There are a number of reasons to book the services of a security guard, but there are a few things that you will want to know before you make that call. Small business owners cannot always take the time to go line by line with a guide, so we have created a short yet comprehensive guide to security guard services. So before you make a quick call on your security guard of choice, take a read of this guide.
Establish your security guard needs
Before you call around every security guard company in your area, it is worth spending some time establishing your actual needs. Perhaps you are looking to control the lines to your cash register, to support a busy event or time of the year, or even to boost security for your limited staff. There are so many reasons to consider a security guard so discuss what you are hoping to achieve with this choice so that you can communicate this to the security guard company and they choose the right candidate for the job. If there is another small business that has had success in working with a security company, reach out to them and see what has worked for them!
Inform your team
All businesses should have great communication, but that is even more important when it is a small business. Your employees might find a security guard’s presence to be intimidating, exciting, or confusing – but educating them on why you have made this decision is key. At your next staff meeting, tell them what day or days you are going to have this added support and what business changes, strains, or opportunities have led you to make this call. If your employees know how to act and how to optimize this security presence, it will make things easier for everyone. If your small business is known to have one or two employees on at any given shift, then it is imperative that you make them feel safe and secure with this presence so they can see the advantage of having a security guard.
Consider your exits and entry points
Will your security guard be at the front or the back of your store, and in that area ready for their arrival? You want to consider getting bollards, ropes, or even placing some signage at your business so that patrons understand what the process is. They may think the security guard is to watch out for theft, but your security guard may also be there to manage crowds also. You can also communicate with your guard on what they can tell patrons who ask them general questions. For example, you may want to inform them about what time you close, what the sale is (if there is a sale), how many people are allowed in the store, and so on.
Do research on your chosen security provider
Rather than simply choosing the cheapest or most local provider, you want to also be doing your research. Find out what clients are saying about this company, and what kind of company they are. A strong referral from a law firm might be great, but if you are a delicatessen – then that testimony might not be so relevant. What you are looking for is security guards that are reliable, qualified, have an ABN, and have experience in the industry you are working with. You can also do a trial with your security provider and see if they go after one shift, and decide whether you want them to be your permanent choice. Take a look at reviews on Google and also on Facebook, you might get all the information you need by finding out what others have said.
Do you expect your security guards to run after someone if they see shoplifting, or do you expect something else? Establishing boundaries is a great way to not take advantage of your chosen security guard – and having this discussion early on will ensure you make the right decision. In fact, even after you have this discussion, you should also read the contract to see what it entails. This is important because security guards are putting themselves in dangerous positions, and you want to have yourself covered. If you need to remind your team and security guard of these boundaries often, do not be afraid to do so.
Do you feel more prepared to work with a security guard service? We hope this guide has highlighted all the factors that are important to making this decision. The right business will feel like a great fit for your team, so trust your gut and make an assessment after you have had the first trial.