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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis Baillie View Post
    It's been a long time since i started a security company from scratch, but I also had people tell me things like the market was already saturated and all the big companies get the jobs and you will never be able to compete with them. I had a business plan and it turned out to be a pretty good one as I started with two employees and rapidly grew from there.

    I recommend finding a nitch that the other guys can't or aren't willing to fill. When I took the test for my license I also took the part for the Private Investigator. This was key in starting my business as I was very successful in heavy equipment recovery (think bulldozers and semi trucks). That end of the business became very lucrative very fast and provided the much needed capital to outfit the security guard end of the business.

    My first clients were the area schools that hired my company for security during sporting events. This was guaranteed income for at least 9 months of the year as we supplied guards for a large number of area schools. Then we had two area company strikes and from then on I had trouble keeping up. From there the company rapidly expanded.

    My point is...find something the other guys don't or won't handle.
    Curtis, that's very good advice, but I really don't think there's as much blue ocean nowadays as in years past - especially in the populous areas. I read an industry analysis a few months ago that made the observation that where the "Big 3" (or Big 4 or 5, depending on your viewpoint) once absolutely refused to consider smaller clients now they're going after them with a vengeance and looking for any way possible to extend their service portfolio.

    I suppose any line of business will always have some unserved or underserved micro-niches, but many times the reason they're not being served is that they're either too microscopic, impractical to serve or the people who need the service will not or cannot pay for it.

    A need that isn't being met is a necessary, but not a sufficient, criterion to define an opportunity.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 06-05-2014 at 10:53 PM.
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecTrainer View Post
    Curtis, that's very good advice, but I really don't think there's as much blue ocean nowadays as in years past - especially in the populous areas. I read an industry analysis a few months ago that made the observation that where the "Big 3" (or Big 4 or 5, depending on your viewpoint) once absolutely refused to consider smaller clients now they're going after them with a vengeance and looking for any way possible to extend their service portfolio.
    ig

    I can testify to this. The "big four" as you say now have smaller accounts. 24, 32 HPW.
    Construction sites weekends only, over nights only. 16 HPW. Copie has worked this,
    and he works for one of the "big four"
    http://www.laurel-and-hardy.com/ Greatest Comedy team ever!

  3. #13
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    Jul 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecTrainer View Post
    Curtis, that's very good advice, but I really don't think there's as much blue ocean nowadays as in years past - especially in the populous areas. I read an industry analysis a few months ago that made the observation that where the "Big 3" (or Big 4 or 5, depending on your viewpoint) once absolutely refused to consider smaller clients now they're going after them with a vengeance and looking for any way possible to extend their service portfolio.

    I suppose any line of business will always have some unserved or underserved micro-niches, but many times the reason they're not being served is that they're either too microscopic, impractical to serve or the people who need the service will not or cannot pay for it.

    A need that isn't being met is a necessary, but not a sufficient, criterion to define an opportunity.
    Not much "blue ocean" smack dab between Cleveland, Toledo and 2 hours from Detroit. The big guys then were all over the area and clamoring for accounts. The difference was people knew me and I had an excellent reputation. My reputation and experience is was garnered my company a very large nuclear security account, Ford and GM over the big guys.






  4. #14
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    Mar 2013
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    You already had a rep. This is an unknown start up in an over saturated market, in a state where companies start and die within months due to a lack of customers. It's always easy to say to someone, "you look good. I'd hire you" , but that won't get you business as most don't follow through.

    And as for niche markets, we have quite a few who already do those and have the rep and staff to back it up. Finding someone to guard the Taco Bell parking lot on grave shift won't sustain you.

  5. #15
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    In many cases, a security professional can see a need that's clearly underserved, and as such looks like it should represent a business opportunity, only to discover that the potential clients either have no interest and/or can't pay for the service.

    A market isn't defined by a need or desire, or your ability to meet that need or desire. Those are two elements, but there's a third element: A sufficient base of identifiable potential customers who are willing and able to pay a price that justifies the investment.

    This is why market analysis is probably even more important now than it might have been in the past, when the water was less crowded with everything from tankers to rowboats scrapping for business.

    Not saying there aren't still opportunities to start a business in this industry because I'm sure there are. Just saying that the environment is such now that you really need to exercise prudence before you shove off from the dock.
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  6. #16
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    South Florida
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    All that I will say is: Good Luck!
    "Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea"

    "Veni, Vidi, Vici!"

