Since the invention of the internet, business security has focused so much on online threats that the importance of physical security is often forgotten, particularly for small businesses. Owners are often so concerned with cutting costs and increasing efficiencies to help their business grow and develop, that they scrimp on security, or leave out a large portion of necessary measures.
What these small businesses may not realize is that more than $35 billion is lost each year due to shoplifting and other property-related crimes. The amount of revenue lost per business varies according to a number of factors, but one of the most important and easy to fix is lack of security.
Every small business needs to be aware of the importance of security and which measures can make all the difference in saving lost revenue.
1. Smart Security System
A security system in general is a must, but if you want to amplify the security offered, install a smart security system. Smart systems not only set up security cameras, computers, and other software to monitor your store or business, but they also allow access and controls from tablets, smartphones, laptops, and other portable devices. This means that you have access to your security system even when you’re on vacation.
2. Follow Proper Access Procedures
Many small businesses are a little too trusting of their employees, giving access and keys to far too many people. Establish a strong access procedure and chain of command that limits the number of keys and codes you hand out to your employees. Keep track of all key distribution, and avoid giving access to employees who are not in a managerial position or who haven’t been with your company for very long.
It’s also important to set up a daily procedure for employees to follow when both opening and closing the office doors for the day. If you work in a closed, non-customer-oriented setting, go ahead and keep the doors locked on the outside, and distribute key cards to employees to allow them access.
3. Walk Around
Physical monitoring of your building can go a long way. If you don’t have a security guard on hand, take a stroll around the business every hour or so to watch for suspicious behavior. Train your employees to do the same, instructing them to ask questions or watch anyone who doesn’t work in the office. Though cameras are great for catching and discouraging crimes, physical monitoring can help to prevent it altogether.
4. Set Up Emergency Procedures
Every business needs a foolproof emergency procedure plan, whether in the event of a dangerous situation, or a natural disaster. Develop an escape plan, and have it cleared by firefighters or a building inspector. Then hold regular trainings and drills to prepare employees in case of a real disaster.
You’ll also want to implement some measures to protect sensitive information in the event of a disaster. Some businesses will need to lock down their systems before leaving the building if possible. If you have a plan for doing this smoothly, you’ll have plenty of time to do it before vacating the building, and your business will stay intact, even during a disaster.
5. Strengthen the Building
This one may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many people don’t choose to take full advantage of security features that strengthen the building. Some of these features may include:
Steel security doors
Fenced-in, limited access parking
Vehicle storage areas
Fully equipped security cameras, including audio and visual
Lockable cash offices
Most of these measures are fairly inexpensive and easy to install. Though every company will have different needs, each one can benefit from looking into the many security measures that can strengthen their physical businesses.