Due to the increasing requirement for security-related services, many entrepreneurs are looking to establish their own security firms. Security-related categories are vast, ranging from network security to physical security, as well as ensuring the safety of information and individuals, also known as data security. Regardless of the business type, most business owners require security of some kind. Read on further as we at Business Name Generator, provide you with some of the essential knowledge that you’ll need to start your security business.
Decide on which type of security you will offer
As previously outlined, the range of security services is vast. Your first step is to determine the specific type of services that you wish to offer. This can include:
- Security guards for venues
- Door supervisors
- Close protection bodyguards
- Mobile patrol
- Guard dog handlers
- Key holders
- CCTV monitoring
- Event security
- Vehicle parking security
- Home security, including alarms and monitoring services.
- Information and data security
- Network security, this area is huge due to the risk of cybersecurity issues.
Here, consider whether you can identify a niche and factor into your decision, your experience and expertise. If an area is relevant to your knowledge set, it would be sensible to specialize in that area. Furthermore, think about refining your security services to either residential or commercial properties and businesses.
Consumer categories within the security industry
Common categories that require security services are as follows:
- Retail and leisure
- Government clients
- Online clients
- Financial institutions
Formulate a business plan
Regardless of your business specialism, a business plan for any start-up is essential. Read our specific guide to creating a business plan here.
Additionally, you should aim to include the following information:
- Your relevant experience, previous useful contacts and related qualifications
- An overview of the business including your business name, objectives and your values.
- Perform a SWOT analysis to evaluate your business ideas from various aspects in order to identify your vulnerabilities and possible obstacles.
- Plan your finances, identify your potential expenditures, your starting capital and plan your budgets accordingly.
- Secure your funds. It is common to require additional financial help when starting a business. If you wish to take out a loan, you will need to talk through your business plan and ensure that you have considered all of your business details comprehensively.
Key costs to consider
- Wages are a huge outlay within this type of business
- Purchases, equipment in particular is expensive
- Other: rent, licenses, utility costs
- Extensively research a wide range of similar security businesses.
- Research your target audience, identify their needs and establish ideal marketing methods that will enable you to reach them effectively. For example, identify which social media platform they are likely to frequent.
- Write a detailed plan outlining details of all the services that you intend to provide, the prices for each service, legal and insurance requirements and policies that you may need to create and implement. Research existing successful companies to inspire you and to ensure competitive prices and ideas.
- The first key performance indicator (KPI) in any security business is its completion rate. In all your undertakings, you should aim to achieve a 100%completion and success rate in the services you offer. This means that clients get exactly what they want and need. This can only be achieved by spending lots of time with your customers and by getting to know their security requirements.
- The second KPI you can use to measure the efficiency of your services is response time. Always ensure that you promptly respond to your client’s questions and concerns as a company. Though this may seem trivial, it is significant to clients and ultimately contributes to their satisfaction.
Consider your business’ service delivery process
Inevitably, the process by which you deliver your services depends on the type of security that you offer.
Typically, you may be required to bid for a contract, or you may just submit a proposal. Once you have secured the contract, the client usually signs and submits their payment. Subsequently, you will deploy your services as required. Notably, you will have to be able to risk assess the nature of each job before agreeing to a price and contract.
You can find a wide range of business plan templates such as this here, which will help you to get started.
Consider equipment and tools
The type of equipment needed will be dictated by the kind of security service you are offering. However, some essentials include walkie-talkies, microphones, earpieces, mobile phones, digital cameras, tablets, and laptops.
Choose a location for your business
Additionally, your location is equally important as city-based companies will have a higher demand for security guards and large events. Whereas, CCTV and residential security may be more popular within rural areas. You will need to consider where your demographic is, the accessibility of the location, the local competition and local regulations.
Ensure that you adhere to the legal requirements
Depending on the country in which you are based, there will be a range of legal requirements that you will have to abide by. Research the legalities that are specific to your country and potentially your locality and ensure that you are aware of the regulating bodies and their stipulations, such as training and license requirements.
One of the main costs in security companies is insurance. Though it depends on the specific provider and package, insurance may cost thousands of dollars. This means you will need to conduct effective research in order to find an insurance package that suits your business.
You may wish to consider the following insurances:
- Health insurance
- Risk insurance
- General insurance
- Workers’ compensation
- Liability insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
Similar to other businesses, obtaining the necessary licenses is imperative. Typically, the number and the type of licenses will depend on your location. However, in most states, you’ll be required to train your security guards before they can be given a security officer license. Additionally, you must obtain a Qualified Manager License as the business owner. Obtaining all these licenses requires money which you should have access to.
