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  • 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
    Security Officer Forum
    Security Officer Information, News and Discussion.

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

    Comment


    • #3
      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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      • #4
        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.
        Security Officer Forum
        Security Officer Information, News and Discussion.

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        • #5
          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

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by gossmansecurity View Post
            I'd love to know how to start my own security company in Illinois. Any articles, websites and tips are also welcomed
            Please read the threads by Curtis Baillie and SecTrainer, subject as above.
            Enjoy the day,
            Bill

            Comment


            • #7
              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
              Security Officer Forum
              Security Officer Information, News and Discussion.

              Comment


              • #8
                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.


                -Machiavelli



                www.victoriousopposition.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Have sessions with your men and let them speak their mind without recourse.
                      Excellent concept, buck. I would add to that that you should avoid a rigid chain of command structure and make yourself approachable to officers at all levels at all times. Listen to ideas and suggestions and treat them seriously. That goes for all of your managers and supervisors as well.

                      Humility is a very endearing quality in a boss!
                      ...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.


                      -Machiavelli



                      www.victoriousopposition.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ThrilloftheVO View Post
                        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!
                        Great ideas..........you would make a great owner in my opinion.
                        Last edited by sec-guy; 01-04-2009, 09:17 AM. Reason: revised thought

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sec-guy View Post
                          Great ideas..........you would make a great owner in my opinion.
                          Wow, thanks for that!

                          One day, I would like to own my own company, but I need more education (I'm thinking MBA) and experience. Still, I think everyone who works in security knows when things are wrong and has ideas about how they could be better. I just see far too much wasted potential in this field due to mismanagement.

                          I wish gossmansecurity the best of luck and hope that when I'm ready to go it alone that I'll have lots of good advice.
                          ...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.


                          -Machiavelli



                          www.victoriousopposition.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for info folks It is much appreciated. I will diffently listen to staff suggestions. I plan to be cost-effective and pay a good check to my employees. I want to make some profit of course but I also want my employees to say "I love working for Gossman Security" and stuff like that.

                            In the area I am starting it in, I think potential clients will be extremely happy due to us being started in that area. other local companies originate in other states and one from Sweden (the red dots one LOL)...

                            Thanks for the suggestions and feedback folks
                            Security Officer Forum
                            Security Officer Information, News and Discussion.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              gossmansecurity

                              I had a company in IL - ensure you not only incorporate or LLC - but get a very GOOD accountant or book keeper backed up by a good Accountant or CPA. Always good to double check books and ensure that you are NEVER late for any payments to the State of IL. They are not easy to work with at times and saying you didn't know is not an answer. :-9

                              I read through all of the advice everyone gave you.

                              Write you business plan - visit the SBA and see if SCORE will work with you. See them before you do anything - sometimes they will help you a whole lot more. They are not so helpful with existing businesses due to the liability issues.

                              Write you policy manuals before you ever hire anyone or set up you business. Develop all of your SOP's etc - before hiring anyone. Get ALL of your HR paperwork in order before you hire anyone.

                              Depending on what exactly you are doing in the business - you may want to use non-disclosures and or non-competes with employees. Especially those in managment and HR. Many a company has gone under from those folks running off with everything you have developed and built as well as your databases only to start their own business down the road.

                              Training - I think everyone covered that pretty well - but again - have all your training assets outlined and a good plan to implement them at all levels of your business. Keep in mind the basics. We all get bored to death - going over and over basics. They are essential to any job - any profession. We tend to think they go away when we learn something advanced. Heck I got a GPS - why do I need to learn Land Navigation using a standard NON-Military map and be able to convert lat/longs into a grid system. Well - if you ever needed it you would know exactly why. Been there done that one.

                              Your being on the ground is one of the best things you can do - so that you never lose touch with what it is like out there. Stand strong, firm and take good care of your employees and more than likely they will not only take good care of you, but your clients as well. Can't beat that - anytime.

                              Best of luck

                              V/R

                              Bart (Doc)
                              Bart R. Heimsness
                              U.S. Army SF Medic / Weapons NCO (Retired)

                              http://www.SpecOpsAdvantage.com https://www.gwotjobs.com/
                              Join me at Linked in - view my profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/specopsadvantage

                              “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” by Edmund Burke
                              "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man". ~ Mark Twain

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