How to Start a Security Business
The crime rate is climbing. Each passing day is witness to a burgeoning number of
felonies and offenses. The police force, though capable, has its fingers in too many jars.
With the threat to personal property and life increasing steadily, a considerable number
of people are seeking out private security agencies for safety and protection. Therefore,
starting a private security business is a viable option in current times.
It helps if you've already been a part of the law enforcement or security industry
previously. This way at least you have an idea of what you're getting into. A security
business includes a suite of services including private patrol security, private
investigation, security alarm services, repossession, security consulting etc.
Fortunately, all these are sought-after services. So you can offer one or all of these
services to individuals or business, whatever route you're planning to embark on.
A security business tends to be a tad more complicated than others on account of the
stringent licensing and certification requirements. You'll have to check with your local
authorities for licensing requirements. While getting a license you'll also be subjected
to a criminal background check. The certification process is so rigorous that it ends up
limiting the number of people getting into the security industry. This can be a good or
bad thing depending on your perception. In one way this minimizes competition. But on the
other hand it means that getting a license and permit is that much tougher.
You must construct a business plan to determine initial capital investment requirement,
working capital needs, future cash flows, revenues and profits. No matter how experienced
you are, without a well-thought out strategy you'll be lost and your business may go
under. The first 2 years are the most vulnerable and most businesses collapse in this
period. So ensure that you have what it takes to sustain yourself during this time. A
vehicle, and sometimes more than one, is necessary for most security agencies. So you
might want to take this into consideration while allocating your expenses.
Location is another important consideration. Do your research before you settle on any
one location. Go through online directories and local yellow pages to gauge your
competition. Will you be able to survive in a place that already has settled and renowned
Evaluate how you'll attract customers. Carefully worded sales letters, bulk mailers,
phone calls and advertisements in local publications are some of the ways of gaining
exposure for your business. The success of your business depends on the proficiency and
discretion of your employees. So give due regard to their recruitment and training.
Besides, make sure that they fulfill all requirements with respect to licensing and
Always have a contract with each client. It's imperative that your contract mentions
not only what you're responsible for but also what you're not responsible for. This is to
protect you from future libel and litigation.
A security business can be really rewarding in the long run provided you plan right and
have the adequate know-how on how to go about it. The demand for security is on the rise.
All you need to do is service it.
Pamella Neely writes about security business management for
Start a Security Business.