A home security business can be a very profitable business venture, with security concerns and the need to keep valuables safe and secure increasing worldwide. There are over 3,500 security companies in the US, and the home security market is expected to grow notably.
The increase in crime rates has driven an unprecedented adoption of innovative safety and security systems. In addition, smartphone technology and remote monitoring have advanced steadily, generating a rise in demand for smart homes and furthering the home security market growth.
This is all very encouraging, but how do you start a home security business? We’ve outlined the steps below.
1. Create a Business Plan
Before starting anything, you should create a business plan. It doesn’t have to be too complicated, but it should be accurate and realistic. A business plan will help you get a picture of the market, define your target customers, and formulate a clear strategy.
Your plan should outline how you plan on moving forward to build your business. It should include a detailed budget, a clear indication of the expected profits, and a timeline. You should also define your products and how you’ll attract potential customers.
A good plan should also analyze your competitors — their pricing, logos, and marketing material.
2. Secure Startup Funds
Having adequate funds when starting any business is critical, and it’s no different from a home security business. From the onset, you should ensure you have sufficient funds to operate for a few months.
Don’t expect to kick-off your business and run operations using your profits from the beginning because it will probably take some time to build up. Consider that many new businesses shut down within the first few months because they didn’t have sufficient funds to operate while building up to profitability.
3. Research Products
You’ll be selling or recommending security products. It’s important to research products thoroughly and pick good quality, reliable products to make you stand out from the competition.
Some things you may explore are, for example, what different security systems are manufacturers offering to their sales partners and marketers? Where are the products manufactured? Are they local or imported? Do they offer warranties?
If you’re considering selling specific equipment, it’s a good idea to find out where you can buy it in bulk.
Understandably, you may want to keep your costs down, but ensure you don’t buy too cheaply. Selling inexpensive equipment that breaks down often or doesn’t last could prove costly in the end. Also, be wary of products offered at discounted prices because they have been discontinued, as they will have no warranty or manufacturer support.
It’s equally important to research the manufacturers — what’s their standing in the market? Are they financially stable or just about to go bankrupt? Have they been in business for decades or did they just pop up a couple of months ago?
The best way to gauge their reputation is through customer reviews on the many social media venues and rating websites.
4. Obtain the Necessary Permits and License
To ensure your business runs smoothly and avoid legal issues, you must get the necessary permits and licenses.
Especially in the security industry, there are crucial permits without which you risk compromising your business’s integrity and could risk fines and liability issues.
There are eligibility requirements and application instructions you must meet, and these vary state by state. Before beginning operations, make sure you comply with your state’s requirements and ensure you implement their guidelines.
For example, in Indiana, one must be state-licensed. The Indiana Private Investigator and Security Guard Licensing Board set the standards security agencies must meet, such as a baccalaureate degree in a field related to criminal justice or two years of qualifying experience.
5. Market Your Business
Most security businesses start with word-of-mouth referrals. Ensure you share the word with family, friends, and neighbors who can recommend you to their networks.
In service businesses, word-of-mouth recommendations are an essential source of customers. Particularly with security agencies, people tend to trust recommendations as security is quite a personal matter.
Another very effective way to market your business is to create networks with realtors, homeowner organizations, and home builders. They may know potential customers for your services and can recommend you.
Social media is also another great way to promote your business. It’s among the easiest and most effective ways to promote a startup business. Once you create a good following on your social pages, your chances of gaining potential customers increase, as there is no limit to expanding your network.
Strive to regularly post bits of advice or useful tips, happy customer reviews, or promotions on your social media pages. These will keep your followers interested and give them something to share with their networks (a whole world of potential customers!).
6. Set up a Security Business Software
You should look into using a security service software solution to simplify processes and run your business effectively.
The software covers business processes and workforce management and provides tools to manage your day-to-day operations such as scheduling, dispatch, tracking, and so on.
Staying on top of your business with the right software will also enable you to manage your customer base and provide a great customer experience. This may also help you stay ahead of the competition.
7. Obtain the Necessary Skills to Run the Business
It’s likely that you already have experience in the industry, and you may even be an expert in the field. However, this may not be sufficient to run your own security business successfully.
You will need some essential business skills, such as operations and people management, basic financial management, understanding of risk management, project management, good communications and marketing skills, relationship building, and so on. Soft skills like communication, collaboration, and teamwork are also necessary if you plan to hire staff.
In addition to general business skills, the security industry requires specific skills and mindset.
You may already possess basic technical skills such as security tools expertise to enable you to replace, install, and troubleshoot security systems. If you don’t, you should ensure you take specialized training or be willing to hire technical professionals.
You should also be well versed in the laws around surveillance activities; how to deal with different potential situations, what the crime rates are in your state area, firearm laws, and so on.
It would help if you also understood how criminals operate and how they target homes in your area of operations so that you can recommend appropriate solutions.
8. Budget Your Funds
As a business owner, you must plan how you will use your funds.
Take your time to determine how you’ll allocate your funds. For example, how much will go into marketing your business, buying equipment, and other important factors?
Liability insurance is one crucial element you shouldn’t overlook as it will cover your business for anything that should go wrong or happen to a client due to your or your staff’s mistakes, or should a client sue you.
Bonding insurance will also protect your company from anything your employees might do while working for you. For example, if one of your employees were to steal a client’s property.
When preparing your budget, make sure you calculate all your costs. Remember to factor in expenses such as fuel, uniforms, health insurance, and other incidentals.
9. Create an Online Platform for Your Business
In today’s world, people don’t trust businesses they can’t find online. Therefore, having a website for your business increases its credibility. Your website may also be the primary source of potential clients.
Make your site as appealing and as fast as possible. If your site takes too long to load, you may lose potential customers who might opt to visit another page. Ensure your website has plenty of useful information and attractive, relevant images to grab the customer’s attention.
Consider investing in a professional website designer, even if it’s a single informational page. Using a do-it-yourself template is an option, but it may look unprofessional, turning potential customers off.
Start Your Home Security Business
Now you have a better idea of the steps to follow. Go ahead and start drafting that business plan, find the funding, and get going. We know it can be overwhelming and hope this has provided you with plenty of information and a solid base to launch a successful business.