Most successful owners of security companies used to be on the frontline themselves a couple of years back. While all the knowledge and experience they have accumulated over the years is ideal for understanding their client’s needs, it can be tricky to gain the mindset of an entrepreneur and a manager as well – they used to be in the middle of all the action, after all, and not stationed in an office.
Starting a security company can be an excellent idea even when you have no prior experience with management, though, as the demand for private security is increasing with each passing day. It’s not a lack of clients that may bring you to your knees as much as the authorities, and there is an amount of conditions your company needs to meet.
Start by reading through this easy guide on assembling your troops and launching a security company, so that you’ll be prepared and confident when it’s time to meet those requirements.
1. Specialize in something
Security is a broad term and, while it may seem like a good idea to go full throttle and offer every security service imaginable, it’s not a viable option. Large security companies offer a vast range of services, but you’re not here to play with the big guys quite yet – find an area you’d like to specialize in, build a network of happy clients, and expand from there.
To offer a full library of security services means that you have to compete with the companies who have been established for a while, as well as spending an amount of resources on equipment which could have been better spent elsewhere.
If you’d like to provide data security for business clients, for example, it’s better to spend your hard earned money on excellent technology as well as expert training for your employees.
Other smaller areas of security, such as providing home alarm systems, are also great when you’re low on resources but would like to get started as soon as possible. Security and CCTV cameras need proper stepper motors to work with precise movements, but the equipment for this doesn’t have to cost that much.
Make your business take off a bit faster by focusing on one area and succeed with this before expanding.
2. Make licensing a priority
Too many security companies give up before they’ve even started due to the strict requirements. Do yourself a massive favor right away by reading up on the rules and regulations in your state; if you would like to operate in California, for example, you’ll have to complete a 40-hour training course first.
This is usually unnecessary if you already have experience in law enforcement, though.
In other states, you may have to apply to specific boards, and the requirements vary so much that you need to look into this on your own. Visit your state’s Attorney General if you’re unsure about what you need to get started, and don’t take anyone’s word for it.
By listening to someone else rather than getting the facts yourself, you may think the requirements for one state applies to yours – and you’re back to square one in no time.
Most states require a security guard license, a private patrol operator license, as well as a qualified manager license. While the first one expects you to have the skills of a security guard, the two latter involves the actual management of your company.
It’s the kind of preparation you’ll be happy to have out of the way as soon as possible as it helps you avoid those costly setbacks.
3. Get the right insurance
Security companies make a living out of keeping their clients safe from crime; it’s quite obvious that these companies tend to get themselves in trouble from time to time. You need to get a proper insurance for your business before you do anything else, and you should do some thorough research before settling for one.
Liability insurance in case something should happen to your client is only one of them – you’ll also need bonding insurance if their property is stolen by someone under your employment.
You can’t safeguard yourself against this any other way than through a comprehensive insurance and, while it may be tricky to find a company that offers all of this, the best ones on the market should be able to.
4. Find a catchy name and design a logo
To be a trusted security business means that your clients know your name and feel confident that you have their back. This is difficult when you’re new on the market; why should they choose you when there are a dozen others who have more than two decades of experience?
It’s no simple task and certainly a tough market to break into, but with the ever-growing need for private and commercial security services, you may still be in a good position to get started. You need to be seen, first of all, and you have to create a sense of familiarity – even if your potential clients have barely heard your name before.
A lot can be done through the design of an eye-catching logo and an innovative business name, but avoid using your own name as it implies a lack of professionalism. You cannot use a governmental region in the name either, as it is illegal, but terms that suggest a bit of experience such as ‘national’ or ‘international’ may work quite well.
As a new business owner, you’ll run into a lot of challenges during your first year. The solutions might be a bit different for a security company than for those operating in other areas, so keep calm and read up on as much as possible before you get started.
Your company may not have that much experience yet, but at least you do.