You are classed as a sole trader if you are self-employed in the UK, if you start working for yourself you will have to inform HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and pay any taxes due. Being self-employed as a bodyguard will also need to be carefully planned just like any other engagement as a sole trader. But in this case, your body is your business! Regardless of the qualities a client may request in a bodyguard, there are some qualities that will help you become most successful and effective. Here is a look at some of the qualities you will need to be successful in the security industry as a self-employed bodyguard in the UK.
Being a bodyguard is not solely physical, it is also mentally taxing. Always anticipating is one quality and being psychologically prepared to absorb the dangers you are exposed to is another. Every job out there has its own challenges and being a bodyguard is no different. But how you handle the challenges is what makes the difference. If you are psychologically prepared, then you will know how to overcome the challenges before they even arise. Ask yourself how prepared you are to deal with dangerous situations. Although most of the time you will not be in any great danger, it mostly depends on the country you are in and person you are hired to protect.
Everyday throws up a potential dangerous situation. Before you invest in a close protection course with the dreams and ambitions of becoming a bodyguard, make sure you do your own research to understand the challenges bodyguards face. This will help prepare yourself in part for the arduous tasks ahead.
Love for Travel
Being a self-employed bodyguard, you will have to travel to where the work is and where your principal wants to go. Most close protection jobs will involve a fair bit of travelling. Even if you find a job working for someone living within the UK, it is still likely that you will have to travel around quite a lot. So, if you wish to become a bodyguard, make sure you can cope with the pressures of being away from friends and family for long durations, and missing important moments, dates – Birthdays and anniversaries etc.
Every bodyguard working in the UK must attend a Security Industry Authority (SIA) accredited Close Protection Course. During this training, quick reflexes are highly emphasised. Every bodyguard needs this quality. A split second of hesitation can cost a client harm or even death. A bodyguard needs lightning-fast reflexes, if you notice an impending danger, you should be able to have your client out of harm’s way before things escalate. Bodyguards should also have excellent observation skills, being able to spot threats and risks before they become a danger to you and your principal.
This is an imperative quality that a self-employed bodyguard needs. Often confused with arrogance, there is a fine line and you will have to learn to stay on the right side of it. Confidence gets you everywhere in this job, if your client isn’t confident in you and your abilities, then it’s game over and they’ll move and hire a bodyguard whom they do trust with their personal security. Self-confidence also radiates and inspires others around you, it will also deter a potential criminal or attacker targeting you as their easy prey.
A bodyguard should never be shocked or caught off guard – They look cool, calm and collected when dealing with any situation, even those that nobody saw coming. It’s almost as if they know when something is going to happen, they develop a sixth-sense. They always think two or three steps ahead, making a contingency plan in their heads for every possible outcome and situation. That way when everyone else is caught unaware, a bodyguard already knows exactly how to react, what actions to take and where to go for safety.
To become a bodyguard in the UK, you will need to attend an SIA recognised BTEC Level 3 accredited close protection course. You will spend around 50% of your time in a classroom situation learning the principles of personal protection, therefore you must always be attentive as you would with any other course. Although physical training is key, you will also have to get your head into the books and pass your theory test. If you don’t pay attention during your lessons, then this will hinder your chances of passing the course to enable you to apply for your SIA close protection licence and become a bodyguard.
With that said, you now know what it takes to be a self-employed bodyguard. But never the less, there is a standard profile most clients follow when looking for a bodyguard; smart, confident, professional, physically fit and intelligent. It is also important to understand that a bodyguard is a representative for their principal, so you must act with utmost discretion and professionalism at all times.