Security means many things to many people.

To further complicate the search for the ideal security service, company or consultant; security has many categories, sub categories and niches, as do many other professional services sectors such as medicine, law, finance, etc

A single search for “security” is likely to yield many unrelated results for your actual requirement.

Furthermore, many security companies and professionals will offer multiple services or posses numerous skills all within the security sector.

Buyers need to be cautious also, as some security providers will try to be everything to everyone and claim to offer everything security related.

Buyers may need to do some preliminary research on their need before seeking a provider in order to match your outcome or desired result with that of an appropriate expert or provider. If you ask a provider if they do what you are seeking….nearly all will inevitably say yes. Some of the best providers are quick to stand out because they actually say no or wait before making any promises.

Unfortunately you many need to seek key industry terms and technical definitions in order to find your best provider option as this is how many security companies and consultants advertise.

In many locations, countries and regions, security is considered the absolute last resort as a job or vocation. It is definitely not the same interpretation from country to country.

Be mindful that the person you have providing your service possibly could not get a job in any other field, has limited skills and may be on the lowest relative wage, depending upon the market and so called skill sets.

Even worse, are providers that staff the company with exclusively retired military, police and government personnel.

Not only is much of their skill set not relevant to commercial security but also they have already given some of their “best” years to someone else and you may find your contract is more a retirement benefits package than a full-service security contract.

This is not the case in every instance but you need to examine the company, the service the talent and the outcomes required very, very closely before committing.

“Security” is not a product or service that people consume in their every day life, therefore the purchasing of security products and services are typically only purchased in the context of a business need.

It is for this reason many are not very familiar with what it means or how it is structured until they are in need of a solution.

Sometimes this timing is when the company or executives are faced with major threats or concerns that place their company and assets at risk.

This is not good time to be learning the highs and lows of the industry and itʼs providers. 

Determine exactly what “security” means to your business and your requirement. Also, don’t pigeonhole security as there are many talented professionals that have more to offer than just their pedigree and “security” related skills….you may be pleasantly surprised and get far more value than you might initially think.

Once you have a clear understanding of the role of security within your requirement and a specified outcome needed, then determine what providers or individuals would initially fit the purpose.

Next you need to get input from the professional end of the provider spectrum as they will know and anticipate more than you have initially outlined and these valuable conversations will ultimately help you refine your search and determine the scope of works required, saving you time, money and exposure to failure.

Lastly, don’t shop on price. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each offering and any other additional offerings beyond your initial requirement that will bring value to your project/requirement, then select the best provider. If you shop on price, you will only ever get mediocre providers and work. If you seek expertise and results, you will recover the cost of your investment.

Caveat emptor….buyer beware.

Tony Ridley

Travel Safety Experts
Travel Safety Experts

Travel health, safety, security and risk management experts