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Should You Start a Security Agency in 2023

LAST EDIT February 15, 2023

Question: Should I start a security agency in 2023?

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Should you start a security agency in 2023?

Spoiler: Yes! Yes you should.

As the author of How to Start a Security Guard Company and as the administrator for The Security Officer Network, I monitor the private security space for the latest opportunities and to track the information needed for the next edition of the book.

What follows are a few of the data points that I believe make a convincing case that 2023 is the best time—possibly ever—for starting a private security agency.

If you've yet to take the leap to starting your own agency then proceed at your own risk; it might change your life. In the past, one of these videos actually inspired a security entrepreneur to restart his private security patrol service.

The Basics

So let's take the basics off of the table. These are the basic reasons that we talked about in past videos for why you should start an agency. They still apply: the industry requires very little initial capital as compared to the many other forms of new business; you can still bootstrap your new business by personally working your first client sites; and the regulatory barrier to this type of business is often quite low. For more about these reasons, just scroll back and review some of the past videos on this channel.

This isn't about why you should start a security agency; it's about why 2023 might be the perfect time to do it.

2023 Inflation Sticker Shock

This is actually a potential big opportunity for the new security startup.

In August, Robert Perry released their annual report on the private security industry. This report detailed how security agencies have been tied into contracts with their clients and have been forced to let overtime pay eat into their profit margin. In 2023 as these contracts come up for renewal, clients are going to have sticker shock. Their security providers will probably price in the cost of the new inflation; protect themselves from possible future inflation; and might even get greedy and try to claw back some of their lost profit margins.

This presents a great opportunity for a new agency that's been following the low-overhead pricing strategies from the book How To Start a Security Guard Agency.

This lack of overhead cost should allow the new agency to create a very competitive bid that saves the client from some of the inflationary costs and that may entice the client to take a risk on a new security agency; it's a risk that, in normal years, they might not have been so willing to encumber.

The Opportunities of Consolidation

If you've been following the security industry over the past few years you will know that many of America's major private security corporations have consolidated into a single corporate entity. In the past there was a robust number of large security providers for clients to choose from, now—there's just a limited few!

People, especially the small-business minded who are likely to be your agency's first targets are not going to be comfortable trusting the security of their site to a big corporation. From privacy concerns, to customer service frustrations, distrust of the big corporates is growing all across American society. Small businesses want to do business with someone who is local and who they can trust and speak to directly.

Were I to start my company in 2023 this would be one of my main pitches: "You don't have to worry about dealing with the account manager of a multinational corporation or some out-of-state corporate executive compromising your security details. I live right here and you can call me personally at any time. In fact, I will personally be running some of your patrols."

Notably, with fewer big corporate providers, there is less competition for you. If the client has a bad experience with a big corporate, there are fewer other big corporates for them to turn to. And, that's to your advantage.

The Need

So, my words aren't going to do this justice. There's nothing I can do to properly emphasize what I and many others believe to be going on out there.

The best I can do to illustrate the problem is to , Texas. It's the perfect venue to examine because they provide great online metrics. Anyone can view these.

DFW area security providers should use the metrics to guide their marketing efforts and incorporate them into their marketing materials.

Three years ago I released a YouTube video entitled, "My Favorite Strategy for Finding New Security Clients"

It's an in-depth, client-finding strategy video describing the use of DPD's metrics to find and market to clients. At the four minute mark as the video highlighted DPD's call response time, I described the "shocking increase" in non-priority response time. At that time, it had just spiked from 47 minutes to 90 minutes. If DPD is going to take 90 minutes to respond to an alarm call, one might ask, why even bother responding at all?

That video details Dallas public safety officials seemingly reacting to their inability to respond quickly, by first emphasizing their high-priority calls at the expense of the non-priority calls and described my vision of a likely future where the government public safety agencies will only handle active emergencies leaving private sector providers to respond to non-emergency calls.

