Which businesses don’t need security guards? Regardless of whether a business is looking to protect their staff, valuables or assets, or deter any potential threats before they develop, security guards are always a necessity.
When it comes to starting a security company however, there are certain things that you need to hit the ground running; here’s our in-depth guide to everything you ever needed to know about how to start a security company, the right way!
Why Starting a Security Company in 2022 is A Solid Business Idea
Think about it: the pandemic has (and continues to) change the world as we know it. Security companies are known as the “fourth emergency service”, going beyond the stereotype of nightclub bouncers stopping people at the gates of a club.
Starting a security company gives you the chance to operate in a range of different niches that you might not have been aware of, including:
- Bodyguarding, armed or unarmed
- Public space surveillance (CCTV)
- Private investigations
- Cash and valuables transit guarding
- Door supervision
And beyond. The possibilities are endless, and can be financially lucrative indeed: in the United States alone, security services generated a revenue of $35 billion dollars in 2018. That same year (the last date on record), some 1,054,400 security guards were employed.
Courtesy of www.bls.gov
With such statistics reported by the Bureau of Labor, it’s no surprise that more and more entrepreneurs are interested in starting a security company. To make the process easier, here are 13 easy steps on how to start a security guard company.
But Wait…What Are the Costs Involved in Starting a Security Guard Company?
There are a lot of different potential costs you need to take into account (pun intended!) when starting a security company, but remember that, depending on the niche you choose, you might not need all of the list below:
- Security guard insurance, which could be as much as $6000 for 6-months.
- Legal and other regulation and compliance costs, which could be around $500.
- Cost of equipment, uniforms (starting at around $100 each), as well as firearms and firearm licenses (if necessary)
- Regarding firearms, if a guard has their own, you would need to reimburse them for the use of their firearm’s time in use. If not, you could always buy second hand firearms, (Costing a few hundred dollars). New firearms could cost you in the thousands of dollars.
- An office space. We advise you to look into sharing office space with other companies (check out coworking spaces in your area!) to initially save some budget.
- Marketing materials – depending on how you market your services, this could range from hundreds of dollars to a few thousand, at least at the beginning of your security guard company. Add to this the cost of setting up and running a website, which could be around $100 a year for hosting, but might be more if you want to hire a freelance graphic designer.
- Your ongoing expenses will likely be for your insurance, your staff and your office space.
The Ultimate 13-Step Guide: How To Start A Security Guard Company in 2022
Choose A Security Service to Offer
Before starting a security company, you have to decide which security services you plan to provide. Going into the security industry without knowing what you can offer to your clients will only end badly. Therefore, you need to know which services you’ll offer so you can ensure you have the funds and resources required (see table above for more details of this).
The following are services you could look into:
- Internet technology security services, such as cybersecurity
- Home security and monitoring services
- Stationary guard services
- Patrolling services
- Crisis management
When you choose a security service niche to focus on, the rest of the process becomes much easier.
Look around at the types of businesses you see around you or are interested in, and think about any gaps you might have noticed. Maybe the grocery shop near you is a constant victim of shoplifting; maybe you live in an area where people need personal security guards. Whatever you see around you, try to think of ways to provide a solution for the gap.
- Choose a niche for your security services
- Think about the types of businesses around you, and any security gaps you can see
Create A Legal Entity
Before launching any company, but especially when you’re starting a security guard company, you must have it registered with the correct authorities. Without registration with a legal entity, you cannot open a bank account, apply for loans, or hire staff. Therefore, you need to choose a business structure, a company name, and also plan for any taxes you’ll need to pay.
Hire a registered agent service in order to help protect your privacy and to stay compliant through the process.
- Research the type of legal entity you should register your security company with
- Create a legal entity, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork needed to do so!
- Name Your Business
Name Your Business
Once you’ve chosen which legal entity to pursue, you need to choose a killer business name. The CEO of USPA Nationwide Security, Michael Evans, recommends that you don’t use a personal name for your business, like “Joe’s Security”. The reason is that it implies a lack of professionalism.
Instead, use words like “International” or “National” to indicate a high level of experience. However, ensure you don’t ever use actual governmental regions, like “The California State Security Guard Company,” as this is illegal.
Do some research around how other successful security companies name themselves. See if you notice any patterns or recurring themes, such as animal imagery, and then brainstorm a few ideas for your security company.
- Choose a name for your business, or at least create a draft name
Register for Taxes
Before you can open your security guard company, you must register for various state and federal taxes. To register for taxes, you must first apply for an EIN (Employee Identification Number) – which is very easy and free to do.
Contact your accountant or attorney if you’re not sure of which state and/or federal taxes you’re liable to! Remember, making a mistake here could take a long time (and a lot of bureaucracy) to undo, so it’s best to be sure and ask for help from the experts if needed.
- Contact an expert (your attorney or accountant) if you need to confirm any details or consult with them.
- Apply for your EIN.
Get All Licensing
Depending on where you live, the licenses you are required to hold vary. Usually, you will need work experience in the security field – unless you previously worked in law enforcement.
