By Adam Duncan – Oyster Pointer Magazine May 2011

oyster-pointer-articleOften the most important part of any business is the first impression. For customers, it starts in various places. The parking lot, the website, maybe the reputation of the business can be something that initially attracts a buyer and puts him at ease.

Often overlooked as an opportunity for a first impression is the security staff. A well-mannered, articulate, and courteous security guard is commonly the first one to greet a prospective customer. This is a fact that Top Guard Security takes to the bank.

Top Guard Security, based out of Hampton Roads has been providing security personnel to businesses and events for 15 years. “We provide one service; uniformed, unarmed and armed security officers.” Says Chris Stuart, business development. “Over the years we’ve had all the types of service within our industry. Over the last decade we have restricted what types we do.”

Top Guard Security, the largest woman-owned business in Hampton Roads, has identified its target market and is very comfortable with its niche. The company services businesses, banks, office buildings, manufacturers, distribution locations and maritime and other professional places according to Stuart. It does not service apartment complexes, fast food restaurants or any nightclub locations.

With more than 550 security guards, Top Guard Security focuses on putting the right person in the right place. “Our biggest concern is making sure we don’t place a square peg into a round hole,” says Stuart “We have to match personalities with their locations.”

Another area of opportunity for the company is its training. Top Guard Security offers in-depth training across 12 different skill sets, including fire safety, vehicle protocol safety, crime scene management and professionalism, according to the company’s website.

Most of Top Guard Security’s employees find this training to be a refresher from past careers. “Most of our people have former armed forces or security experience” explains Stuart.

Continuity for employees and their value-provided services has driven the company’s growth. “Our market is not immune to good or bad economies, and we might lose a few customers, but we have found value is the way to ride it out.” Says Stuart. “We’ve found that value is the way we are able to be stable, because by being a value provider we are in control of all situations.”