Establishing one’s own security-guard service involves a vast array of logistics; and there’s a difference between owning a security-guard service and being a security guard. It isn’t, necessarily, complicated to start this type of service; and one should expect to invest anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 to get your business off the ground.
1. Preliminary Information:
Visit any on-line sites that will give you information on ‘security guard licenses’. Different states can have different pre-requisites.
2. Required Courses:
Even if you have no plans to become a security-guard, personally, you will still be required to be proficient (according to your state’s standards) on how to use and handle a gun as well as being knowledgeable with a variety of emergency procedures. You would need to attend a state-certified training program and a great resource for getting information on where to find these types of programs would be your local law enforcement agency. They would have a list of legitimate, licensed courses.
3. Previous Experience:
Aside from a thorough background check, your state may require that you possess a history of some type of law-affiliated work to indicate your qualifications for this type of business. This could be loss- prevention experience, previous law enforcement involvement or an acceptable level of proficiency with work in the security field.
4. Know The Law:
Some states require at least one completed course in criminal law. Even if your state didn’t consider criminal law as a pre-requisite, it would be very wise to take this instruction to have a clear understanding of what is considered acceptable or lawful in terms of conduct. In an “I-will-sue-you!” culture, the last thing one would want is a lawsuit due an individual being treated inappropriately.
Some areas covered in criminal law would include such things as property rights and methods of detention.
Law enforcement officers, as well as security guards, are required to participate in licensed boot camp training. As a security-guard business owner and operator, you will need to do the same. Again, contacting your local law enforcement agency would be a great place to get inside information.
6. Getting Registered:
You’ll need to register your business with the state and secure a tax ID number as well as contact the IRS to obtain an employee identification number (IED). This can be done very quickly by going on line and visiting the IRS website.
7. Know Your Competition:
Don’t assume you’re the only security-guard service on the block. Do the research to find out who your competition is and get as much information from all of them. It’s then that you can begin to evaluate how your company should structure itself, advertise, determine fees, etc.
8. Hire Pros:
When hiring staff, do yourself a favor and hire individuals who know the ropes as well as you do. Insist on quality personnel. Employees who are primed, mentally and physically, will serve as an impressive reflection of your company’s standards and they will be the ones who will help to develop and nurture your company’s reputation, from the very beginning. You want experienced, reliable people who will play a significant role with contributing to your business’ success.
9. Make Yourself Known:
Devise a marketing plan and establish a knock-out website---and investing in a professional web-designer would be a good idea. Attempt to diversify and expand your business by offering security consultations and security workshops. And since you should know your competition by now, try to offer something they don’t that you feel is lacking in your community.
Network with other security business professionals on a continual basis and learn the latest technologies and methodologies that are proven winners in this type of business.
And know, at the end of each day, you’re helping to make this world just a little bit safer!
The security business is one of the subjects of my continual research and my career as a teacher has definitely complemented my writing. - Karen, Iowa.