We know how much executive protection agents take pride in their work. We are also aware that EP isn’t just another job. It’s so much more than that. But at the end of the day, this industry is a business undertaking as any other. An executive protection business plan comprises a written document detailing a business’s objectives and the methods for achieving them.
Starting a business in the modern-day is a hassle, to put it mildly. Many business sectors have struggled to sustain themselves, especially in light of COVID-19. Still, if you are adamant about starting a business in this day and age, be our guest. Heck, we’ll even provide you with a few guidelines to help you get your business idea off the ground.
First of all, let’s face it, the executive protection and bodyguard business is among the most sought after in most parts of the developed world. People will always feel the need to stay safe, protect their assets, company, family, and all that’s important to them. In that sense, you are as snug as you can get.
In Distinguishing the Top Executive Protection Companies, we wrote about building relationships and a solid reputation, among other things. These things are invaluable when it comes to making your name in the EP game.
If you have decided not to work for an established company, your other option is to create your own. And no worries, we got you covered. This piece will immerse you in everything you ought to know to design an EP or bodyguard business from scratch. And we mean what we say.
Baby Steps of Any Executive Protection Business Plan
Nobody expects you to be a know-it-all. Some mistakes at the beginning are acceptable and even―dare we say it―desirable. Progress requires a certain level of trial and error.
Repeatedly making slips and learning from them may be more valuable for your future business than to have everything delivered to you on a plate.
In a nutshell, the initial steps in starting your executive protection business are as follows:
- Establishing a target market and audience,
- Creating a visual identity and name,
- Finding out the industry prices, and,
- Registering with the state.
Although it would be best to complete the list in this order, you can shuffle the first three points around. If you are a rookie, we suggest that you first obtain a basic knowledge of the EP industry. Try things like meeting people from the industry, attending training courses, building your hand-to-hand combat skills, and the likes.
Pro tip: There’s this thing called the Internet. It has dozens of places that recommend great business names. Here’s one name generator to help you out. As soon as you decide on your company name, check the web domain availability. You don’t exist if you don’t have a website.
Be Reasonable and Humble
After you have gotten a taste of the EP industry, it’s time to take off your executive protection business plan. Speaking of which, did you know that starting an EP or bodyguard business can cost you between USD 10,000 and 60,000? Okay, we don’t say that to frighten you but let you know what you are getting yourself into.
It’s no walk in the park ― that’s all we know. The modern business environment is ruthless. Some people will always look for ways to strangle your company before it even gets a chance to fly.
If you were wondering why the hell you need USD 60,000 for starting a business, here’s why:
- Work equipment,
- Office and related expenses,
- Training courses for yourself and your employees,
- Licenses and permits, such as those for guns, cameras, and drones,
- Advertising your business online and offline.
When you factor all of these items in, then you get that amount we mentioned earlier. And don’t forget that these are only your initial costs, even before you get your first client. That is, if you get one. Okay, let us explain.
To Specialize or Not To Specialize, That Is the Question
It would help if you specialized in some distinct close protection service niche. That way, you can set yourself apart. For instance, you may want to choose to work for business people, politicians, or celebrities. Or, you could focus more on journalists and activists. Don’t just go where you think there is a lot of money but be wise and build your reputation first.
Your future customers or clients must see you as the professional that you are. Your opinion on the matter doesn’t play too big of a role. Sorry to break it to you.
And yes, some EP companies have superbly designed websites, with all the shiny mission, vision, and positioning statements. However, behind the scenes, all the rest of us know that they provide poor service.
Hence, try to be innovative in designing your visual identity, name, and advertising efforts. Remember, there are more than 8,000 security firms in the US alone and dozens of thousands more worldwide. How will you stand out if you aren’t unique in how you introduce yourself to others?
A magnificent example of a tagline is We Protect Your World by The World Protection Group, Inc. As soon as you read it, you understand that these guys mean business.
Finally, conveying the right message, staying reasonable, and being humble at the very start could either make or break you.
Pro tip: Keep it simple and base your business on a single idea. Don’t try to be a catch-all. And oh―your goal should be to create an emotional bond with your client. Demonstrate your true value to them by offering genuine insights and advice. That way, you will be the person they go to when they need to meet their security needs.
