The physical security industry is projected to continue to grow by more than 7% by the year 2023. There’s never been a better opportunity to grow your business as a security operator.
To make sure that your security company is performing at an optimum level and ready to take on more business, it’s critical to run an internal evaluation prior to submitting a proposal to a prospective client.
When businesses are looking to contract a security company, their decision is generally based on a set of factors that the business has determined will prove a new security team will meet their needs.
Common factors include licensing, expertise, client reviews, pricing, and supervisor to guard ratio. Each potential bid ranks these factors differently but they all play an important role in the evaluation process.
Put yourself in your potential client’s shoes. When you look at your security company from their perspective, does it meet their needs and demands? Where are you performing well? Where do you need to do better?
Ultimately, it comes down to one simple question: would you hire your company?
Licensing and Training
Every state requires its own standards for business licenses, private patrol operator (PPO) licensing, proof of insurance, and guard certifications to run a legal security operation. This is the first step in running an internal evaluation. If you aren’t licensed, you aren’t operating legally, and potential clients won’t even have the option to look at your security company as a potential candidate.
[Licensing varies from state to state. Check here to see what your state requires]
In addition to licensing, on-going training or continued education needs to be a priority for every security company. Security officers should know the ins and outs of the properties they’re guarding and be confident in what is expected of them at each checkpoint in their guard tour.
On-the-job training (OJT) is a great way to make sure officers are prepared for their shift. Having a supervisor make regular rounds at each shift will help to make sure officers are doing their job and maintain consistent growth in their skills.
Other training tools, like workshops, seminars, and online courses, are also great resources to help keep officers up-to-date on industry best practices, current regulations, and modern security techniques.
Expertise and Experience
Once your security company is licensed and insured, it’s time to evaluate the types of companies that your business is equipped to secure. A few questions to help assess your experience are:
- What types of contracts have you won (commercial, HOA, hospitals, schools)?
- What have been your most and least successful contracts?
- What types of guards do you employ, and what types of properties are looking for these services?
- Does your team have any special skills that allows your security company to take on unique contracts?
Not every security company is meant for every type of contract. It’s important to understand your company’s strengths and skills to win contracts with the right types of businesses for your operation.
Another important element that potential bids look at is longevity: employees, contracts, and your company as a whole.
Looking at your longevity in relation to the questions above is always a great way to create a story of your experience and expertise that give a clearer picture of what you have to offer the potential client.
Being well established and focusing on the expertise specific to your company will help increase your overall credibility in the security industry and with your clients and prospects.
Client Reviews and Testimonials
Client reviews and testimonials are important to potential bids, because they give strength to your sales pitch. These reviews indicate whether you can perform the services you’re promising.
Unsure of how to get client reviews? To begin, make sure that all of your security personnel are creating and maintaining relationships with the individuals on-site (property managers, landscapers, building inspectors, bankers, etc…) that will have the most contact with the decision makers who can renew your contract.
On top of building and maintaining relationships with individuals on-site, setting expectations with clients early on let’s them know how to define a good job and will be ready to give you a 5-star review when you ask.
Wondering where clients can review you? Your website and social media channels are important places for them to be. When a potential client asks for client testimonials, you can direct them back to your online presence so that they remain engaged with the services that your company offers while getting the info they requested.
Hopefully, the majority of your reviews are all positive, but it is bound to happen that a few unhappy clients decide to post a review.
When bad reviews happen, it is best to address these reviews by responding in an apologetic and interested tone. It’s important that the person who left the negative review feels heard and believes your security company is going to try to find a solution to solve the problem.
Remember, one bad review isn’t the end of the world, but it’s important to be mindful about responding to clients.
One of the biggest challenges in the physical security industry is figuring out how much to charge for your services. Guards are demanding more money. Bigger security companies are charging much lower prices. What’s a small-to-midsize (SMB) security company to do?
One of the most common thoughts we see when working with SMB security companies is a simple strategy: just offer a price low enough to get the bid. Here are the major problems with building out a price point that way:
- You probably aren’t paying your guards enough for them to be incentivized to do their job well.
- You probably aren’t getting paid enough to cover the costs of doing business at that property.
The bottom line is if you are just charging the lowest price-point to win the bid, you are failing your business and your clients. You are losing.
A successful security company will include its technology costs and their guards’ hourly rate into its price point. Within the proposal, these companies break down their price-point to keep full transparency with the prospect. Paired with the other factors from before, the potential client is much more likely to secure a bid that doesn’t have the lowest cost but does have the highest trust and reliability.
If you are unsure of how to determine the price point of your security company, our Silvertrac Mobile Patrol Cost Calculator is incredibly helpful.
Supervisor to Guard Ratio
Evaluating supervisor to guard ratio is always a smart decision. This ratio communicates how well your security company is organized and structured.
Of course, depending on the location, the ratio of guards to supervisors will change. But overall, you need to show a prospective client that you have a strong response team. If something goes wrong on-site, it shows prospective clients that you have enough management to deal with the situation.
Running an internal evaluation is critical for your security company to be properly prepared when fighting for bigger, better contracts. Have everything in place you already know your prospective client wants before they ask for it and watch your security operation grow.