In today’s executive protection market, companies and individuals with a small number of EP agents can thrive in this competitive market, operating from anywhere. This means assisting multinational corporations with low-profile EP for its senior execs visiting various cities in the U.S. or doing business in unstable countries worldwide.
However, by keeping your EP operation small, it’s going to be tough doing the majority of things on your own (advertising, contracting, invoicing and training). Everybody in the EP industry is hurting, so the more you can save and help your clients save on EP services the better.
You don’t want to position yourself as a “high-end boutique” EP service provider, during recessionary times clients are looking for extremely high quality EP services at reasonable rates. Think high volume and moderate profit margins by designing your services to have a very low overhead, many EP companies and individual freelance teams go out of business because they create a large overhead structure.
Times are tough for everyone so it’s all about strategy; continue to manage your EP operations carefully with an eye towards meeting the future demands of your clients and prospects so you will be able to fund the initial assignment costs. This means managing your cash flow so your profits are sufficient to fund your small EP team as well as having funds set aside for larger EP assignments for the future.
If you work international EP assignments and do some business in unstable countries on a fairly consistent basis plan now in setting up a local EP service supply chain in those regions. You should start outsourcing many of your EP functions. Keep hands-on for quality control but allow your local representatives to provide advance work, secure transport and outer ring EP protection. You need to find the best local EP suppler; you have to stay on top of the quality. When outsourcing EP functions, make sure to keep your team nimble to meet client demands worldwide.
Because your company or EP team has a small number of EP agents doesn’t mean you have to think small. You can work assignments in dozens of countries by setting up your global EP service infrastructure and a global client channel. Don’t limit your EP revenue due to the gloomy economy, do it right, set up your EP services so your cost base is low. Long term success comes from building repeat clients. Keep safe and God speed.
Doc Rogers is the author of Corporate Executive Protection – A Manual for Inspiring Corporate Bodyguards and president and CEO of International Corporate Executive Protection Ltd. Doc has earned a Ph.D. in Security Administration from Southwest University and he is SE Asia’s leading expert on executive protection and corporate security. To learn how to make a full time living as a corporate bodyguard visit the websites below for more information.
Alonzo: Thank you. I am a continuous learner in this business and appreciate and learn from your comments as well.
Thanks, Doc, I’m not all that but I’ve been around for sure. lol
My comments may be tainted by my main AO (SoCal), however, and I suspect that the local industry models itself a lot after the entertainment biz it so often serves (high flash/low substance). Other markets may differ somewhat.
I subscribe to all the advice you dispense on this site and wish it was more widely followed, as I said, at the company or individual level. Many of your articles can be used by team leaders as discussion/training tools (I know I have).
Raising the bar is never a bad thing in our line of work and I thank you for doing your part.
Alonzo: I believe you are right on the money and speak from a highly experienced background (can’t be misleading to clients, sound business, top of quality control, EP agents, etc.). Very astute thinking from a real pro in the industry. Keep safe and God speed.
Tampa Bay Bodyguards
I don’t know if its just the Tampa Bay Florida area but there is no EP work and nobody is hiring or even offering sub-contracting jobs around here. I am thinking about closing up shop and heading back overseas.
Is there anyone else in Florida having this problem or is it just me?
I’ve seen a change here in the LA EP market, and I wish that smaller outfits would follow your advice, Doc.
Many operators keep the overhead low by not having an office or proper badges and uniforms for their guard division, and by underpaying their personnel (unvariably newer agents with little to no training and experience). They still often charge the same rates as the big players with (actual) Beverly Hills suites, and claim to be high-end or elite on their websites, which is misleading to the clientele.
I personally tend to like smaller companies – they’re more nimble and offer great advancement potential. But they do need to follow sound business practices (invoicing, payroll, strict adherence to local security business regs, etc.), and stay on top of quality control, as you rightly state, instead of chasing a quick buck and ending up hurting the industry.