When you have assets, people, or both that need security services, who you hire is going to be an important decision. Effective safety and security can have a positive impact on your bottom line and also provide you with less stress and worry.
We’ve prepared a list of 11 things you should consider if you have to hire a security services company. Security can be complex, and getting the right company to provide the right security takes some thought. Knowing what to ask and look for will help you make the right choice for your unique situation.
Protect yourself by making sure the agency you hire is licensed and insured. Licensing indicates a standard of training and an assurance that the security guards you have on-site will be able to properly handle a wide variety of situations. When interviewing your prospective agencies, ask specific questions about training and if it meets or exceeds the minimum state requirements. They should be able to provide you with specific information and documentation about their employees and the company itself.
Insurance is important as it shifts liability for the actions of the security provider onto them, and not you. Look for at least $1,000,000 coverage, and if it includes workman’s comp and liability coverage. You can even ask that they add your business to the rider as an “additionally insured” party.
Even though a security company provides the personnel, how they perform will directly affect you. Commercial spaces may find that interactions happen between customers and security. The customer will associate the guard with your organization, not the security company. Even on job sites, loud confrontations are more likely to create negative impressions for you, as opposed to a quiet de-escalation.
Security guards that can handle the likely situations they will encounter are extremely important. You should feel comfortable discussing the training standards with any company that has provided you with a quote. Good security services companies will be willing to show you information on their personnel’s training. It’s important that your security people have the skills and tools they need to get everyone through an intense situation safely. A well-trained security professional will be an asset to, and an extension of, your brand.
You’ll want to find out if security is what they do, or if it’s just one of the things they do. Companies that specialize in providing security are often going to be able to provide better service to their clients. Management and ownership will be dedicated to offering a superior product.
You also want to find a security service provider that has deep experience in what you need. A company that specializes in armed protection may not have a great construction site program. Multiple security services are not a bad thing, you just want to make sure that what you are asking them to do is something they do often and do well.
Security companies that have been in business for a long time have many benefits. Efficiency and strategies come from experience, and the longer a company has been around, the more likely they are to have had experience and developed proven strategies for what you are asking them to do. They have also likely invested in the proper equipment to handle your jobs because of work with previous clients.
A second benefit of longevity is the connections that the company can make. Over time, the company becomes a part of the local community and develops relationships with law enforcement and other local authorities. These are intangible assets that can help an older business provide superior service than newer ones.
National companies usually have deep resources and strategies they can draw from. What they also have is a need to win contracts with larger clients, which can lead to lesser service being provided to smaller clients. To a national company, your small business may be the least of their concerns.
Local security companies are typically small to medium businesses, much like yours. They stay in business by being responsive, supportive, and competitive. They understand the struggles that a smaller business may go through because they are facing the same challenges. Local security companies may also be strong community partners who work to make the same places you live and work stronger and safer.
Security and customer service go hand in hand. A security plan that is followed but doesn’t meet your needs isn’t a service plan. Look for a security service that is willing to share information and logs from the time they are on your site. Check for online reviews that talk about how responsive their management is to problems.
What you are looking for is a company that can respond personally. A 1-800 number to a call center is likely going to be harder to deal with than a call to a local office. Ask who handles customer service issues, is it lower-level staff, or does the security company provide access to upper management or even ownership? Their willingness to resolve issues can make all the difference between effective and ineffective security services.
This one is fairly easy to find out by looking at the website of the companies you are considering. “Social Proof” means that they can demonstrate, publicly, some of the clients they work with. These might show up in a strip of logos, or may even find case studies to look over.
This goes beyond a review or testimonial. It’s an indication of the variety of assets that a security service has protected. Not only that, but those logos mean that the companies that hired this particular protection service are happy with the services they received.
You’re likely asking for price quotes from multiple security companies, which is a best practice in business. You will probably find the majority of them are close in cost, with a few exceptions on both the high and low sides. If you automatically go with the lowest bidder, don’t be surprised if they don’t meet your expectations later on.
The lowest bidder may be your first choice, but your decision here is not actually about price. Bids that are out of the norm are a red flag. Too high could mean that they don’t want or need your business while too low could indicate that they didn’t understand your request or are desperate for work. Use price to determine what is a reasonable range, and then make your choice based on the other factors that will make you satisfied with the services you receive.
An experienced security service will have a lot of knowledge to draw upon. However, your situation is going to be unique, too. Being able to provide services at the times and frequency you need is important. If they won’t do that, then it is likely they don’t want your business.
Be upfront with what you want. If you need flexibility, ask for it. If you only need extra or special security services at specific times of the year, make sure that’s covered in the beginning. Do they have the flexibility and level of service you need? How they respond to these requests will provide an indication of what working with them is going to look like once the contracts are signed.
Disheveled, unprofessional security can reflect poorly on your business. Even when in uniform, your customers are likely to see the security services you hire as being your employees. When those customers expect a certain level of treatment from your staff, they will expect the same from your security.
Language, appearance, and demeanor will reflect on you. A sloppily dressed security guard who looks like they can barely keep their eyes open is not going to be a good look in your business. Ask for assurances that the security services you hire can blend into the environment you have worked hard to create in your business.
In the age of viral videos and Tik Tok clips, this is pretty important. Your business is your livelihood, and you want it represented in a positive way in public. If a customer or contractor ends up interacting with your security, you want that contact to be positive. Everyone at the property has an expectation of respect and how to handle conflicts. Your security services should be able to meet those standards.
Your security service should also provide effective training in how to deal with challenging people they may encounter. These may be people with disabilities, mental health issues, and even people with criminal intent. De-escalation training can help ensure that these encounters are defused and achieve the outcome you need without being a huge source of public drama. Make sure your security services work with their people to help them understand when it’s time to be big, loud, and strong, and when a little dignity and respect may achieve the same result without all the attention.
While that’s a lot of information to take in, it’s all important to think about. The security services companies you approach should be willing to talk to you and provide examples and assurances that they can meet your standards. It’s not always about price. An inexpensive security package that allows vandalism and theft will cost you more than purchasing a more costly contract with a company that can deliver.
At KT Protection Services, we understand that choosing the right security service is a challenge. Our ownership has a combined 60 years of experience providing security on the Hawaiian Islands and understand what you require. They are personally involved in designing your security plan and can adapt to your unique needs.
You can check us out on our website, and you’ll have an opportunity to get a ballpark estimate for the costs of what you need. If you are ready to speak with someone, you can also get in touch with one of our security experts and begin the process of getting that quote for your unique situation.
We’re a part of our local community and understand the challenges and issues our neighborhoods and venues face. KT Protection Services operates in the same small business environment that you do. This makes reputation and quality important to us as well. We’ve probably got a lot in common. Check us out. We’d like to talk to you about your security service needs.