As with any business type, a security company requires a lot in the way of start-up planning and expenses, both from a business and legal standpoint. It also requires you to be an expert in services such as anti-theft devices, burglar alarms, investigations, security guards and security systems. Security companies help keep people safe, but the business also can have its dangerous moments—something to keep in mind as you make any final decisions.
As with any start-up company, financing will determine whether your business gets off the ground. You should have enough funds for essentials such as office space, personnel training and compensation, insurance, firearms and hardware, required paperwork and advertising.
Once you have established you have the financing to proceed, you need to meet all federal law requirements in regards to yourself and your personnel, such as background checks, licenses, permits, insurance bonds or policies and restrictions. Federal law requires these checks because you or your personnel may be required to carry firearms as protection.
Aside from obvious office equipment, such as a telephone and computer service, you will need an image recorder/video surveillance system in place that can capture all of your potential clients' video feeds. You also should have a substantial inventory of firearms from which to draw, located safely away so that only you and your manpower can access them.
After deciding how to register your company (for instance, as an incorporation or limited liability company) and whether you want to sell products, services or a combination of both, you need to have your name out there. Consider listing your company in the International Executive Security Association, a worldwide organization that promotes security and investigative companies.
If you want to start a security company and lack people skills, work to improve them ASAP. You want your clients to feel protected and safe in your care, whether you're setting up a security system in their home or business or providing them with a bodyguard. Interaction with people comprises the essence of your business—whether it's your clients or your personnel. You will save yourself headaches if you know how to handle various client types and their security issues.
You probably have more than a passing interest in the security business and know a good deal about it; hence, your interest to have your own. Still, you want to ensure you and your personnel have undergone proper training and are knowledgeable about the business, so you can provide your clients with dependable and strong security products and/or services.
You should have the following types of training, depending on what services you offer: alarm response, firearms/weapons, first aid, patrol, personal protection, physical fitness and security guard services. You also should make sure you're up to date on the latest computer technology and firearms training. The stronger your physical skills and the broader your capabilities and knowledge, the greater your company's security efficiency, which will have a positive impact on your reputation.
Jim Radenhausen is a freelancer who began writing professionally in 1998. A resident of Reeders, Pa., he spent over two years working at the "Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal." Radenhausen received his bachelor's degree in English/professional writing from Kutztown University in 1997.