Choose your legal entity
When making this decision, you can choose from a general or a limited partnership, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a ‘C’ or ‘S’ corporation. Inevitably, you will need to research each possibility and assess the applicability that each has with your business. In essence, different options can provide varying limits of personal liability, ease of transferability and can impact tax issues.
Typically, a Limited Liability Company is an appropriate choice here as you have the option to change your business to other legal entities later on.
When registering your company, it’s advisable to classify it as a Limited Liability Company. This way, you’ll avoid being liable in certain situations. For example, when a suit is filed against one of your security officers.
Market your security business
Name your company
If you haven’t already considered a name for your company, it’s now time to finalize this decision. Naming your business is the first form of branding and allows your consumer to identify you. Ensure that your name is relevant and memorable. Luckily, our Business Name Generator can generate numerous unique name ideas, allowing you to choose the best for your company.
Create a logo
Next, create your company logo. You can hire graphic designers to help you with this,but it should be memorable and striking. Read our guide to help you with this process.
Construct a website
Within this technological era, one of the first points of contact that a consumer makes is by searching your website. There are many web-hosting sites that allow you free access or payment plans to ensure a professional and personalized finish. Websites such as WordPress are an ideal marketing forum upon which you can tell your story in the form of an ‘about us’ page. This enables your consumers to contact you with inquiries using a ‘contact us’ form.
So, to impress them, ensure your site is user-friendly, well-designed, and aesthetically pleasing.
Use social media
To generate more organic traffic on your business website, it is beneficial to create business pages upon various social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. However, ensure that your interactions on such platforms are professional and discreet due to the nature of the services you offer.
Another effective way of meeting clients is via professional social media sites such as LinkedIn. You are bound to meet individuals and firms who require security services here. Likewise, on Facebook and Twitter, strive to post educational content, for example, “Tips on How to Remain Safe.” This way, you’ll attract more followers and give your business more exposure. Having said that, you can also read our Ultimate Guide to Business Marketing for in-depth details.
Word-of-mouth and written online reviews are both extremely good means of promoting your business and encouraging custom. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your website and within linked social media business pages, ensure that you interact with these reviews, thanking the positive and responding professionally to any less positive reviews.
Use print marketing
Include an overview of your services alongside your contact details on a business card and circulate them amongst your target audience.
There are many clever online marketing methods now, you can work with digital marketing specialists to target websites that your target audience frequent, with your adverts or to promote your company via email.
Cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset
As with any business, your mindset and approach is fundamental to its success. Firstly, identify whether there are any previous contacts from your previous career history that you can contact for advice.
Secondly, research the most successful security companies and learn about their stories and their journey to growth. Additionally, YouTube provides many helpful videos related to this topic.
Specific to the security sector, research changing trends and requirements within the industry and stay ahead of your competitors by ensuring that your learning is a continual process.
Due to the nature of the security business, it is highly likely that you will need to staff as one man security companies are uncommon. Security staff will need to have the relevant training and will undergo background checks due to the private and sensitive nature of this sector.
You can hire staff in a variety of ways:
- Post the vacancy details on your websites and accompanying social media sites
- Ask others within your contacts and business networks, if they know of anybody suitable for the job
- Publish the vacancy with general recruitment websites
- Advertise within local newspapers
- Contact security training providers and publish your vacancy adverts with them
Managing your staff
Once you’ve hired your staff, you may want to hire a manager to enable you to delegate specific tasks and monitor the workloads of others. You can also purchase security staffing software that does the job for you. This clever technology pay absences, create schedules and tracks workers.
Your employees will determine whether your security business will succeed or
not. To motivate them towards meeting the set objectives, always pay them well.
Maintain your business’ growth
Increase your brand’s visibility, invest in logo printed uniforms for your staff. Additionally, branded vehicles are a fantastic means of promoting your business.
Create a brochure detailing your services, contact details, prices and reviews, circulate them via post and leave them with related business to promote.
Furthermore, the salary of a particular employee should be commensurate with their expertise. Of course, the remuneration will also depend on their terms of service, whether they’re on a contractual or permanent basis.
Other helpful sources of information
- SDM Magazine: www.sdmmag.com
- National Council of Investigation and Security Services: www.nciss.org
- Security Magazine: www.securitymagazine.com
- National Association of Security Companies: www.nasco.org
Despite the growing demand for security providers, establishing a security company is not an easy task. The competitive nature of the market and failing to understand individual security needs are barriers to success. In general, you must begin with a sound knowledge of the industry, business and market. This coupled with drive and determination will ensure that you have every chance of success.
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