How profitable is a private security company?

Data provided here comes from our team of experts who have been working on business plan for a private security company. Furthermore, an industry specialist has reviewed and approved the final article.

private security company profitabilityIs operating a private security company profitable, and what is the expected income range for security service providers?

Let's check together.

Revenue metrics of a private security company

How does a private security company makes money?

A private security company makes money by providing security services for a fee.

How do private security companies usually package their offers?

Private security companies typically package their offers by providing a comprehensive range of services tailored to the specific needs of their clients.

These packages often include a combination of physical security measures, such as manned guarding, patrolling, access control, and surveillance systems, to ensure the safety of people and property. Additionally, they might offer technological solutions like alarm systems, CCTV installation, and remote monitoring to enhance security effectiveness.

The packages may also encompass risk assessment and consultation services, where experts evaluate potential vulnerabilities and design a customized security plan.

Some companies include emergency response provisions, with trained personnel ready to address any unforeseen incidents promptly.

Furthermore, these packages might feature periodic reviews and updates to adapt to evolving security challenges.

The pricing structure can vary, incorporating factors like the level of protection required, the size of the premises, and the duration of service.

What about the prices?

Private security companies offer a range of services with varying prices based on factors such as the type of service, level of expertise required, and geographic location.

Basic services like unarmed security guards for events or access control typically fall within the range of $20 to $50 per hour. If armed guards are needed, the cost can escalate to approximately $50 to $100 per hour.

More specialized services such as executive protection for high-profile individuals might cost around $100 to $200 per hour.

Security consulting services, which involve risk assessments and strategy development, can range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more depending on the complexity of the project. Installation and monitoring of security systems like CCTV cameras or alarm systems can cost anywhere from $500 for basic setups to several thousand dollars for comprehensive installations.

Service Price Range ($)
Unarmed Security Guard (Events, Access Control) $20 - $50 per hour
Armed Security Guard $50 - $100 per hour
Executive Protection $100 - $200 per hour
Security Consulting $1,000 - $5,000+
Security System Installation and Monitoring $500 - Several thousand dollars

What else can a private security company sell?

In addition to their core security services, private security companies can also enhance their offerings by:

  • Providing specialized security training workshops or seminars
  • Allowing other professionals to utilize their facilities for training or meetings
  • Assisting clients with security planning and risk assessment
  • Organizing interactive security challenges or simulation exercises
  • Renting out their premises for private security-related events or filming
  • Collaborating with local businesses for tailored security solutions
  • Offering online security training programs for remote learning

business plan private security firmWho are the customers of a private security company?

Private security companies typically serve a variety of customers, ranging from residential to commercial to government entities.

Which segments?

We've prepared a lot of business plans for this type of project. Here are the common customer segments.

Customer Segment Description Preferences How to Find Them
Residential Clients Individual homeowners and renters seeking home security solutions. User-friendly systems, remote monitoring, affordable packages. Local advertising, social media, community events.
Commercial Businesses Small to large businesses needing protection for their premises and assets. Integrated systems, access control, 24/7 monitoring. Networking events, industry trade shows, B2B platforms.
Government & Public Institutions Government buildings, schools, hospitals requiring enhanced security. Advanced surveillance, visitor management, compliance with regulations. Government tenders, educational conferences, industry associations.
Event Organizers Event planners and organizers in need of temporary security services. Crowd management, VIP protection, quick setup. Event industry expos, online event planning forums.
High-Net-Worth Individuals Individuals with significant assets requiring personalized security. Personal protection, secure transport, privacy. Exclusive clubs, luxury lifestyle magazines, referrals.

How much they spend?

In our detailed analysis of the operational metrics, we've noted that clients generally expend between $200 to $500 per month on services provided by a private security company. These expenses fluctuate based on various factors, including the extent of the security measures, the number of security personnel, and the use of advanced security technology or additional services.

Research indicates that contracts with private security firms usually have a duration from 6 to 24 months, depending on the client's needs and the nature of the project. Some clients require short-term solutions for events or crises, while others need long-term security due to ongoing threats or the nature of their business.

Calculating the lifetime value of an average customer for a private security company, we estimate it to be from $1,200 (6x200) to $12,000 (24x500). This range considers the variations in monthly costs and contract lengths.

Given these parameters, it is reasonable to infer that, on average, a client could contribute approximately $6,600 in revenue to a private security company over the course of their contract.

(Disclaimer: the figures presented are generalized averages and might not precisely reflect the specifics of your individual business circumstances.)

Which type(s) of customer(s) to target?

It's something to have in mind when you're writing the business plan for your private security company.

Private security companies typically find their most profitable customers among businesses in high-risk industries such as banking, jewelry retail, or data centers, as well as affluent residential communities.

