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Besides all the normal business plan elements (cash flow, expansion, auxiliary markets, etc.), there are three determinations that must be established:
- The ratio of service to product – Is this security company concentrating on selling alarms, preventive locks, electronic recording devices—in other words, hardware—or is this security firm concentrating on service—surveillance, patrols, monitoring, etc.?
- Is the target customer industrial or domestic? Are we seeking to protect homes from burglaries, home invasions, etc? Child protection? Family security? Or does this company flourish by protecting businesses from theft, burglary, etc.? Is the security internal or external to the business it protects? Does it involve corporate executive protection, inventory security, etc.?
- Is the company name to be public or private? (And the auxiliary: Is the presence of the company name alone a deterrent?) Are the services visible or invisible? Obvious or subtle? (The business plan should include the question of whether the branding of the name has value, or whether the brand’s anonymity has more value.)
These three factors must be examined closely before questions of expansion, sustainability, peripheral product lines, investment in international viability, etc., can be determined in a business plan. The security business is unique in these respects, because it is selling the prevention of events rather than the carrying out of services (like a pool cleaner or fumigator). Finally, the vetting of employees (to ensure product integrity) is a larger expense than in most businesses.
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