Saturday, July 10, 2010

Security business in BA‏

Hi Fernando;

Glad you had a good trip to Texas and I wish you all the best for your move here.

I had a question about the security business in BA after the collapse. I know you've blogged that there are lots of guard positions available, but I was hoping to get a sense of how the overall security industry changed and developed after 2001. For instance, did it grow quickly, slowly, or more or less in direct proportion to the amount of crime? Were businesses the first to beef up security or family neighborhoods? What if any premium were people willing to pay for security (say compared to minimum wage)? Was it mostly guards or alarms or dogs or video cameras or patrols? Does the government have a lot of regulation to start a security company (like US) or is it more casual? What is the relationship between private security and police? Who in your opinion made good money and security and what did they do right?

Sorry for all the questions, but it seems like a good business opportunity as crime isn't likely to go down anytime soon. And here in the US many police departments are starting to get their first cut backs due to budget problems that also will not go away anytime soon.

Your thoughts you on this matter would be appreciated. Peace Ferfal.

Kind Regards,

Hi Jeff, sorry for the delay in replying.
It grew quickly after 2001 when crime increased. I'd say its been growing and evolving steadily ever since but the initial burst has a year or two later after the economy collapsed.

Neighborhoods where the ones ot invest in security first. Getting robbed in your store is one thing, getting your wife an kids in danger is another. Later stores ended up hiring guards too, but at first I'd say people mostly worried about their homes and families.

How much did people pay? Anywhere form 1% to 5% f their salary, but that varies a lot depending ont he nieghborhood you're in and the service provided. I've paid as little as 5 dollars a month after 2001 in a bad neighborhood for a single gunman that drove around, to 20 bucks a month for a cop doing extra hours after the job, and it can be 100 to 200 pesos (1 dollar 4 pesos) in some of the better places.
A gated comunity has pretty expensive security, but is usually the safest place.
Mostly, for the middle class, people jsut installed burglar bars typically, then alarms, getting a dog. Is there's a guard watching over you generally chip in since its pretty reasonable give the socieconomic level of the place.

The government has regulation about the firearms they can have, they arent very well armed but the better companies have special treatment so to speak and have better guns. The relationship is often good since private security is clearly needed and most of these companies are started by ex cops .

For the more informal ones in poor places, I suppose they do things that arent entirely legal sometimes, but the government nets doesn't reach to every corner, specially to poorer parts of town where it often doesn't care much either way.
The ones that did good money where of course the owners of these companies. Lately security has been put to test. Now its not enough to have the guy posted as a deterrant, you are actually confronted by commando tpye robberies with well armed criminals tha know what they are doing. The company that delivers and provides good security to high end clients makes the most money, but those that provide security for middle class and upper middle class do well too.

It is a good business idea and I'd do it if I had the chance and people to work with. As you say, crime will go up and people will be wanting their neighborhood to be safe for their kids to play in, feel safe as they drive back from work.


1 comment:

russell1200 said...

I don't know where Jeff is from or what he does, but within the United States there are a variety of requirements to work within the security field: either as a locksmith, a burglar alarm contractor, or security personnel. This will vary a lot on a state by state basis.

I don't know much at all about personnel security. But the contracting side tend to be a very mixed lot. There are a number of national home security operations that tend to operate as sales driven enterprises. But there also many many small contractors as well. Given that there are continuing education and experience requirements, it looks like it is a field where the cost of setting up your own small shop (once you have worked for someone else for a while) is not too high.

But I will also say that I have never seen anyone in the industry that looked like they were prosperous. It has the look of a very cost conscious field, with very tight margins.