These customers tend to be the most profitable because they require comprehensive security solutions, including surveillance, alarm systems, and trained personnel, resulting in higher revenue for the security company.

To target and attract these clients, security companies can focus on marketing their expertise in addressing industry-specific security challenges, emphasizing their track record, and offering tailored security assessments.

Retaining profitable customers involves maintaining a strong client-provider relationship through regular communication, delivering exceptional service, adapting to evolving security needs, and offering loyalty incentives such as discounted long-term contracts or additional security services at a reduced cost.

Building trust and consistently exceeding expectations are key to retaining these high-value customers.

What is the average revenue of a private security company?

The average monthly revenue for a private security company can range significantly from $5,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on various factors like the size of the company, the range of services offered, and the client base.

Here, we dissect this range into three typical profiles of private security businesses.

You can also estimate your potential earnings using different assumptions with a detailed financial plan tailored for a private security venture.

Case 1: A small, local security firm

Average monthly revenue: $5,000

This kind of private security company often operates within a limited geographical area, providing basic security services. They may handle small-scale events, offer private guards, or residential security consultations, usually staffed by a handful of security personnel.

Such firms might not offer sophisticated security solutions and often rely on local clientele, charging lower fees due to the modest scale of operations and competitive local market pressures.

Considering that the company manages to secure around ten small contracts each month, with each contract bringing in around $500, the monthly revenue for this type of security business would be approximately $5,000.

Case 2: An established security company with specialized services

Average monthly revenue: $25,000

This type of security company typically operates on a regional level, offering a wider range of services, including corporate security, large event management, specialized personnel, and advanced security technology solutions. Their clientele is more diverse and may include businesses, high-profile events, or affluent individuals.

With a solid reputation, this company can charge higher rates for its services. It may also engage in longer-term contracts, offering stability in revenue streams.

Assuming this company secures an average of ten contracts per month, with varying contract values, the average contract could be worth $2,500. In this case, the company would bring in an average monthly revenue of $25,000.

Case 3: A top-tier private security firm with a national presence

Average monthly revenue: $100,000

This profile represents a private security company that has established itself firmly in the market with a national presence. It offers a comprehensive suite of services, including risk assessment, security consulting, cyber security, and executive protection.

The company caters to high-profile corporations, government contracts, and luxury events, setting its service charges at a premium. It employs a large roster of highly trained professionals and uses cutting-edge technology, which justifies its high fees.

With its reputation, this company can secure larger, more profitable contracts. If it manages to land just ten substantial contracts per month, with an average income of about $10,000 per contract, this security firm would generate a monthly revenue of $100,000.

business plan private security company

The profitability metrics of a private security company

What are the expenses of a private security company?

A private security company's expenses typically include security personnel wages, equipment, insurance, and administrative overhead.

Category Examples of Expenses Average Monthly Cost (Range in $) Tips to Reduce Expenses
Personnel Costs Security officers' salaries, benefits, training $10,000 - $50,000+ Streamline staffing, invest in training to reduce turnover
Uniforms and Equipment Uniforms, firearms, communication devices $500 - $5,000 Consider bulk purchasing, regular equipment maintenance
Insurance Liability insurance, workers' compensation $500 - $2,000 Shop for insurance deals, maintain a strong safety record
Vehicle Expenses Patrol vehicles, fuel, maintenance $1,000 - $5,000 Optimize vehicle routes, invest in fuel-efficient vehicles
Technology and Surveillance Security cameras, monitoring systems, software $500 - $2,000 Regularly update and maintain equipment, use energy-efficient systems
Office Rent/Lease Office space rent or lease $1,000 - $5,000 Consider shared office space or virtual offices
Marketing and Advertising Website maintenance, advertising, promotional materials $500 - $2,000 Focus on targeted marketing to reach potential clients
License and Permits Security company license, permits $100 - $500 Ensure compliance with regulations to avoid fines
Training and Certification Security officer training, certification fees $500 - $2,000 Develop in-house training programs, negotiate bulk certification discounts
Taxes Income tax, business taxes Varies Work with a tax professional to maximize deductions

When is a a private security company profitable?

The breakevenpoint

A private security company becomes profitable when its total revenue exceeds its total fixed and variable costs.

In simpler terms, it starts making a profit when the money it earns from contracts, security services, and other sources becomes greater than the expenses it incurs for salaries, equipment, insurance, and other operating costs.

This means that the security company has reached a point where it covers all its expenses and starts generating income; this is known as the breakeven point.

Consider an example of a private security company where the monthly fixed costs typically amount to approximately $30,000.

A rough estimate for the breakeven point of a private security company would then be around $30,000 (since it's the total fixed cost to cover), or securing contracts that collectively contribute to this amount. This might mean having multiple smaller contracts or a few larger contracts, depending on the clients' needs and the nature of the security services offered.