What You Should Pay Your Employees
If you aren’t planning on being a one-man-show, you will need people working for you. This may come as a surprise to some people, but you have to pay them as well. According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for an executive protection agent’s salary is USD 70,371 yearly.
If your company’s EP agents travel abroad to offer services, you can charge the client around USD 3,000 per day. That is, if you are a big firm. When you count in the job’s specific risks, that price can either go up or down. For example, the average professional will sell their service somewhere between USD 700 and 1,500 every 12 hours.
Generally speaking, Africa and Latin America have lower prices, while EP professionals and companies in North America and Europe charge more. So that may also play a role in determining your costs and selecting your target market.
If you are your future company’s head, we advise that you attend as many corporate events as possible. When an opportunity presents itself, speak at conferences and shake numerous hands.
Building rapport with EP industry specialists and future clients should be among your executive protection business plan’s top priorities. Hence, having a marketing and networking strategy can only be to your advantage.
Still yet, offering personal protection services can be one revenue stream for your company. And here are other ways you can profit from your executive protection firm:
- Provide firearm and dog training courses,
- Sell alarm systems,
- Offer consulting services.
A Shortcut If You Got the Money
As with many things in life, there is a longer and a shorter route to achieve a goal. That also applies to creating an executive protection business plan. In this sense, you can go so far as to hire business plan writers.
Some of the best ones that we recommend include:
Even if you are on a lower budget, many freelance business plan writers can get the job done. Use only the sites we mentioned or others that look legit.
The reason we say this? More than a few cybercriminals are lurking out there, waiting for you to make the wrong move. Be wary about choosing a business plan writer. In market terms, it’s a matter of life and death.
A Man’s Got To Pay His Taxes and Other Interesting Stuff
Assuming the state authorities see no obstacles to registering your company, you should explore the realm of taxes next. Depending on the country you will be working in, check the local tax administration office website and immerse yourself. And have fun!
Apart from that, the next move in building an executive protection business plan is establishing if there are any barriers to opening up a business bank account and credit card. Contact your local bank and get as many details as possible.
If all this checks out, it’s time to search for a suitable business accounting firm. Of course, you can do your tax filing, payments, and contributions yourself. However, we still recommend hiring experts to take care of that for you, at least for the time being. They don’t have to be full-time in-house employees but manage transactions and other bookkeeping matters when needed.
All in all, having some initial capital could prove priceless at the very beginning of your business undertaking. Consider even taking up a bank loan if you think your future company has a chance. Remember that only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more.
That’s All You Need for an EP Business Plan?
Not so fast! Probably the last but crucial actions in building an executive protection company entail:
- Obtaining permits and licenses.
- Getting business insurance.
Depending on where you plan on launching your business, getting gun and other permits can be either smooth or complicated. We suggest looking up your country’s or state’s regulations and working from there. Unfortunately, there is no single platform that offers all the insights and requirements on this topic.
Finally, as for arranging business insurance, here’s a tidy quote from Investopedia that sums it up nicely:
Business insurance coverage protects businesses from losses due to events that may occur during the normal course of business. There are many types of insurance for businesses, including coverage for property damage, legal liability, and employee-related risks. Companies evaluate their insurance needs based on potential risks, which can vary depending on the type of environment in which the company operates.
When you see the words risk and company in one sentence, that sounds a lot like what we face in executive protection every day.
Yet, for a more detailed step-to-step process, read our 7 Steps to Becoming an Executive Protection Agent.
Final Remarks on Writing an Executive Protection Business Plan
This article delved into all relevant details for designing the perfect executive protection business plan. We hope you found it useful.
But what we hope even more is that you will dare to imagine leading your own company. That you will endeavor to imagine having employees, licenses, and permits and working with clients from North America to South Africa.
In conclusion, it’s worth going through the trouble of establishing an EP firm. Offering top-notch services and providing peace of mind to clients, their families, assets, and staff alike, that’s what it’s all about. Making a difference in the world.
In this sense, you could even say that some jobs are more valuable than others.
And the executive protection profession indeed belongs to the top jobs tier in the world. Be proud of yourself if you are an EP agent. Be even prouder if you have what it takes to join the industry.
You should know you are in for a ride. And it mostly depends on you if it’s going to be full of potholes or a smooth ride. The essential thing in the process? Keep on learning.