Book Review: Global Security Consulting
Mountain Lake Press; .mountainlakepress.com; Available from ASIS; asisonline.org; Item #2212; 280 pages; $30 (members); $33 (nonmembers).
Embarking on the journey of entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Author Luke Bencie shares advice for those who dare in Global Security Consulting. He offers a plethora of perspectives to help fellow security consultants establish or grow their global security consultancies or assist security professionals who are engaging a consultant.
The book is divided into two parts: “Establishing Your Global Security Consultancy” and “Growing Your Business.” The first part provides advice on getting started, finances, leadership, management, marketing, and more, including “Ten Commandments for Success.” These commandments are salient points for any consultant to live by.
The second part covers specifics on the selling process, including the basics of the request for proposal (RFP), international business knowhow, global travel, and more. “Now It’s Time to Deliver” highlights key strategoes to not only win clients, but to demonstrate one’s value to the industry.
A reader might expect a text on this subject to provide a library of templates or examples of forms for a budding consultant to use. While the author only offers couple of items, he provides a great example of a proposal format, as well as a format for documenting a risk assessment. The lack of this documentation did not detract from the value of the book—at the end of the day, the documentation used will be driven by the needs of the specific business and its clients.
The author correctly stresses that consultants should listen more than they speak. In order to help clients solve their problems, the consultant needs to understand their business, ask questions to clarify the issues, and then agree on an approach to solve the problem.
The author tends to put too much emphasis on the importance of image. While some clients will be overly concerned with a professional image (office, car, clothes, accessories, etc.), one also has to balance the costs of acquiring and maintaining that image against financial health—a point the author also makes clear.
Consultants are an invaluable resource for the global security professional and international business. Sometimes they are engaged for services in lieu of proprietary security personnel, to augment a business need, or simply to provide an objective opinion. This book can help new entrepreneurs establish a business and help security professionals define the services they seek from consultants.
Reviewer: Jay Martin, CPP, CFI (Certified Forensic Interviewer), CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), is the regional security manager for Goldcorp, Latin America, based in Mexico City. He served with the U.S. Marines, including embassy duty in Mexico and Egypt. Having engaged numerous security consultants on small- and large-scale projects, he has seen a wide variety of methods and approaches. Martin serves as chair of the ASIS Petrochemical, Chemical, and Extractive Industries Security Council.