Being a bodyguard may seem like an unusual career choice, but given the current climate, it's actually a great business to start. For one, you don't necessarily need any additional employees when you're starting out, and you can begin with a low capital investment. If this seems like a job you'd be interested in pursuing, here are some steps you can follow to reach that goal.
Learn your state's requirements for being in the security business. Although being a bodyguard isn't exactly the same as working as a security guard, you may be required to meet the same standards in terms of licensing. Even if that is not a requirement, you should consider getting a license because it will make you more marketable to clients. You may also need a license if you are going to carry a weapon--concealed or otherwise.
Improve your protection skills. If you're going to be acting as a bodyguard, there's a good chance your services may be put to the test. While knowing how to use a gun effectively is a good start, you should also learn some other self-defense measures, such as martial arts. Being versatile will help you better protect your clients and will give you an advantage in the industry. Consider taking some classes in martial arts from professionals in your area. Many colleges and fitness studios offer karate and other self-defense courses that could come in handy when you have to defend a client from an attacker. You might also want to take some shooting lessons to fine tune your skills with a weapon.
Meet and network with others in law enforcement. While you might be a good bodyguard, chances are you'll need to expand your staff to meet the needs of additional clients. If you have connections in law enforcement, this can be a great way to find available people for the job. Many police officers do security work part-time, and they are a great choice for bodyguards because they already know how to handle difficult, scary and dangerous situations. You can make contact with them through local union meetings, advertising in the local newspaper or just dropping by the station to ask some questions. Having connections to the police in your area could also help you get leads about potential clients. After all, most of the people you would be protecting would go to the police first for assistance.
Market yourself appropriately. Obviously, an average person isn't going to have much need for a bodyguard, except in very unusual circumstances. That means you need to use your marketing ability to connect with the people most likely to use your services. While you may not have any famous people living in your area, you do have politicians and business leaders who sometimes are a target. A good idea might be to send personally written letters to some of the top people in your community. In the letters, be sure to mention your experience and your services. Include a business card as well. Attending events where these individuals might be present could also give you a chance to mingle and "sell yourself" to them.
Think about branching out. While having a bodyguard business is an affordable way to get into the security business, you may want to consider expanding your services so you can reach a wider potential market. Home security systems and trained guard dogs are two areas that are also becoming increasingly popular and might be complimentary offerings that you can provide.