1. #1
    gossmansecurity's Avatar
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    Question How do I start my own security company?

    I'd love to know how to start my own security company in Illinois. Any articles, websites and tips are also welcomed

  2. #2
    buck's Avatar
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    Ask mjw064, I think he owns one.
    Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

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    SoCal Public Safety's Avatar
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    As far as Illinois state licensing, this link should help:

    http://www.idfpr.com/dpr/WHO/secure.asp

    My partner and I are in the process of opening a security and investigations company in California. One thing I would suggest is looking into registering as a Corporation or LLC, for liability protection and tax benefits. PM if you would like more info.
    "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God" -Matthew 5:9

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    gossmansecurity's Avatar
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    I must have passed that link up. I am however having issues finding out the requirements, maybe overlooking something but I sent them an email.

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    SoCal Public Safety's Avatar
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    This is the application and instruction packet.

    http://www.idfpr.com/dpr/apply/forms/f0473de.pdf
    "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God" -Matthew 5:9

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  7. #7
    gossmansecurity's Avatar
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    Cool

    Now a serious question for all of you in the security profession

    I don't just want to make a business, I want it to be a very respected security firm and my employees to enjoy their jobs. Please give me suggestions and tips that you would of loved to see in your experience?

    Feedback helps grow a business IMO
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    ThrilloftheVO's Avatar
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    Well, I'm not a business owner, but the things I've seen that work for building a good guard force are:

    1. Recognize good performance, either with an employee of the month program or just simple letters of commendation. If you make people feel good about the work they do and remind them that it's important by showing them that you value it, they will work hard for you.

    2. Write and implement policies and post orders that are thorough, articulate, and comprehensive. This will protect you from lawsuits, give your employees guidance, and guarantee your clients the best service.

    3. Enforce those company policies strictly and compel your first-line supervisors to do the same. If your employees are held to a high standard of conduct and well-disciplined, the local PD and other members of the public will come to respect their professionalism. In my area, the police absolutely differentiate between the "good" and "bad" companies.

    4. Create a training workshop in-house for supervisors so that they actually know how to manage security officers. Too many companies either promote people who are just good guards but don't know what to do at the next level or promote and hire former military or police personnel as supervisors (military methods of managment do not work well on most security officers for reasons I won't go into right now).

    5. Don't waste money on expensive toys (extra fancy and equipped patrol vehicles, issuing every security officer brand new Sigs, etc). Focus on training as a major expense, either on developing trainers for in-house training or sending your high perfomers to courses. Young, bright, and talented people are drawn to organizations that help them better themselves.

    6. Good hiring practices are everything. You can greatly reduce turnover by focusing on not hiring losers to begin with. Look for applicants who are between 21 and 30, average or better intelligence, stable job histories, and a little bit (but not too much) prior security experience for line employees. Such people are easy to develop. Promote from within, at least for first-line supervisory positions.

    7. If you hire minorities and women, make sure that they are equally represented in supervisory positions. Not for politically correct reasons, but because it really does help improve performance and provides motivation to the low-level minority and female employees. Avoid the tendency to hire and promote in your own image. People with different backgrounds and experiences will only give you more options and perspectives when solving problems.

    8. Abide by local licensing requirements and other laws to the letter at all times. This sounds obvious, but many companies are willing to sacrifice ethics for the sake of expediency. Don't do it. That mentality will filter down to your lowest employees and ruin your business.

    9. Be active in professional associations (ASIS, IFPO) and stay current by attending seminars and reading magazines like Security Management. Always be learning, networking, and keeping up with trends in the field. This mentality will also filter down to the ranks. Create an atmosphere of professionalism.

    Personally, I would be proud to work for a company like that!
    ...Men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.


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  9. #9
    buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gossmansecurity View Post
    Now a serious question for all of you in the security profession

    I don't just want to make a business, I want it to be a very respected security firm and my employees to enjoy their jobs. Please give me suggestions and tips that you would of loved to see in your experience?
    Listen to what the guys tell you. Nothing irritates us more here than making a suggestion and the boss not doing anything about it.

    Give plenty of training, especially if you are going to have armed guards and especially if you aren't. Make their training on-going.

    Back them up. If they make a split moment decision and it is wrong tell them but back them up anyway, unless it is something really bad of course.

    Go out and do some of the work, you don't look like you know what you are doing if you are not occasionally out amongst the guys helping out.

    Be strict but not rigid, open minded but not so open that anything can influence you.

    Treat your men and your clients with honor and repect. Be fair.

    Expect them to do well, and let them know it; people will do their best to live up to the expectations of them.

    Give incentives. "Officer of the Month" may be cheesy but it does help with moral. Also treat them occasionally, have that Christmas party. If you don't show that you support them and their efforts they are going to feel unappreciated. Say thank you.

    Pick your clients if you can. Ready and willing officers may not like being stuck in a warm body O & R post. Do a thorough evaluation of the site with an officer or two. Make sure the client knows what your officers can do.

    Answer your mens questions. If they want to know why the client is charged $18 dollars an hour and they are paid $8, let them know.

    Have sessions with your men and let them speak their mind without recourse.

    If you have a heirarchy, make it realistic and easy to understand. Don't make the lowest guy a Major.

    Protect them. Give them insurance and some legal protection. You don't want a citizen arrest going to court and the officer having to fend for himself.

    Give them the tools they need. If you're a little unsure, ask them; any seasoned officer knows what he needs.

    If you don't provide the expensive tools like arms and armor, help them get it. I know few whom wouldn't rather deduct $50 a pay period for a level IIIa vest than buy a level II because it was all the money they could get together.

    Make sure their authority is visible. A less qualified officer with a better uniform and equipment usually gets more compliance and is treated better.

    Have a good relationship with the local PD or Sheriff's Dept. Make sure they know how well qualified your men are and make sure our men cooperate with them. If the SHTF you don't want the PD to just roll over your officers because they think they are just warm-body-know-nothings. If something does go wrong, make sure the men know the police take over and that they are there for support.

    Listen to the guys on this site, there is experience from every state and several different countries from around the world. They are a good sampling of the industry and most know what they are talking about. There are officers here that are brand new and some who have done this or decades.
    Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

  10. #10
    SoCal Public Safety's Avatar
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    Both ThrilloftheVO and Buck have given you very good advice.

    The only thing I'll add is regarding gaining respect from the local PD. DO NOT come across as wannabes. It is important to make sure they know the type of training you and your staff have, the abilities you have, and that you are willing to assist them if asked, but also know where the line is, and don't cross it. Trying to "talk shop" with them, or getting involved when it isn't requested is a sure way to lose their respect. Just look sharp, do your jobs professionally, help when requested, and you'll be fine.

    Also, do your best to not make your uniforms or vehicles resemble the local PD. Even if the brass at the department approves it (which in many cases they will) it will hurt your reputation with the field officers, which is who you need to be concerned about. I've seen it happen before.

    Just my .02
    "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God" -Matthew 5:9

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