Time for some breathing room

Firm’s growth equals larger office location
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Tuesday, June 1, 2004

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. - After spending 20 years in law enforcement, Kenneth Johnston was eager to retire.

But retirement for Johnston was traditional. Instead of down time there would be installations, alarms, fires and burglars to deal with on a regular basis.

“My wife and I wanted to open our own business in the burglar and fire alarm business and it just grew from there,” he said.

And grown it has. After nine years of being located in a small office where Johnston said he was “keeping inventory under desks and anywhere else you could hide it,” Lakeview Alarms has relocated to a new location to accommodate its need for additional elbowroom.

“We’re just growing in all areas,” he said. “We ran out of room and needed space where everyone could have their own work terminal and inventory space.”

The office, which was started out of the Johnston’s home 12 years ago, is twice the size of the previous location. Although there is room available, he currently has no plans to increase his staff.

Lakeview Alarms handles roughly 1,600 customers in residential and commercial security. The commercial end of the business is comprised mostly of commercial fire projects in schools, while the residential side of the business runs the gamut - from home networking and home theater to gate and camera installations.

Although Lakeview has the capabilities to work on established homes as well as new construction projects, Johnston said the company has not worked on a pre-wired home in years.

“There is just not that type of market here,” he said. “We’re in a resort area. A lot of vacation homes - a lot of million dollar vacation homes.”

It is a sector of the market he knows is extremely profitable, since the company works regularly in it.

“We don’t do big numbers, we do big numbers,” he said.

Johnston plans on keeping the business on the same path it has traveled towards for more than a decade.

“We’re not changing anything we’ve done. We’re not looking to do anything new,” he said.