients were looking for data insights and integrations.
- IT Onsite Services has no marketing budget and relies on word of mouth for expansion.
- Solink pays monthly recurring revenue (MRR), which helps make each month better than the last.
- Solink integrates with hundreds of systems, including Toast POS, which is used by most of IT Onsite Service’s clients.
- Existing clients love Solink and have been advocating on behalf of IT Onsite Services, leading to more expansion.
IT Onsite Services
Rick DeGaetano has been an IT and computer consultant for about 20 years. He is the founder of IT Onsite Services. Since 2008, IT Onsite Services has provided IT, computer, and security services to mainly restaurants operating out of airports and locally in San Francisco.
Build revenue growth into IT Onsite Service’s business model
Rick has been working with mostly restaurants, but also a large manufacturer, for over a decade. His services include the following:
- Setting up initial IT infrastructure
- Auditing the cybersecurity of businesses as part of PCI compliance
- Sourcing and installing equipment including security cameras
- Maintaining all the connected systems
He has managed to grow his business solely using word of mouth based on excellent service. However, as a one-person company, it’s difficult to scale his revenue because there are only so many hours in the day to bill for services.
Here’s how Rick describes the revenue situation with other video surveillance companies:
“The problem with a lot of my offerings is that you don't make any money. Once you are paid to install a camera, it’s done. Besides maintenance every now and then, there really is no money to be made.”
While the ultimate goal of business is to earn revenue, Rick is focused on adding value to his customers. Since he relies on word of mouth to expand, he needs to go above and beyond for each client.
The video surveillance system many of his clients were using lacked integrations. He knew additional business insights would be valuable, so was looking for an integrated solution.
“Some of my clients had a different video surveillance system installed. It didn’t have the integrations that Solink does. Before I found Solink, I was selling something that only offered video. Clients would still need to go in and find the matching transactions and video manually, which they didn’t do. So they didn’t really see the theft that was happening.”
With no marketing budget, Rick needs strong word of mouth to keep finding new customers. This requires a product that creates advocates who will go out and tell their friends about their new services or tools.
“I do absolutely no marketing whatsoever, so I rely solely on word of mouth.”
- Rick provides mostly one-off services. Since his business relies on selling his time, it is difficult to build his monthly revenue above a certain threshold with this business model.
- Some of Rick’s clients were looking for a way to marry video and data to get new insights into their business. The previous video solution he offered didn’t do this.
- When you have no marketing budget, it’s important to offer high-value products and services so customers tell their friends. This helps with word of mouth.
Solink solves all of Rick’s problems. Foremost, by pairing video with data, Solink gives IT Onsite Service’s clients new insights into their business. Solink is helping track down employee theft, discount abuse, and lost inventory. This excites users enough to tell their friends, leading to more sales for Rick’s company.
This customer excitement paired with Solink’s monthly recurring revenue (MRR) model means that Rick can earn money even when he isn’t on site with a client. Over the last few years, even though the pandemic slowed down the restaurant industry, he has been consistently adding new locations. This means his revenue share increases almost every month.
Clients are happy and Rick is making money
Rick isn’t shy about saying that he is in business to make money. He provides great service, his customers are happy, so of course he deserves to make money. When looking for a new integrated video surveillance service to sell to new and existing clients, he wanted something with a subscription model.
“I first looked to Solink because of the subscription model. The bottom line is that I sell Solink because I can make money. Without Solink, once you make the initial money by selling the security camera and then doing cabling and the rest of it, it’s over. You move on to the next deal. With Solink, I’m able to make monthly recurring revenue, and I just pitch the deal! Now that I’ve got a few locations, it’s really adding up.”
Most of Rick’s clients are using Toast POS. It’s easy to install, set up, and connect to Solink. This is a major selling point for Rick when pitching Solink to clients.
“Thank goodness that most of my customers are using Toast. Years ago with some older systems you needed to run one system on top of another system just to get the data. Solink having a great integration partnership with Toast makes it easy for me.”
In fact, Solink integrates with hundreds of systems to pull data and pair it with video. Since IT Onsite Services started selling Solink, Rick has noticed an uptick in his word of mouth referrals.
“I’ve got a couple of customers who just love Solink. They are true advocates, so I’ve got several referrals out of existing clients.”
When asked about how hard it is to sell Solink, Rick had the following to say:
No, not hard. All the sales to date have pretty much been an order taking deal. The closest to selling I do is that I’ve got a couple of deals where I just want their business because I love their restaurant. I love the ownership group. As an example, there’s a burrito chain out here in San Francisco with the absolute best burritos so I pursued a meeting with them. We’ve now got plans to meet for coffee and get him on board. That’s the closest I do to sales. I have a webpage and business cards with the Solink logo, that kind of thing. But that’s it.”
Solink’s MRR is adding up
Rick has been selling Solink for three years. The monthly recurring revenue means that Rick wants to pitch Solink whenever possible.
“I pitch Solink everytime, with new and existing customers.”
Ironically, by uncovering so much employee theft, Solink has brought a new problem to some of Rick’s clients. They are having trouble maintaining their labor pool.
“The biggest issue with my customers is that the labor market right now is horrible. Solink always uncovers theft. It marries video to every receipt number, so it’ll always find some theft. They go into Solink, and they find someone stealing cash from the till and then they need to fire them. They aren’t getting robbed anymore, but they are short on employees.”
Solink offers a complimentary safety and security audit to all users. These comprehensive loss prevention audits are a huge factor for expanding Rick’s MRR.
“The audits are a huge value for my clients. My clients love the Solink platform, and then these audits show them exactly what is happening, why it’s happening, and how to stop it from happening. Once one of my clients gets an audit done, they want Solink in all of their locations. It’s the biggest factor in those follow-up sales.”
With the pandemic over and restaurants ready to invest in new technology, Rick is seeing his MRR grow. While it’s not the major share of his monthly earnings yet, it’s getting there.
In Rick DeGaetano’s words
“Solink’s MRR is great. Having monthly recurring revenue has been huge for me.”
“I’m not stopping. I’ve got more deals cooking. Selling Solink is great. I’m very pleased.”
Rick’s three favorite features
Safety and Security Audits
Solink offers a complimentary safety and security audit to each user. These in-depth loss prevention audits uncover security risks, employee theft, discount abuse, potential OSHA fines, and more. They give Solink users the ability and knowledge to keep on top of these issues going forward and add ROI.
Solink is an integrated cloud-first video surveillance software solution. By pairing with hundreds of systems, including your POS, access control, and scheduling software, Solink unlocks new insights into every aspect of your business. By pairing video to every event or transaction, management can understand exactly what is happening and why.
Save & Share
Being able to save and share video footage directly from the Solink platform is helpful when incidents occur. Once video documentation of an event is found, it can be saved indefinitely and shared with all stakeholders, including the police, attorneys, members of staff, and insurance companies.
Timothy Ware is Solink’s Content Manager. He brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to the job. When he isn’t writing about security, loss prevention, and asset protection, he’s enjoying his newest board game. His work has appeared on many B2B SaaS websites including Baremetrics, Security Today, TeamPassword, Cova, and SignTime.