Business owners and entrepreneurs often focus on selling at the expense of everything else. And while sales are obviously the end goal, there are plenty of other factors that indirectly contribute to a business’ ability to make a sale. Specifically, businesses need to recommit to developing detailed, rigorous, and preventative security programs to ensure profitability and longevity.
Small Businesses in the Crosshairs
There are two major areas to investigate when analyzing small business security: digital and physical. Digital security is on the forefront of everyone’s mind with 70 percent of all breaches worldwide happening to small businesses. However, it’s not just an issue with network security. It’s also incredibly important to look at physical security.
Burglars often target small businesses because they know their security measures aren’t as sophisticated or comprehensive as larger corporations. But that’s not the end of the story. According to one survey, employee theft is also a major issue. Approximately 64 percent of all small businesses experience employee theft on a regular basis, with stolen items ranging from large sums of cash and products to technology and equipment.
How to Develop a Security Program
So, how can small businesses enhance security and deter crime – physically and digitally? It all comes down to having a plan. Your business needs a comprehensive security program in place. Here are some tips for developing one:
· Start with your physical location. You have to start with your physical assets. In most cases, that means your offices or storefront. Find a small business security provider and closely work alongside them to incorporate features like 24/7 monitoring, video solutions, alarm services, and more. Most will collaborate with you to design a specific plan that meets your needs.
· Invest in network protection. The next step is network protection. This refers to keeping your data, website, and servers secure. There are thousands of security providers, so don’t get overwhelmed. You need to find a program or company that offers 24/7/365 monitoring, uptime guarantees, and ongoing maintenance. There’s nothing worse than paying for network protection and then not having anyone to help you when something goes wrong. In this case, the company is just as important as the product.
· Brief your employees. As mentioned, employee theft is a major issue. Even if it’s not in your case, you need to have frank conversations before it becomes one. Be very clear with your employees that you take security seriously and have installed numerous measures to ensure everyone within and outside the organization respects those standards. Ongoing conversations with employees will keep everyone on the same page.
· Consider security staff. Depending on how much of an issue you’ve had with security in the past and whether or not you’re worried about problems in the future, it may be a good preventative idea to invest in security staff. Having a couple of on-site security guards can help deter crime and allows you to respond quicker if something does happen. This is especially true if your business closes overnight (or on the weekends) and you’re afraid of leaving the premises unoccupied.
· Establish protocol. Responding to crime is as important as deterring it. Develop a detailed internal plan that provides each employee or staff member with a systematic and organized response to every possible issue that could arise. This communication system will prevent small issues from becoming much larger ones.
Ignore Security at a Very High Cost
The price of developing and implementing a comprehensive security program may seem costly on the frontend, but it’s nothing compared to the cost of a potential burglary or data breach on the backend. Now is the time to invest in new security measures, so that you can get back to doing what your business does best: making sales.