It's important to understand that this indicator can vary widely depending on factors such as the company's location, the size of its operations, service charges, operational costs, and the level of competition in the area. A large security firm with high-end clients might have a higher breakeven point compared to a smaller firm that requires less revenue to cover its expenses.

Curious about the profitability of your private security company? Try out our user-friendly financial plan crafted for security businesses. Simply input your own assumptions, and it will help you calculate the amount you need to earn in order to run a profitable business.

Biggest threats to profitability

The biggest threats to profitability for a private security company are primarily linked to increasing operational costs, competition, and regulatory challenges.

First, rising expenses associated with hiring and training qualified security personnel, investing in advanced technology, and maintaining equipment can erode profit margins.

Second, intense competition within the security industry can lead to price wars, forcing companies to lower their rates to attract clients, which can squeeze profits.

Lastly, navigating complex and evolving regulations, licensing requirements, and compliance issues can lead to legal fines or increased administrative costs, further impacting profitability.

These threats are often included in the SWOT analysis for a private security company.

What are the margins of a private security company?

Gross margins and net margins are financial metrics used to gauge the profitability of a private security business.

The gross margin is the difference between the revenue earned from security contracts and the direct costs associated with delivering those services.

Essentially, it's the profit remaining after deducting costs directly related to providing security services, such as salaries of security personnel, maintenance of security devices, and transportation costs.

Net margin, conversely, considers all the expenses the security company bears, including indirect costs like administrative expenses, marketing, office rent, and taxes.

Net margin offers a comprehensive view of the security company's profitability, encompassing both direct and indirect costs.

Gross margins

Private security companies typically have an average gross margin ranging from 25% to 45%.

For instance, if your security company is earning $20,000 per month, your gross profit might be approximately 35% x $20,000 = $7,000.

Let's illustrate this with an example.

Imagine a security company that has contracts totaling $20,000. However, the company has expenses such as staff wages, equipment maintenance, and transportation.

Assuming these costs amount to $13,000, the company's gross profit would be $20,000 - $13,000 = $7,000.

In this scenario, the gross margin for the security company would be $7,000 / $20,000 = 35%.

Net margins

Private security companies generally have an average net margin ranging from 5% to 15%.

Continuing with simplicity, if your security company earns $20,000 per month, your net profit might be around $2,000, which is 10% of the total revenue.

We'll use the same example for consistency.

The company, with contract revenues amounting to $20,000, incurs direct costs of $13,000.

Besides, the company has various indirect costs such as administrative fees, marketing costs, insurance, licensing fees, taxes, and office rent. Let's assume these total $4,800.

Subtracting both direct and indirect costs, the security company's net profit would be $20,000 - $13,000 - $4,800 = $2,200.

In this situation, the net margin for the security company would be $2,200 / $20,000 = 11%.

As a business owner, comprehending that the net margin (in contrast to gross margin) provides you with a more accurate insight into how much money your private security company is genuinely earning because it accounts for all operating costs and expenses.

business plan private security company

At the end, how much can you make as a private security company owner?

Now you understand that the net margin is the key indicator of your private security company's profitability. It reveals what percentage of your total revenue remains after covering all operational costs.

Your actual earnings will significantly depend on your execution quality, management acumen, and strategic decisions.

Struggling security company owner

Makes $2,000 per month

Starting a private security firm with insufficient planning, underpricing services, hiring untrained personnel, and lacking solid marketing strategies will likely corner you in a challenging spot. Your total monthly revenue might not exceed $10,000 in such a case.

If your expenses are high due to poor cost controls and inefficient operations, your net margin might be as low as 20%.

Under these conditions, your monthly earnings would probably hover around $2,000 (20% of $10,000).

Therefore, as a private security company owner, this represents a precarious financial scenario.

Average security company owner

Makes $10,000 per month

If you establish a standard security company, employing skilled guards, using decent equipment, and securing a few regular clients, you might generate up to $50,000 in revenue.

With prudent expense management and operational efficiency, your net margin could be around 30%.

In this intermediate scenario, your monthly take-home would be around $15,000 (30% of $50,000), indicating a stable yet not groundbreaking business performance.

Exceptional security company owner

Makes $70,000 per month

Suppose you run a top-tier private security company. In that case, your operations include diverse services, advanced security technology, expert personnel, and strong professional networks. Such quality and breadth could propel your monthly revenue to $200,000 or more.

Efficient cost management, strategic partnerships, and high-value contracts could push your net margin to an impressive 35%.

For the high-achieving entrepreneur, monthly earnings could soar to approximately $70,000 (35% of $200,000), reflecting the lucrative outcomes of dedication, investment, and strategic excellence.

We hope this success becomes your story! Aspiring to establish an exceptional private security company starts with a comprehensive, insightful business plan.

business plan private security firm
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