Typically the following licenses are required:
Security Guard License
You must prove that you possess the necessary skills to be a security guard. In California, for example, you must get training in the power to arrest and 32 hours of training in security guard skills from a California Bureau of Security and Investigative Service-approved course.
This is in addition to the initial application fee of $50.
Private Patrol Operator License
You must prove that you have the necessary skills and experience to operate a security guard company. In Michigan, for example, you must be 21 years or older, have a high school diploma or an equivalent, and have not been convicted of a felony.
Additionally, you must show at least four years of security guard work experience in a supervisory capacity above the rank of patrolman.
The licensing fee ranges from $100 to $300, depending on the legal organization of your company.
Qualified Manager License
Your security guard company must be run by a person with a qualified manager license in all services your business provides. In Texas, for example, you may provide an armored car, guard, alarm, and guard dog services, therefore the qualified manager needs to know how to provide those services with at least two years of consecutive experience in each service.
The application fee starts at $37.
Make sure you have all the different documents you need for each of the different licenses mentioned above! Remember to check the fees applicable for both as well, to avoid any unplanned expenses!
- Make sure you have all of the experiecne necessary before applying for each type of license mentioned above.
- Check out the cost of the application.
- Have all the documents you need, ready for your application.
Cost for Equipment
How to start a security company will depend on what equipment you and your employees need. When on-site, you might need some or all of the following:
- Apparel: As a security guard company, you always want to remain visible so that people know where to find you. Most companies opt for a yellow jacket as the color stands out. Bulletproof vests might be needed for your staff, depending on the location your workers are patrolling. Steel toe cap boots are recommendable for every guard. The shoes must be comfortable and suitable when walking for many hours.
- Flashlights: flashlights are an essential part of being a security guard working at night or in areas that are not well lit.
- Defense gear: When starting a security guard company, you may wish to provide weapons for their defense. Weapons are required to keep your workers safe from attacks. These weapons include guns, pepper spray, batons, etc. Be sure to check state rules to find out which defense gear your employees are permitted to use.
- Walkie-talkie: Two-way radios are great if your employees work in a large center or cover broad areas. However, digitizing your communication could be a lot more efficient. Apps such as Connecteam allow you to communicate in a group or single chat.
Do your research online as to what equipment you really need; if the niche you choose doesn’t need arms and an arms license, you’ll be wasting your money if you decide to spend on both of these things!
- Do research online regarding what equipment you’ll need.
- If budgetary concerns are an issue, check if you can get some of these items second hand, or purchase them from governmental organizations.
- Check everything you buy is usable and/or works as it should before agreeing to or completing the purchase!
Create a Business Plan
Make sure you create the business plan ahead of time as this acts as a map that will guide your business from all phases – such as startup to the establishment of growth. This business plan is a description of exactly how your business will evolve from start to finish.
There are various plans you draft up. When starting a security company, if you need financial support from an investor or a financial institution, then you need a traditional business plan. Once completed, your investor or the bank will need to review it in order to validate your proposal.
If you do not require financial support, you can create a simple one-page business plan. The plan will describe how you will achieve success.
Check out some example business plans online, to understand what is needed. It looks like a tricky document, but it’s really not: check out our business plan template to help you get everything you need to written down! It’s also a good idea to start doing some business bank account research, and try to find the right business bank account for your needs!
- Do some research online to see what goes into a business plan for security companies.
- Check out our business plan template, above, and fill it in.
- Research business bank accounts.
Your security guard company must be effectively protected with proper insurance. However, there are two insurance types you should definitely have when starting a security guard company and beyond.
- Liability insurance to protect yourself if anything should happen to your client
- Bonding insurance in case any of your client’s property is stolen by your employee.
Most security guard companies choose the Mechanic Group, an insurance company with more than 25 years of experience in the security industry.
When it comes to insurance, shop around and try to negotiate with providers. You might just get a sweet deal if you do your homework!
- Once you know your niche, decide which type/s of insurance you need.
- Compare insurance plans and discuss with an insurance broker if you have any doubts or uncertainties or want some things explained.
Create An Awesome Logo
Your logo is just as important as your company name as it’s the first thing a potential customer sees. If you are starting a security company, make sure your logo represents what your company does. Your logo should also be memorable that your customer associates security with your business.
Courtesy of www.freelogoservices.com
Remember to keep the logo simple without many colors or fonts. Make sure it’s scalable so that it looks good on a billboard and doesn’t lose any finer details when printed in a smaller or bigger size.
Check out other security guard companies to see how they’ve designed their logos. You can always ask a graphic singer to help you out if you have an idea in mind, or are looking for some inspiration.
- Do some research on other security guard logos.
- Either use design software like Canva or ask a graphic designer for some help in designing your logo.
Get Funds For Your Security Guard Company
If you can’t contribute 100% of the money when starting a security guard company, you should consider taking out a bank loan or obtaining credit. However, make sure you step into the bank well prepared. Bring all essential documents, such as registration with the authority, mission statement, business plan, and legal papers.
Female entrepreneurs have access to small business grants that can be explored.
