Small Security Firms vs. Large Security Companies. Who Wins?
Today is Small Business Saturday and therefore, worthy of a SPECIAL EDITION ARTICLE!
When someone mentions security company, security firm, loss prevention team, etc… What do you think of? Securitas, Andrews International, Allied Barton, US Security Associates, Universal Protection? There are several large companies out there that keep their billable rates low, maintain basic security services as their cornerstone, and have massive operational and administrative engines to keep them going. The result is guard staff are looked as a commodity or a badge number. Something that can be purchased and sold for profit. And while that may be true to an extent for all security firms, what makes one of these companies special?
The truth is the largest companies shuffle through contracts because they compete based on a price point. They are so similar that whichever company bids the contract up for renewal the lowest wins. It doesn’t matter if its a private business or a branch of government. $.05 per hour may be the difference between winning or losing the one guard per night at the apartment complex down the street or the court house in town. They all recruit from the same pool of guards, train to the same basic standards, and have similar administrative policies. But is competing and deciding based on price the best for the consumer?
At it’s base, there are only three factors that differentiate security firms:
1. The guard staff
2. The training and support
3. The management
Small or boutique security companies work in one of several ways in Los Angeles. The first is emulating the large companies, trying to keep costs low and passing that savings on to the consumer. These companies attempt to grow with volume and typically specialize in nothing in particular. The guard staff of these companies are typically found in patrol cars where their job is hit patrol tags in order to “prove” they patrolled a client’s site, in construction sites, or at malls.
The second is general services approach. Some security companies will take on every assignment that comes to them. Whether it is a nightclub in Hollywood, Sylmar, East LA, or Torrance, these companies will dispatch the same services for each venue. Although they provide a security team, the staff may not have specialized experience or training to working with the client’s target market. Problems arise when the guard staff cannot identify potential threats or hazards due to their unfamiliarity with that environment. These issues are passed directly to the client, resulting in frustration, legal trouble, and potentially dangerous situations.
The third is the kind of security firm that is AEGIS Private Security. We are a boutique security firm that specializes in high end clientele. Our staff, from line security officers to bodyguards, investigators, and management, has experience and specialization in working within environments where it is necessary to be professional, discreet, well mannered and well tempered. Mitigation and prevention are stressed over reaction. Customer service, autonomy, and combined management are operational cornerstones, resulting in a service clients respect and appreciate. The ability to contact management at any time and for any reason is a rare commodity in today’s busy service industry. In working with a company like AEGIS, clients must way priorities: price point or service, for the short but well known adage applies in the security and investigation world too, “You get what you pay for.”
The moral of the story is, when you are out there looking for a licensed and insured company that fulfills your specific needs, the first step is finding one that specializes in services you need. The second step is weighing what is most important to you and working with a company that maintains their professional integrity while working within your budget and resources.
AEGIS Private Security: Security, Investigation, Training, and Consulting Solutions