    "Whatcha gonna do now, PL?"

    "Strategy is the craft of the warrior. Commanders must enact the craft, and troopers should know this Way. There is no warrior in the world today who really understands the Way of strategy." Shinmen Musashi No Kami Fujiwara No Genshin

    http://sentinelsofflorida.com/ is where I go for all of my Florida security info.

  7. #17
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    Sep 2012
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    I have enough security experience in Northern California to know that starting a security business isn't the best of ideas. That being said, I also just took and passed my PPO a few days ago.

    I already own a legal support business and the security company will be a side of that. Without the other streams of revenue, I wouldn't have even considered starting a PPO.

    In addition to the $1200 ($500 for the application/exam and $700 for the license) going to the state, you're also going to have the following:

    Insurance - Liability insurance is only mandatory for armed officers, but good luck getting an unarmed account it. Ninety-nine percent of clients will want to be added as an additional insured. Workers Comp insurance is required for any business that has employees. If you have a company vehicle, that will require business insurance as well.

    Patches - California requires patches that have your company name and the words "private security" on them, which means you can't buy cheap generic patches, you have to have custom ones made.

    Badges - California requires the badge to have a word identifying the company name and a number that identifies the employee wearing the badge. Again this means you can't buy generic badges, you have to have them custom made.

    Uniforms - Even if you get the LA Police Gear pants and polos, you're looking at $35 per set per employee.

    Marketing

    Phones/Radios

    Payroll - This is the big one. Not only do you have to pay your employees, but you have to pay taxes based on what you pay them. Except for special events, most clients are going to be paying Net 30, which means you'll most likely be paying your employees before you get paid yourself.

    With all that being said, good luck if you make a go of it!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AcaciaCon View Post
    I have enough security experience in Northern California to know that starting a security business isn't the best of ideas. That being said, I also just took and passed my PPO a few days ago.

    I already own a legal support business and the security company will be a side of that. Without the other streams of revenue, I wouldn't have even considered starting a PPO.

    In addition to the $1200 ($500 for the application/exam and $700 for the license) going to the state, you're also going to have the following:

    Insurance - Liability insurance is only mandatory for armed officers, but good luck getting an unarmed account it. Ninety-nine percent of clients will want to be added as an additional insured. Workers Comp insurance is required for any business that has employees. If you have a company vehicle, that will require business insurance as well.

    Patches - California requires patches that have your company name and the words "private security" on them, which means you can't buy cheap generic patches, you have to have custom ones made.

    Badges - California requires the badge to have a word identifying the company name and a number that identifies the employee wearing the badge. Again this means you can't buy generic badges, you have to have them custom made.

    Uniforms - Even if you get the LA Police Gear pants and polos, you're looking at $35 per set per employee.

    Marketing

    Phones/Radios

    Payroll - This is the big one. Not only do you have to pay your employees, but you have to pay taxes based on what you pay them. Except for special events, most clients are going to be paying Net 30, which means you'll most likely be paying your employees before you get paid yourself.

    With all that being said, good luck if you make a go of it!
    Good examples of the way that government regulation adds directly to the cost of doing business. And promoting such regulations (lobbying, etc.) is one of the techniques that larger companies use to raise the barrier of entry to new competitors.

    Just curious - what's a legal support business, if I might ask?
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  9. #19
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    Sep 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecTrainer View Post
    Good examples of the way that government regulation adds directly to the cost of doing business. And promoting such regulations (lobbying, etc.) is one of the techniques that larger companies use to raise the barrier of entry to new competitors.

    Just curious - what's a legal support business, if I might ask?
    The majority is process serving, but we also do court and Secretary of State filing and document retrieval, and can act as deposition officer for subpoenas. My corporation is also registered as a 1505, which means it can act as an agent for service for other corporations doing business in California.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Boca Raton, FL
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    I say "go for it". It sounds like you have your goals in order and you know what you are against. There will always be a market for the smaller company that provides their customers with personal service. I have seen several, smaller guard companies start up here in South Florida and do well and I have seen a guy start a guard company and not make it. He forgot to take care of his customers by being on time and keeping a constant line of communication with his customers.

    If this is the route that you are going to take, remember why potential customers are unhappy with the larger companies that you are competing against. Treat your customers better than you would want to be treated by holding a high standard of work practices and employing the best possible people that share the same passion that you do.

    And Remember that you have to work hard, very hard to start from the bottom but the pay off is huge.

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