A look back on the successes and failures of 2019
It’s hard to believe it’s the end of another year. Feels like only a few months back I was sitting down to write last years review. The year has flown by in my opinion and it’s hard to see where some of the time has gone. The year that was 2019 was a mixed bag over here at Security Operative. We had some successes and some failures, achieved some targets and failed at others . It was combination of great achievements and some failures. I could sit here and say that it has been a great year all round but it would not be realistic. Like every business and every life there have been ups and downs. I do this review at the end of the year since I started this website. Firstly for myself to look back on the year and see what went well and what didn’t. Secondly for all of the people who have been kind enough to read, question or contact me during the year to keep you up to date with what we are doing and what we plan to do.
This was the first year that the website really turned into a proper business. Prior to this year it was a blog that doubled as a nice little side earner. This year business just exploded. I’d be pretty confident in saying it’s probably made me one of the busiest security consultants in Ireland this year. It’s been non stop with new clients, repeat work and one off projects. It’s not been all plain sailing. There have been weeks where I’ve been exhausted after over 100 hours and weeks where I haven’t seen family from one end to the next but it’s been largely positive. I’ve been lucky enough to engage some great new clients this year with work progressing well into next year. The goal for this year is to add 10 more new clients to an already growing portfolio.
The website and social media
The social media activity this year has been amazing thanks to all of you. The Facebook page now has over 2500 followers and it grows by a few every week. I set up a company LinkedIn page this year in July and already that has 1100 followers on it which I’m really happy with. The website keeps growing with a larger number of people every week reading the articles. I set myself a really ambitious target of having 30,000 website visitors for 2019 and amazingly we exceeded that with a couple of weeks to spare. The site finished the year with 31000 views but what’s most amazing is how far it has reached. I put the picture below of the places in the world that the blog has been read (countries highlighted in pink and red) and it’s pretty much worldwide. For a small blog page in a niche market I think that’s pretty good and it’s shows that there are enough of you out there with a genuine interest in the industry. This year I have a pretty ambitious plan to bring real value to readers with some great new content. I’m hoping that will increase the viewers by another 10,000 to over 40,000 this year as well as increase our Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram following in the process.
The Nightclub Security Manual
This was not a thing I ever expected to see happening. I wrote and published my first book in 2018. The Nightclub Security Manual has been a great success in terms of sales and feedback. It has now sold copies in the thousands around the world. Part policy guide and part information for door staff the feedback was amazing. So many emails and messages have come through from people and venues who have bought the book and used it to train their staff or improve their procedures. The most satisfying part for me in this is that in 2019 I discovered that the book is being used by training companies in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia to train new and existing door supervisors. That’s something that makes me proud. The plan for early this year is to release my second book which is focused in retail security. This has been written for a while, I just haven’t started the editing process yet. It will be released in March of this year.
Most successful articles
We have had a lot of well received articles over the past year written both by me and with some excellent guest contributions . It often surprises me which of the articles are successful and which aren’t. This years most popular article is a great example of that. I sat down early one morning with my event bag and took a picture of its contents as I was packing it to go work at an event.I then wrote a 15 minute explanation article on the contents and why I carry them. To say it was popular is an understatement. It’s gotten thousands of views and has been shared in 12 countries so far. All because of a photo a few minutes to spare and an industry in which people are often left to figure this stuff out for themselves. I’ve also been lucky to have some great contributions form guest writers including Justin O’ Malley and Cuchulainn Morrissey both of whom sent me some great content during the year which was really popular.
I’ve also been lucky enough to be asked by the guys at The Professional Security Officer magazine in the UK to contribute to all of their editions in 2019 which has given me great exposure in the UK and internationally.
Operations and Events
This year saw some great events come to Ireland and I got to work at many of them. I always love events (must be the long days and walking for hours). Some highlights included Feile2019, Flavours of Fingal, Galway Race week and the Dublin Marathon all for different reasons and all of which involved working with great teams to support great events. I got to meet new people in the industry and work alongside people I have trained (some were more successful than others). I worked more close protection gigs than any other year and worked on 9 court cases of which the vast majority where successful. All that on top of a full time training job. It’s been a very successful year and at times that has led to me neglecting the website a little especially at the end of the year. I met some great new colleagues both here and abroad and I hope to work closely with them into the future.
There has also been some stuff that I didn’t get to do during the year. There has been work I couldn’t get to do. Tenders I worked on that weren’t successful and projects that I never got off the ground. I started work on an industry wide survey in the middle of the year. I got loads of information fed back and I never got to publish the results. It was such as large project and I really underestimated it. I will publish it in the first quarter of this year however. There was also the diversity in security series were I gathered interviews with women working in the industry to look at the challenges they face. Again I didn’t get the time to finish the project but I will get it published early this year.
Here comes 2020
I have set myself some really ambitious things to do in 2020. You will see some major updates to the website and the page. I will continue to put out an article every single week and will always be available to answer questions or concerns anybody might have.This year you will also see a lot more video content as I launch the new video series ‘ Diary of a Security Consultant this week’ I am also going to try to raise awareness on a lot of the issues affecting the security industry on a national scale including working conditions, training standards and representation. Finally, I have 2 charity projects upcoming where I hope to raise over €1,000 on behalf of the industry and anther major project which I cant announce yet. I’m quite proud of this page and what it has achieved and most of that is down to the contributions of all of you out there so once again thank you. As always if I can be of any help in 2020 please feel free to get in touch.