Well, for all intents and purposes, at least in Dallas, that future appears to be arriving sooner than later. Just-posted 2022 metrics show that non-priority response times have completely collapsed. By December 2022 these calls exceeded 600 minutes. On average, it was taking DPD 10 hours to respond to general service calls. This category includes alarm response, abandoned child reports, intoxicated persons, thefts and other common "non-priority" that may seem unimportant, but can quickly escalate if the situation is not addressed and contained.

This might explain why, notably, even as non-priority response has fallen off the charts, now, even the priority calls are taking longer to respond to.

The Dallas Morning News has gone on the record opining that the problem may justify the need for unarmed civilian employees to respond to calls. This will be of little comfort to Dallas property owners who expect the timely response of an armed officer, and who will most certainly appreciate a security agency's timely response and competitively priced services.

Essentially, the police can't respond and filling the gap will certainly require the robust participation of a new generation of private security agencies.

In Dallas, the public safety sector is clearly collapsing, and likely in many other major American cities as well. These cities are absolutely headed down the path already covered by South Africa. In that country, private security providers now greatly outnumber law enforcement.

Here's an example. Take a look at this innovative provider, which appears to be literally marketing affordable, a la carte security services to the San Antonio, Houston and Dallas markets.

By starting an agency now, and sooner than later, as overwhelming demand builds, your agency will already be positioned with a proven track record of providing badly needed services, such as alarm response, to those who can no longer depend on city services.

Sourcing is Easier Than Ever Before

Back in the day when I started my agency I had to find opportunities the hard way: by getting out on the street, going business to business, and finding out where the problems were.

In order to find the community's pain points and to create innovative security services you need insight into the community; however, these days, much of this information can be sourced from the comfort of your computer. And, this is a trend that's only accelerating.

When someone is victimized by crime they are quick to take to social media to warn their neighbors.

For example, consider the opportunities exposed in the Nextdoor App. This app posts example after example of neighbors warning other neighbors about crime. Not only are these great lead generators for you to respond to but they are also creating a perception of an increase in crime and an awareness of the need for your services.

These individuals have disposable income. Start a great residential alarm response patrol; market your service by showing PD's slow response time to alarm calls and word of your services can spread like wildfire through this app and others as residents communicate and seek solutions for the perceived rise in crime and slow police response time.

Your Invitation to Join Us: Are you a security professional? Have you joined The Security Officer Network? Your Security Officer Network membership is the professional security officer’s status symbol of choice and your Network Transcript is sure to impress your security employer and/or clients. If you have not yet joined us, join today at

Ever Growing Opportunities for Specialization

Inspired by viral trends, TikTok and the relaxing of felony laws, many are falling into the temptation to engage in "non-violent" crime. It's a sad, sad deal all around; but, I think it's going to cause the security industry to absolutely blow up.

From the Hyundai/Kia challenge, to credit card skimming, TikTok is creating chaos all across the nation and the police can't or won't keep up. Just as people go to TikTok to learn how to commit crime, they take to Nextdoor to report it.

Here's just one example of how your agency can offer a specialized service that pulls in clients who previously wouldn't have hired a security service.

For many years there have been sites that were untouchable to the new security agency. These were a complete waste of time to market to because they didn't have enough need to justify security services.

For instance x-urban, suburban and suburban-adjacent gas stations. Sure there was an occasional incident but suburban police were still on top of things and could respond in a timely manner.

Maybe not so much anymore.

Peruse the Nextdoor App for long enough and you will probably run across someone warning everyone else to avoid certain gas stations. "I've had my card skimmed there—twice!"

Imagine the plight faced by the owners of these gas stations. These Nextdoor posts are embarrassing and harmful to their business. Their clerks aren't trained to recognize skimmers and they are too busy with their customers to keep an eye on the pumps. The police will take forever to respond to a "Someone is trying to put a skimmer on the pump" call. And, even when they do respond, they may not have the technical expertise to identify skimmer devices or understand the rapidly evolving technologies. Worse, local media might be watching the Nextdoor posts and this can easily result in an embarrassing story on local TV, radio or in the newspaper. And, no matter what, the franchise can not afford to hire a 24/7 onsite officer for each of their convenience store locations.

