The decision to hire a private security company is not an easy one. Active Security Enterprises is an excellent resource for this. You are entrusting a company to manage the security of important persons and property, and in some cases both. There are literally thousands of private security companies out there. Unless you are an expert in the industry, it is very easy for a company to use your own ignorance against you, in how they market their services, while deftly avoiding mentioning anything which would portray their firm in such a way as to cost them a chance at a contract. Fortunately, you don’t have to enter the process completely blind. This guide will give you some tools to help level the playing field a bit, so you can determine the right security company for your needs.
Create a List of Security Tasks
Before seeking the services of a security company, it helps to have a clear idea of what you need. Will you be requiring armed or unarmed guards? Are they going to be in or out of uniform? Uniform cleaning and maintenance can be factors in determining the quote you are provided. Are they going to be managing a remote site, such as a construction site in which they are protecting valuable equipment from vandalism and theft, or are they going to be the presence at a mall, where they represent your company’s “face” assuring customers that their safety and security is first priority? It helps to create a list of tasks the guard will perform, so that the contracting agency can best match their resources to fit those needs. Divide that list into “must have’s” and “would like to have’s”, before approaching the security company to explore your options.
How Have They Represented Themselves?
There are a number of things that you will want to understand concerning any kind of Security Company. First, look at the company itself. Are they well established? Are you meeting them in offices which are professionally appointed, or look like some sort of temporary lease in a boiler room? Are you making contact with them by phone? Are they professional and friendly or high pressured and manipulative, seeming to cater only towards their needs, rather than yours? Are the staff involved or detached, just “doing their job” when it comes to transferring your calls? Remember, you are hiring this company to represent yours in a critical function. How they run their business and treat their people, may be a strong indicator as to how they might treat yours.
Ask for References
Don’t be afraid to ask for references from ongoing and past clients. Most professional firms, if they are confident with the quality of their service, should be happy to provide you with this information so that you can contact them. Be wary of any attempts to dissuade you from looking into this direction, as they may know something that they don’t want you to find out. The “perfect” salesman in the suit in front of you, may have a well crafted and practiced sales pitch, and know how to present his company in the perfect light, but they cannot manage what their real-life clients might say. That said, it is reasonable to expect their cooperation if they believe in their services.
Ask Plenty of Questions
Ask them about their time in the industry, the number of employees they have and the average time an employee has worked for them. High turnover may be a sign of poor pay or bad working conditions. All of these may affect the overall results of your services. Inquire about their licensing and bonding/insurance, and the process to be followed, if you need to make a claim against their company. Talk to local police about their experience with the company and their guards. Ask about the guard training and certification process, as well as the level and frequency of supervision. Finally, research their history of complaints by contacting the Better Business Bureau. Using these tips, and trusting your gut, should make it easier able to find the right security guard company to suit your needs.