Security Service Companies

How to choose the right Private Security Service

By Johnny Sans aka 'Mr. Code 33' - June 2013


  1. Do You Need to Hire a Security Guard? (Most likely, YES)

    It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Is your business located in a high crime neighborhood? Are your employees getting harrassed in the parking lot of your business when they arrive or leave work by aggressive pan handlers, loiterers, or just in general? Do you need to have your business guarded while it is closed or at night when most thieves prey? The list goes on and on. The short answer is, if you are already thinking about some type of private security service, then you probably need one. If you answered yes to any of the above, then yes you need one, or two. Instead of wasting valuable time focusing on that question, think about what a security officer can do for your business.

    • They help to deter crime, both by being pro-active, and by their mere presence.

    • They make everyone feel safe like your employees, your valuable customers, and you.

    • They increase the value of your business by drawing in customers because they feel safe.

    • They stay constantly observant and watch not only for crimes, but for safety hazards and other dangers as well.

    • They are your immediate bridge to local police, fire, and medical.

    • They are at your immediate need when an emergency arises in that they help fill that gap and delay experienced sometimes by police, fire, and medical. They can help save many lives because they are readily and immediately available.

    • They watch your place of business when it is closed, during holidays, or when you are on vacation so that you don't have to worry.

    • They can help escort you or an employee during bank drops to ensure your employees, money, and or valuables make a safe arrival.

    • They can provide safety against disgruntled employees, or high risk terminations.

    • They can guard your personal property and protect you and your family.

    I've only just scratched the surface, but I hope you are beginning to see the true value in highering a security guard for your personal safety or for your business.


  2. Do you need an Armed or Unarmed Security Guard?

    I would almost always elect for an 'armed security guard' over an unarmed security guard, just for the mere fact they would have the capability of stopping a deadly threat! Would you feel comfortable if your local police department didn't carry firearms? How well would you feel protected knowing the bad guys had guns and the police did not? I think you get the point. The true decision, which shouldn't really be a factor in my own opinion, is the price for an armed guard vs an unarmed guard. I know this is the way most make their decision, while others just say to themselves, "I don't think I really need an armed guard. An unarmed guard will be fine." Um, think about what I said in the beginning of this paragraph, and then think again. But ok, I know price is a factor so let me cut to the chase. Most private security companies, and I say that loosly, will have their armed and unarmed guard service pretty closely priced. Maybe a difference of just a few dollars between the two. Whatever the difference is, a few dollars is worth the price for ultimate safety and protection in my opinion. So, if price is really a factor for you, then opt for unarmed security service. Then in a few weeks reassess your needs and adjust accordingly. On the other hand, if it's just your flower garden that needs a watchful eye out for gophers, then you probably don't need an armed security guard to protect it.


  3. Ok, I decided I need a Security Guard, now how do I pick the right Company?

    This is easy! I'm just kidding, no it's not. There is a rule of thumb to follow when selecting any type of service whether it's a security guard company or a catering company. DON'T always go for the BIG NAMES. Sure you may have heard their commercials on the radio and seen videos plastered all over television and the internet, but most of those companies pay their employees minimum wage, have high turnovers, and low quality trained security guards. If you don't believe me, pick a well known security company and ask one of their employees what they get paid. I can almost assure you they are getting minimum wage. I have a few friends that work for these companies and they complain all the time. Why do they do it then, well let's just say that they didn't know better at the time and now they're stuck.

    Some of the smaller private security companies are really competitive because they want your business, and at the same time they can't afford to lose valuable employees, so they pay and train them well. In turn, you get reasonably priced service, very well trained guards, and great customer service, all because they want to ensure you are satified as a client. So, do your research, search the internet, ask around, and READ REVIEWS. Here are a few links for you to check out that I've researched so that you don't have to. I have also listed a couple of security service companies that I have personally used and recommend that I think you will definitely like:


  4. What about pricing?

    This can be a scary thing and a big commitment, as you will most definitely being signing a contract once you select a company. First of all don't be afraid to shop around and get a few price quotes. Don't over-do it though, but get a few, maybe 5 or so should do it. You'll probably notice that they will be pretty close in price. Most of the security companies are aware of their competitors prices. So how do you select, or who do you select? Well, first you have to make the decision on whether or not you want quality or mediocre service, and what you are willing to spend. In this industry you definitely get what you pay for. If it's an enticingly cheap price, then you're almost guaranteed to receive poorly untrained and inadequate security guard service. You'll be wasting your time and money, and will almost always be shopping around for another guard service real soon. Save yourself the headache, worry, and stress about whether or not the security guards are doing their jobs. Here is what I suggest:

    • Have a reasonable budget in mind. Don't expect to pay $12.00-$15.00 for any quality guard service. I don't think you can even get a quote that low, well at least not here in the California Bay Area, especially San Francisco or San Jose whose minimum wage is $10 per hour instead of $8. Think about it, what the heck would the company be paying the guard? Definitely minimum wage, and remember what I said about minimum wage guards! (Remember the companies have over heads like workman's comp insurance, benefit's insurance, equipment maintenance, rent, etc. Also, different grade guards get higher pay, and so do supervisors, managers, and higher ranking guards.)

    • As you shop around for quotes, don't be afraid to let them know your budget. Believe me it is to your benefit. Most of them are not going to try and rip you off by taking all of your money. They want your business and they will do their best to meet your budget goals. Instead, they will be able to reasonably put together a security solution and package that will work for you and stay within your budget.

      • For example, let's say you only have $3000 a month budgeted for security service and you need 1 guard, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. You receive a quote for $25p/h for the guard. If you multiply 8 hours a day times 5 days a week, you will get your standard 160 hours a month. Now multiply 160 x $25.00 which = $4000.

        Now let's say after receiving several quotes, none of them fall within your monthly budget. So now what? Well, if you would've told one of them your budget up front, you might have saved yourself the time and headache once you found out that they could've customized a package for you and covered all of your security needs by providing service 5 hours a night instead of 8. Now if you do the math, you would see that it would only cost you $2500 a month and would fall gracefully within your budget even saving you an extra $500! It's overall better to just let them know your budget.

    • Choose a company that is at least willing to work with you on your budget, or is willing to match or beat a competitors price.

    • Once again, cheaper price equates to lower quality of service! Spend the extra dollar, or two, for quality service so that you will have some peace of mind knowing you have hired adequate and competent security guard service. In the long run It's money well worth spent , and it's just plain smart business.

    • Don't be afraid to ask many questions

    • Schedule a meeting to meet with a representative of the company to see how they present themselves and the company. Feel them out, listen to what they have to say. Maybe you'll even get a ride-a-long and guard tour!

    ** Even in today's economy in 2013, I've recently seen quotes for unarmed security guard service ranging from $22.50 p/h - 27.50 p/h, and anywhere from $28.50 p/h - $37.50 p/h for armed security guards. Vehicle patrol service is even more, ranging from $40 p/h on up, because the company has an over-head to pay for gas, vehicle insurance, and general maintenace to ensure the vehicle keeps running properly and is available for safe patrol service.


  5. What to expect after selecting your Private Security Guard Company

    After you have selected a private security guard company, expect to have a couple of meetings or phone conversations with them while you both customize the security plan, determine the amount of security officers needed, devise a mobile patrol or fixed post plan, and implement site policies and procedures. Next you solidify the agreement, and will most likely be signing a contract for their services. Depending on the length of the contract, over the next couple of weeks you will be assessing the service plan to see if it's working at it's optimal potential. You will most likely be working closely with management and fine tuning things. Or you may simply just give the reigns to the security company and sit back and experience the safety, security, and peace of mind that the right private security service can provide for you!


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