If you’ve considered starting up a private security business and are now ready to tackle the task of writing a business plan, then our template below is for you.
In the UK, the security industry contributes an estimated £6 billion to the economy and private security workers in the country now outnumber police officers. And it’s not just in the UK that the industry is booming. Globally, the market for private security services is forecast to grow by 6.42% from 2018 to 2022.
To join the ranks of this thriving industry and ensure you not only stand out from the crowd but are also a great success, invest your time in a thoroughly researched, well-written and properly formatted business plan.
Our security business plan template includes:
- Executive summary
- Introduction to you
- Detailed overview of the business
- Specifics of your services
- Legal and insurance requirements, policies and procedures
- Market analysis
- Marketing and promotion
The executive summary is a succinct introduction to what your business is, the customers you intend to target and how you plan to operate. Make sure it’s clear and gets to the point quickly. It should only be a few sentences, and you can use bullet points to make it easy to read.
It should include the following:
- The name of your business
- What security services you plan to offer e.g. dog handlers, bodyguarding etc.
- Who you plan to offer those services to (your target audience)
- How you plan to operate and staff the business
You’ll go into more detail in supporting sections later on in the document, so don’t be tempted to cram too much into this introduction.
Imagine you are in an elevator and someone asks you about your business. You have sixty seconds to explain it to them. This is known as an ‘elevator pitch’ and is a great method to narrow down an overwhelm of information into one short statement.
This is a section about you and how you’re qualified to run a private security business. This will help to sell your skills and experience to potential investors, as well as to clients further down the line.
This should be concise and to the point. Don’t simply copy your CV or include every recognition you’ve ever achieved if it’s not related.
This overview should include:
Your experience in the industry and career background
Include a compelling biography as to how you’re personally qualified in your specialist field.
For example, you could say, “I have worked as a security guard in the UK for the past ten years, at some of the biggest security companies in the country. Having worked my way up from XX position to XX position, I’m now ready to launch my own security guard business. I have all the relevant and most up-to-date qualifications and a deep network of business peers and potential clients.”
If you don’t have the specific industry background, detail here how you plan to obtain the knowledge and skills required. This could be finding a partner or working with a mentor, or employing experienced staff.
List out here your relevant qualifications for providing private security services, as well as any other relevant qualifications for launching a new business, for example in business or marketing.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) regulates the industry in the UK and provides licences for individuals working in the sector. You, and any employee you hire, must have the relevant training and qualifications.
If you don’t have the specific qualifications or licence, then include here a plan for when you’ll acquire it.
In addition, all those working in the security industry must have a clean criminal background. You, and anyone you plan to employ, need a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check.
If you have been working in the industry for a while, then you might have built up a healthy network of business peers, prospective clients and potential investors or partners.
Provide a summary here of the relationships that you can leverage to help launch your new business.
This section of your security business plan should go into the nitty gritty of your vision and goals for your new firm.
It builds on the executive summary and highlights your objectives for the first year and then for the next five to ten years. It should provide a foundation for your business’ journey with clear accountability benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Vision, mission and values
It’s important to get clear on your business vision, mission statement and company values from the outset.
Your business vision is a high-level statement of what you want your company to achieve in the future. The purpose is to be aspirational in order to inspire leadership and employees, rather than customers, and capture where your organisation is going.
A mission statement, on the other hand, focuses on what you are doing in the present. It should be actionable and demonstrate how you plan to fulfill your vision.
Your values are what you’ll strive to run your business by and what your services will aim to achieve. The values could be around sustainability, building long term partnerships with clients, providing highly trained staff etc.
For example, if your business is to provide commercial manned guarding, then your vision might be: ‘to safely protect employees at their place of work’, your mission could be, ‘by providing 24-7, high-quality and affordable manned security to businesses in the county of XX.’ And your values could be: high-quality, affordable, fully licenced, excellent customer service.
What achievements do you envision for your company in one month, one year, five years’ time? This is the section where you lay out tangible, achievable, yet still ambitious goals.
When considering these KPIs, use the SMART framework. It stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.
Examples of SMART goals: To secure five new customers in Q3; to make a £15,000 profit in year three; to have a team of five full-time staff by the end of year one.
It’s important to evaluate your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, to be flexible to any market changes as well as to fully maximise your strengths.
Strengths – detail your unique selling points and what sets you apart from your competition.
Weaknesses – what are potential sticking points for the success of your business, such as low awareness in the sector, recruitment issues or client retention.
