Think about the range of services that you will offer and the kinds of job you will agree to carry out. You may decide to specialise in a particular type of work (for example fitting access control systems) or you might take on a wide range of jobs, although this will depend to a certain extent on your skills and experience.
Domestic jobs make up the bulk of work done by many small security installation firms. The type of work you might be asked to carry out includes:
- installing burglar alarm systems
- installing fire alarm systems
- fitting security cameras and monitoring equipment
- fitting access control systems (for example numbered entry pads in communal hallways and foyers)
- visiting homes to assess risks and offer advice
- designing security systems
- drawing up plans and making estimates of the cost
Many commercial premises are fitted with a range of security systems. For example, shops and office premises may have fire alarms, burglar alarms and access control systems fitted. Retail outlets of all types might use CCTV systems. Most of the work in commercial properties will be similar to that undertaken in domestic properties, but may be on a much larger scale.
You may also offer 'key holding' services to commercial customers, for which a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) is required. You may operate as an alarm receiving centre, for which there may also be a requirement to be licensed by the SIA if the nature of your role falls within the definition of manned guarding.
The security installation sector is competitive and you may decide to increase your earning potential by offering your customers a range of additional services. These might include, for example:
- free surveys, estimates and quotations
- insurance or trade association backed guarantees on all new work
- a freephone telephone line
- a "no job too small" or "distance no object" promise
- guaranteed quick turnaround
A complete package
Many of your customers are likely to be householders who want you to provide a complete package of services from start to finish. This might include giving advice on cost, design and system specifications, carrying out installation work, obtaining a Unique Reference Number (URN) from the police for remotely monitored alarm systems, testing the system and giving instruction on how to use it. A guarantee on the equipment supplied and fitting work carried out might also be expected. You're also likely to offer a maintenance service - possibly on an annual contract basis - and a 24-hour call out service for emergency repairs.