It’s easy to get distracted by the various terms and expensive equipment that most security agents talk about, but it’s important that you do your due diligence in NYC because hiring the wrong security guard service will only lead to frustration–and it can potentially put people in danger. Here are the questions to ask to make sure you pick the right company in New York City.

1. Does the company work with similar businesses?

Security needs do vary from one industry to the next, which is why you should always seek out a security company that experience working in your industry. Ask about their other clients and if they have worked with similar businesses before. They should be able to detail a variety of environments and settings that their security guards have worked so that you can have confidence in their abilities to protect yours.

Likewise, they should have experience dealing with properties of similar size and layout. Guards should be trained and experienced in team settings so that they can collaborate with each other and scale to meet your needs over time, however large they may grow.

2. Are They Local to New York City?

Many security agencies offer security services around the world, but do they have specific experience in New York City? This is important because it means the guards will have more familiarity with the neighboring area. It can give a great advantage to your security team by helping them know the risks and issues your area faces better.

Additionally, hiring a security company that has other clients in NYC will mean built-in reinforcements and supervision are present in the event of an emergency. Security teams will work with each other and help keep an eye out on neighboring buildings, so that greatly improves the effectiveness of any guard you hire.

3. What do other customers say?

Once you have evaluated a company for the first two marks, it’s time to dive deeper. You can’t just listen to what the company tells you. Every agency is going to share the best things they can come up with to get your business, which is why you must look to customers (past and present) in order to get an authentic look at the company’s performance and abilities.

Look at more than a star rating. Read through some negative and positive reviews and, if possible, ask the company if you can speak to any existing clients about their experiences. Most are more than happy to share a testimonial if they believe in the company’s services, although the company will have to check with the client first to find out if they want to share any information.

4. Look Past Prices

Getting a good deal is great, but your hiring process has to focus on more than saving money. In fact, that should be at the bottom of your list when it comes to safety. If a security company is offering a much lower rate than their competitors, that’s a red flag that means they are just trying to get you in based on what they’re charging.

An extremely low price generally means that actually working with the company comes with a lot of extra costs, which (when all added up) will typically costs you much more than an honest competitor. Transparency is important when it comes to hiring security services, so price hacks are a sign to stay away.

Likewise, paying just a little less for security can also be a bad idea because it usually means lower-paid guards. Big companies tend to drive their prices down by paying guards less. Since they have so much volume in the market, these companies tend to charge about 1% or 2% less, but the treatment of their guards means high turnover and lower job motivation. Both of those things are bad news for a company seeking protection.

Finally, paying less also means hiring a company that probably doesn’t spend as much on their overhead costs and insurance–and that equates to less infrastructure to backup their guards. This can compromise things like support, incident reporting, supervision, account managers, training, and so on. So, at the end of the day, remember that price shouldn’t be the main factor when choosing your security company. It should come last, after doing all of your due diligence to find a company that will offer the protection you need.

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