It’s hard to get a long term executive protection (EP) contract as an individual operator. However, it’s not that difficult to start an EP company. If you have the background, training and knowledge then you can start an EP company – a company that is completely committed to providing the best protection to its clients. Before deciding to venture out on your own here are some important tips on getting started:
• Get properly licensed in your state to start an EP company.
• Choose a name for your record company that is unique and is not trademarked or copyrighted.
• Get a business license or corporate entity.
• Go to a bank and establish a business banking account (savings and checking).
• Get business card printed with the name of your EP company and your name and title (managing director).
• Money in the bank to cover your EP assignment expenses prior to being reimbursed by the client. You initially have paid for daily expenses while on assignment; this includes airfare, hotel, meals and transportation.
• If you are just starting out, or are a seasoned EP professional; you have to have an EP contract. Your EP contract protects you and your company and to keep from getting ripped off. Hire a lawyer to have a professional and legal EP contract drawn up exclusively for your company.
• It’s not unusual to incur a $5,000 expense reimbursement when staying at five-star hotels and being forced to eat expensive hotel restaurant food with your client. Not to mention flying business class when traveling with the client. You must be able to cover all of this either by cash or credit.
• Congratulations, you are now the owner of your own EP company. Now its time to create your own success as an EP company business owner.
You must willing to put in the work making, promoting, marketing and selling your EP services. The competition in the industry is great so you need to make the services you provide great as well. When first starting out, you need to take assignments as often as possible and in as many different places as possible (various cities and countries). Eventually you can become more selective on which clients you personally work with and in which locales. Just assign your other agents to work with those clients and in those locations you chose not to, but that should come later.
In the beginning you can’t afford to pass up an opportunity for EP assignments working with various clients and locations, gaining additional work experience and funding for your EP business. Although the EP business is not all about the money, you must be willing to put yourself in harm’s way as a last resort in the protection of your clients. However, earning a living as the owner of your own EP company should eventually give you the luxury of being able to afford to do what I love, executive protection, without having to worry about the money.
Good owners of EP companies will land EP contracts. You may have to go on several different contract interviews before you get an assignment, but if you go on enough interviews, you will eventually get a contract for your EP company. Don’t take “No” for an answer; don’t let a “No” from one company destroy your chances of getting a contract from other company. Prospective clients are going say “no” sometimes to your contract proposal. You just have to find clients that say, “Yes.”
Remember the EP business is extremely competitive, and you need to believe in yourself and the protective coverage you provide. This of course includes establishing secure lodgment for the client, VIP or fast track immigration and customs service at the airport, secure transport for the clients so their can proceed expeditiously yet safely to their scheduled business meetings and functions. Making sure before hand that the routes have been analyzed and the venue destinations assessed and that safe havens have been established in case the excrement makes physical contact with the fan.
There is a lot more to know about the business that can’t fit in this short article, but these are the absolute essentials. Good luck on your EP business venture and God speed.