When it comes to choosing the right security bid for your residents, employees, or customers, many people will simply look at the money. The bid that has the lowest amount of zeros in front of the decimal point wins the day.
But does just having the lowest bid make a company worthy of your business? Will they meet your needs and continue evolving their services as your needs change?
Here are five questions to ask yourself in order to choose the security bid that is right for you and your property.
1. What do I need from a private security company?
Perhaps the largest question of all is: What are you hoping to accomplish by hiring a private security company? Are you having issues with break-ins? Parking violations? Loitering?
Nail down the issues that you are hoping a private security can help you with and convey it clearly and concisely when seeking a bid. Having a clear picture of your needs will aid any company in building a plan that will work for you.
A “one-size-fits-all” security company is definitely not something you want, because it will either be too many features you don’t need or too small to cover what you need without paying extra for the services you do need.
2. Has each security company done a site assessment?
An on-site security assessment is required in order to get a quality security bid that is catered to your property’s unique needs. Did the bidding companies visit your property to assess environmental and historical factors that could play a part in proper security?
The assessments also help the company in determining what kind of patrols, how many, and other security measures appropriate for your community. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. They are the security experts, but you have a right to know and understand the rationale behind their recommendations.
3. What kind of mobile security patrols does the bid recommend?
What kind of mobile security patrols will each security company use? Companies who use a high visibility SUV with professional branding — not just a small “SECURITY” written on the side of their tiny hatchback ala the 1980s — demonstrate a strong visible deterrence on your property, while roving, mobile patrols can virtually eliminate problems associated with stationary posts. Random patrol routes — not an easy-to-dodge once every hour on the hour patrol — make it hard for criminal elements to determine when to get up to mischief.
Some companies may recommend more patrols than others, but quantity over quality is always suspicious. If a company says they will do three 5-minute patrols every hour, but you know it takes at least 10 minutes to do a thorough inspection of your property, then more patrols isn’t really getting the job done. One 15-minute patrol every hour may seem like less, but they are more likely getting the job done right the first time.
4. How much does technology play a part in security services?
We live in a 24/7, always connected world, and you need to make sure your security company is using up-to-date technology to enhance their services and protection of what is important to you. (You may want to ditch the company that hands you reports in a Steno notebook punctuated with Polaroids).
Technology keeps you connected with your security company, through online reporting, photos, and videos. Some even offer GPS coordinates so you can see where your patrols are at any given time.
A good security company will have all reports compiled online in an easy-to-find format, and a great one will offer analytics to analyze your reports to search for trends and recurring incidents.
5. Are you comfortable with the kind of communications you receive?
Hand-in-hand with technology is the communication that goes along with it. Technology has taken away a lot of face-to-face communication, but doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to never meeting your security company in person. Good communication with your security company helps build trust. Choose a security company that has a friendly face (a real face, not their computer avatar!) and a reliable, professionally trained security officer that will work with you at any time of the day.
Choosing the right security company
There are a lot of top-notch private security companies out there, and a lot of not-so-top-notch companies. You usually get what you pay for, but asking yourself these simple questions may help you get the most out of your money, and the best protection for the things you care about most.
Want to learn more about mobile patrol security and if it’s the right solution for your property? Check out this video.