We might live in a more secure and safer world than ever before, but that doesn’t stop businesses and people looking for ways to keep their properties and interests safe from robberies, violence, and other crimes. Security concerns seem to be rising, and more and more business opportunities are opening up for a smart entrepreneur who wants to start a security firm.
Anyone thinking about starting this kind of business needs to be aware that it’s not always easy, and you’ll face fierce competition.
Is a Security Business Right for You?
If you’ve got a keen interest in personal security and would like to help people feel more secure in their homes and business, it could be a good career move to make. It can mean long and unsociable hours, and you might find yourself working away from home a lot. As well as formal qualifications, such as a public safety degree from Wilfred Laurier University, you’re also going to need specific business-related skills such as accounting and administration skills, marketing, training, and education.
Security Business Ideas
The field of security is vast, but it is possible to break it down into three basic categories.
- 1. Private Security Business: Providing guard and patrol services. Work includes parking security, CCTV monitoring, security guards, guard dogs, and bodyguards. You’ll be providing a service that includes preventing theft, damage, or unauthorized access to property or an individual.
- 2. Security Consultant: Advising and supporting organizations or individuals in recognizing and managing security threats, as well as helping them to develop strategies and budgets.
- 3. Cybersecurity Company: Providing service and products that protect digital data belonging to organizations and individuals from cyber threats.
What Skills are Required?
If you have previously worked in law enforcement or the military, running your own security business is a good option if you’re looking for a new career. You’re also going to need security guard certification and a license. Knowledge of criminal law and law enforcement procedures, people skills, risk and need assessment, business administration, and keen observational and deduction skills are also necessary. You’ll need to be able to pay attention to detail, be computer savvy, able to keep a cool head under pressure and be in excellent health and physical condition.
It’s also important that you meet state and local requirements for being a bodyguard before you start your business. The laws and regulations for security service operators vary, depending on your location. You may, for example, need to be a licensed private patrol operator if you want to provide security services for a person or business.
Licenses and Permits
Licensing and permit requirements vary from country to country. In the US, for example, you have to apply for a Private Security License. The application differs from state to state, but generally, you’ll be required to submit two recent photos, a fingerprint clearance card and motor vehicle driving record. If you’ve been in the military, you’ll have to provide details and a copy of your DD-214 information. Four letters of reference are also needed and must be from a previous employer or colleague. You may also be required to submit a recent credit report, a copy of your high school diploma, college transcript and evidence of any other educational achievements.
Permits and licenses need to be in place before you look for any funding and if you’re going to have armed guards on your payroll, you need to make sure you’ve got the right gun permits.
It’s crucial you have the correct insurance in place because it means your business will be covered should anything happen to a client. At the very least you need liability insurance. Bonding insurance is also useful to have because it will protect your business should a client have property stolen by somebody you employ. Performing the correct background checks and paying your employees well should reduce the possibility of this kind of thing happening but it is still worth protecting your business. There are providers that offer insurance packages specially designed with a security business in mind, so it might pay to look around.
How to Market Your Security Business
The success of your security business is going to depend on an effective marketing strategy. Even if your prices are better than the competition, you provide the most responsive service and have the best-trained officers on your payroll; your company is doomed to fail if potential customers don’t know about you.
Not so very long ago you could have got away with a direct mail or telemarketing campaign and maybe printing some flyers. If somebody wanted to know more about your company, they would pick up the phone and ask questions. The modern consumer and business owner now wants to find all the information they need by visiting your website or looking at your business LinkedIn or Facebook page. Did you realize that more than 90% of all buying decisions begin with some online research? If you want potential clients to know about your business, you need an online presence. They need to be able to find you, and you also need to appear on the first page of any search they might perform when looking for security services.
Online reviews are an essential part of any marketing strategy you use. When a business is looking for security services, they’re going to check your company pages in online review sites. Hopefully, they’ll find lots of satisfied customers; otherwise, your chances of landing a deal will be seriously reduced. Encourage your current client base to leave you great reviews online and reach out to those who have left negative reviews to see if you can do anything to make them change their mind.
Once you’ve established your business, it doesn’t mean your work is done. You need to make sure you keep a good reputation and continue to provide superior service. You’ll find your security business keeps on growing if you maintain an excellent service and work on your marketing strategies.