Opportunities – highlight the number of potential customers in your target location, future growth opportunities including moving into new niches or locations.
Threats – these could include tough competition, change in government policies meaning expensive re-training or increase in police officer numbers potentially impacting private security contracts.
This segment is an in-depth and transparent look at your finances and you’ll need to do some serious number-crunching. It should include how you plan to finance your business, sales forecasts for at least the first three years, cash flow overview and a launch budget.
First, consider your start-up costs. Note in a budget what will you need to spend to get your business up and running. This could include premises, training, uniforms, insurance, marketing materials, and staff salaries.
Then consider your ongoing expenditure to keep your business running once it’s launched. This could be recurring payments such as rent, utilities bills as well as one-off costs such as attending a client networking event.
Next, forecast the sales you’ll need to make to cover the ongoing expenditure and make a profit. Also detail what funding you have, or that you need to secure, to cover the start-up costs. This could be from personal savings or private loans.
You might also need to raise additional capital from banks or specialist providers, so accurately calculating these figures will ensure you know how much you need to borrow.
Outline here the services you’ll be offering. This should include:
What services you plan to offer
For example: manned security guards, close protection bodyguards, door supervisors, guard dog handlers, mobile patrols, key holding response, CCTV monitoring and home security alarms, vehicle parking security, event security etc.
How you plan to carry out the services
Such as around-the-clock surveillance staff, bespoke teams for large events or emergency call outs.
What you’ll charge for the services
A structured pricing strategy should include rate card prices for all your services. Whether you’ll offer payment plans, contracts or pay-as-you-go hourly billing. The payment options available (e.g. bank transfers, Direct Debit, credit cards) and any discounts for repeat business or longer-term contracts.
Your operational structure
How you plan to run your business day-to-day. Such as roles and job titles of specific staff; premises, equipment or other resources; partners and suppliers; client account management and new business process etc.
How you’ll sell your services to clients. For example, by pitching for large contracts, through your website, at a physical office, over the phone or at face-to-face meetings.
This part of your security business plan is important to include to ensure that you understand the legal obligations, and also to demonstrate to potential investors, or others reading your document, that you are a trustworthy business.
The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is a non-departmental public body created under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. It regulates every private security firm and individual in the UK.
There are two aspects to the regulation:
- Licensing for individuals working in the industry – as noted above, all individuals must have the required training and qualifications to be licenced. Read more here.
- Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) for firms – this is an operational framework for all private security firms to follow to ensure they are operating within the law and meeting quality standard levels with the correct policies and procedures. Firms must apply to be approved and there’s more information here.
In addition, there are also a number of accreditations that demonstrate you meet the UK security industry’s quality standards. These include:
- ISO 9001
- SafeContractor scheme
- CHAS (Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme)
You’ll also need to highlight your plan to secure the required insurance for you and your staff to carry out their jobs. This could include public liability cover, employer’s liability cover, professional indemnity, wrongful arrest or loss of keys.
There are specialist insurance providers for the private security industry, so it’s worth shopping around to find the best deal and cover.
You’ll need to put your research hat on to complete this portion of your plan. It’ll allow you, and any readers of your document, to understand the current state of the wider industry, who will purchase your services and your competition.
The easiest way to find out the current standing of the security market is to conduct a thorough online search and look for data provided by credible sources. You can also read relevant media, such as trade publications, and conduct interviews with business peers.
Build a picture of who your ideal customer will be, including demographics (age, gender), location, needs and desires, lifestyle and hobbies. Use desktop research or field research (e.g. interviews or questionnaires). Every piece of information will help you to target effectively with marketing activity.
Scrutinise your competition to identify who are your direct competition, including what their strengths, weakness and differences are, and how you plan to stand out from them.
Your marketing and promotional strategy will include tactics for how you’ll raise awareness of your new business and attract the right customers.
Your thorough target audience research (see above) should help you to identify what the best channels are to reach your ideal customers.
You should include:
- Branding – professional logo and strapline that encapsulates your business,
- Digital presence – website, social media channels
- Physical presence – business phone number, branding of premises, branded uniforms, business cards
- Timing – when your launch promotional activity will start and ongoing plans
- Tactics – advertising, networking events, face-to-face meetings with potential clients, content marketing, email marketing
- Proposed budget – how much your marketing activity will cost
Get Started with Your Security Business Plan
Use this template to help you create a winning security business plan. Putting in the effort in the early stages to get this document right will help your business in the long term.