One of my friends, whom I had previously worked with in security enforcement, recently approached me with a problem (and seeking advice from me). The background to the whole story is that the friend in question set up his own security firm after leaving government employment. But the security firm he set up hasn’t been doing very well lately, and he was seeking advice on how to turn the firm around, by increasing its profits.
After listening to his tribulations, I gave him a few pieces of advice, which I will also share here. Firstly, I told him that one way to increase a private security firm’s profits is by bidding for more projects. More projects would translate into more revenues, and more revenues would (potentially) translate into more profits. Beyond bidding for more projects, I advised him to also consider advertising in the media and undertaking other marketing activities that would help him get more clients, translating into bigger revenues and higher profits.
Secondly, I told him that another way to increase a private security firm’s profits is by starting to offer more services. Like beyond basic guarding services, he could branch into other areas: like private investigations, offering VIP security (bodyguards), offering events security… and so on.
Thirdly, I told him that yet another way to increase a private security firm’s profits is by reducing overheads. It should be, for instance, quite easy to scale down on administrative costs. The security firm’s offices could also be moved to a cheaper address, and greatly cut down on the costs. Another strategy would be by hiring non-skilled people, and training them in-house — as opposed to hiring people who are already security experts, and who tend to demand premium salaries. Having hired one real expert, you can have him train other staff members in the relevant skills, as opposed to hiring folks who consider themselves to be experts already, and whose salaries could be very hefty.