When you receive funding, this can also help you determine what your business rates will be.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a financial advisor. Most financial advisors will give you a free initial meeting to discuss how they might be able to help you.
- Plan your budget and see if there are any shortfalls, and if so, how much.
- Check your options for business loans, investments or other financial supplementation.
- Remember to check and bring all of the documents you need to any meeting!
Create a Website For Your Business
It’s no secret that establishing your company’s credibility starts with a website. Your potential clients will check your site to see what you’re all about – from the about us section to pricing to customer testimonials and more.
Remember that your website should be compelling – don’t clutter it with too much text or irrelevant images. The loading speed should be quick, and navigation should be simple. Use a free website builder, such as Wix, to design a stunning website.
Designing a website can be a really time consuming process, so if you don’t have a single design-loving bone in your body, you can always look for templates to implement!
- Do research on free website software, or if you’re looking for a paid website solution (which may look more professional), do research on cheap hosting plans, and website builder software.
- Check out website builder templates, especially those that are easy and quick to use!
Get on Social Media
Just like a website is essential, so are social media channels. It’s a great way to promote your business as you’ll just be starting out and need to establish yourself as successful. From Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. there are many channels you can use to reach and connect with clients.
Your customers expect you to be on social media! Customers will check to see if you’re posting on a regular basis. They will also look at the reviews other clients left, and they might contact you on social media with questions or comments.
Your security company’s social media pages are not an extension of your personal social pages: keep every update and post relevant to your target audience.
- Do some research on interesting topics to post about. You can even check other security guard companies to see the sorts of topics they post about!
- Decide on a posting schedule (for example, a weekly post on Tuesdays) and plan out a month of content based on this schedule.
Use Technology to Manage Your Team
Opening a new security guard business comes with a lot of responsibilities, not to mention, a lot of unnecessary administrative headache. You have to ensure that you are as efficient as possible so that you don’t waste time and you can put the focus back on growing your business.
In the past, security guard companies used to do everything manually, including –
- Scheduling on pen and paper, or making Excel-based timesheets
- Communicating via apps such as WhatsApp, which invade employees’ privacy.
- Taking employees’ words for when they clocked in and out, leading to buddy punching and time theft
All of this creates unnecessary bottlenecks, errors, and can even lose you a lot of money, very quickly.
For example, when it comes to training new staff, doing so with some technological delegation is a much quicker, effortless and time-saving way of scaling up fast, and onboarding to the highest standards possible, every single time.
Most businesses – not just security businesses – typically use a range of several online tools to get tasks done, but this is both a horrible waste of resources and energy, not to mention, budget.
All of this leads to the conclusion that digitizing your business from the get-go is the way to hit the ground running. And, security guard companies have a fantastic, all-in-one solution, tailor made just for you:
Enter: Connecteam, the all-in-one mobile app with everything you need to help your security business run its daily operations seamlessly.
With a free-forever plan (as well as super-affordable premium plans and a 14-day free trial), thousands of security companies use Connecteam to run and scale their businesses.
That’s because it has the exact features you need to run your entire operation from your mobile phone. From allowing your security guards to clock in and out at the click of a button in the app, Connecteam also automatically GPS-tracks their movements while clocked in. You’ll be able to seamlessly schedule shifts, and automate digital timesheets of every shift worked. Also, Connecteam’s instant integration with Quickbooks Online makes payroll easy and 100% accurate. You’ll get the most efficient scheduling, dispatching, tracking and communication tool…and more!
You can manage and deploy your employees all from your mobile phone, with no extra expensive equipment necessary for either you or your security guards. It’s super easy to use (even for the least tech-savvy person), with award-winning customer support.
Pen and paper business management is dead; Connecteam’s security guard app provides a true all-in-one experience for deskless employees, that’s both powerful and easy to use! Start saving time, money, and resources today with Connecteam’s security guard app!
Delegating the unnecessary or administrative tasks of your security company management to an app is the best way to scale quickly and run a profitable business from the get-go! That’s exactly how one security guard company saved time and money with Connecteam!
- Decide which tasks can be delegated to a management app.
- Sign up to Connecteam for free, and get started in under 2 minutes!
#1 Employee App For Security Companies
Connecteam’s app provides you everything you need on how to start a security company. From scheduling and dispatching, digital checklists, reports, time tracking with added GPS, you’ll know exactly where your staff are without having to call or text. Connecteam’s multiple features help you plan for the future and be productive.
Choosing Connecteam when wondering how to start a security company can save you time and help your business be efficient!
Connecteam Is the Leading App for Security Companies
The Bottom Line on How Start A Security Guard Company
These steps have everything you need to not only start a security guard company, but know how to start a security company super successfully right from the get-go!
By understanding what you must do before you open your doors, it will help you to succeed. First, you need to know what services you will offer, then you need a catchy business name and logo. Once you have decided on all the above, you can create a business plan, and then find the right digital tool to help you manage all of your business’ needs.
Using an all-in-one app like Connecteam will propel you to run the most successful security company from the very beginning, as well as to scale it in the future!
Invest in starting a security company right, and its future success will take care of itself!