Security Guards and Patrol Services

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 6,800 security firms in the US provide security guard, patrol, and related services, including personal and property protection. Security guards are a supplement to public law enforcement, and act as a deterrent to crime. The majority of industry revenue comes from securing buildings and parking facilities. Other services include crowd control and bodyguard services. In addition to guards, firms use electronic security systems or guard dogs to enhance protective services. Firms may provide consulting services, such as security system design or training.

High Cost Of Failure

The nature of the security business puts companies at risk for liability for personal injury, property damage, and financial losses.

Limited Pricing Flexibility

The security guard services industry’s struggle to maintain profitability is complicated by stubborn low growth in pricing.

Industry size & Structure

The average security guard and patrol services provider operates out of a single location, employs 111 workers, and generates $5 million annually.

    • The security guard and patrol services industry consists of about 6,800 firms that employ about 757,600 workers and generate about $35 billion annually.
    • The security guard and patrol services industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom; the top 50 companies account for 64% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies include Securitas North America, Allied Universal Security, and G4S (formerly Wackenhut). Some large firms are foreign-owned or have international operations.
    • The industry includes large international companies, regional firms, franchises, and independent operators.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Security Guards and Patrol Services Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Coronavirus Update

                                  Apr 11, 2022 - Physical Security Budgets May Rebound in 2022
                                  • New COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant fell as quickly as they rose, giving many employers hope that more of their white-collar workers return to the office. However, the return to offices has been slow. During the first week of December 2021, about 40% of workers had returned to offices in the ten cities monitored by security firm Kastle Systems. By March 30, 2022, the percentage of workers in the office was 42%. Hybrid working models are expected to be the new norm, with long-lasting impacts on office occupancy. “It’s hard to imagine, when you look at office workers who can do their jobs remotely, that those numbers are going to get above 60% to 65% nationwide,” said Brian Kropp, chief of human-resources research for advisory and research firm Gartner.
                                  • Throughout the pandemic, many companies hired additional security staff to enforce COVID-19-related health and safety policies to prevent their employees from arguing with customers over masks and vaccine requirements. Hawaii, the final holdout among states with indoor masking mandates, let its mask mandate expire on March 25. The dropping of mask mandates may reduce the stress security guards faced in enforcing indoor masking requirements. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends that masks be worn in areas of substantial or high transmission, regardless of vaccination status.
                                  • Even as Omicron has waned and new COVID-19 cases have declined, 27% of small business owners in the US and Canada report they are still experiencing a significant negative impact due to the pandemic, according to the March 2021 Road to Recovery Report by Alignable, a social media outlet for small business owners. Although concerns about Omicron fell by half compared to Alignable’s February survey, only 29% of small businesses report they have reached a full financial recovery. More than 40% of small businesses reported their top concern is inflation and the rising cost of supplies. Other concerns included enticing customers to return, growing revenue, and dwindling financial reserves. A slowdown in small business growth could reduce demand for security guard services.
                                  • US office asking rents in February 2022 were 1.2% higher than they were the same time a year earlier, according to CommercialEdge’s National Office Report. The US average vacancy rate was steady at 15.7% in February. However, while more companies were bringing workers back to offices as COVID-19 cases continued to fall, hybrid work models remain an impediment to office occupancies returning to pre-pandemic levels.
                                  • If 2022 is the year when the pandemic comes under better control, security budgets will likely increase. As offices and other enterprises reopen more broadly, corporate security budgets may double or triple, according to security firm Global Guardian. About two-thirds of security budgets rose in 2021, but spending on physical security – including guards – did not reach pre-pandemic levels.
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