This is your new agency's amazing opportunity to contact these proprietors of the small to mid-sized convenience store franchises. You will show them the social proof: the buzz on the Nextdoor app about the skimming. You will tell them that you have a patrol route specifically for their stations and your patrol officer has been trained to recognize skimmers, the technologies and the methods used by those who install them such as identifying those who are sitting in their car near the skimmer and collecting data via bluetooth.

When your patrol officer isn't responding to calls from the franchise's clerks he will be patrolling each of the franchise locations. His patrols will help the patrons to feel safe, keep skimmers at bay as well as those embarrassing Nextdoor posts.

This one example is just one of the client groups who have historically not been impacted by crime. In the past these stores couldn't justify the expense of security because there wasn't enough need. Now, because of your innovative proposal they will have access to security and by distributing costs among each of their other franchise locations it will be doable for their budget.

This has been just one example of a recently needed private security product design that's just waiting for your new agency to fill. In the upcoming years with each new TikTok challenge there's potentially another, and another and another.

From gas stations, to truck yards, to alarm response, to mini storages, the opportunities for specialization are only going to continue to expand each and every year. Essentially, fewer and fewer sites are off limits to you. With a little street smarts and the willingness to learn and specialize and then use your research to market your services you are likely to find an unlimited pool of potential customers.

Opportunities of Personal Protection

I am ever-more convinced that personal protection is set to become one of the most quickly evolving areas of specialization and it's the perfect fit for the smaller, boutique security agencies even if they are just getting started in the industry.

There's a general perception out there and one that really seems to be growing: everything is becoming political! A not insignificant number of people believe that law enforcement, the justice system, and a great number of the nation's established institutions are on a path to being corrupted, the law politicized and weaponized as people become targeted for their political views and as the political pendulum swings back and forth and one political faction first attacks and/or retaliates against another. From political donors, to prominent personalities, to politicians - basically anyone of prominence who shares a point-of-view in public - everyone will have exposure. This will lead to a mistrust of the public-safety system and an ever-growing heavy reliance on the private security sector.

In reviewing recent public news regarding the relocation of the Brazilian President to Florida one couldn't help but notice the prominence of the private security positioned near his private residence; not public law enforcement but private sector security.

This is your agency's great opportunity: the personal protection niche.

Those who need it won't want to go to big multinational corporates to provide the service; they will want someone they know they can trust and that's local to them.

We could go on forever about the many, many opportunities for the private security entrepreneur in 2023. As fascinating as these opportunities are, it's important to note that from the rise in crime, to the loss of faith in public institutions, these aren't good things. These are bad for society and represent an end of a way of life that will be missed. But, make no mistake, there's an absolute calling for those who are prepared to offer needed solutions, in an affordable manner, to those who need them most.

If that's you, consider starting your security agency in 2023, and consider joining us, at The Security Officer Network; the home of the true security professional. Upon joining you will have immediate access to The Security Consultancy course; it's the course that helps you get started on leveraging security consulting as a benefit to your future clients.

Your Invitation to Join Us: Are you a security professional? Have you joined The Security Officer Network? Your Security Officer Network membership is the professional security officer’s status symbol of choice and your Network Transcript is sure to impress your security employer and/or clients. If you have not yet joined us, join today at

Are you ready to start thinking about starting your own security company? Check out this 140 page ebook from The Security Officer Network entitled "How to Start A Security Guard Company". Get your PDF copy while it is still free! Or, order the paperback from Amazon.

Questions and Answers From the Security Officer Network's FAQ Compendium

How Much Can a New Security Agency Charge? - The new security agency's pricing strategy. Click to Read

What are the Components of the Security Guard Company Business Plan - The necessary elements of the Security Guard Company's business plan. Click to Read

How to Lower the Cost of the Securty Guard Company's Insurance Premiums - Methods for cutting the cost of insurance and undercutting the price model of the big security companies. Click to Read

How Much Should a Company Charge for Security Patrol? - Methods for charging for patrol route services. Click to Read

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