How Small Businesses Can Prevent Break-ins: 8 Tips


You poured your heart and soul into your business, and you don’t want to lose your assets to thieves. Unfortunately, the fact that you own property makes you a target. What can you do to reduce your risk? 

While protecting your company from theft may involve expenditures, they pale compared to the cost of replacing pricey equipment. Worse, if you lose critical documents or trade secrets, you might find yourself losing revenue.

Take the following steps to secure your business. 

1. Perform a Risk Evaluation 

You need to know what you stand to lose. Perform a risk evaluation by calculating the estimated replacement cost of your assets, and check your insurance policy to make sure you have enough to cover property loss or damage from theft.

If you work in a field with significant intellectual property, consider adding data breach insurance to your policy. This coverage can also help you repair your business’s reputation in case of theft. 

2. Upgrade Your Lighting

A dimly lit building looks like a welcome mat to thieves — make sure you have ample illumination both inside and out. You might think that a motion detector above the front door is enough to deter miscreants.

However, lights that only turn on when someone moves within range keep passersby from noticing other suspicious activity. Thieves who target businesses know to use more sophisticated methods, and they may “case the joint” before making their move. 

3. Install Cameras

Cameras work as effective mitigation measures because criminals do not want to be caught. A video recording of their acts can result in their apprehension weeks after the initial break-in. Savvy thieves know to look for these devices — make sure to keep yours well-hidden by disguising it.

Post stickers warning would-be miscreants that you monitor the premises to cover your legal bases for recording acts on the property.

4. Invest in an Alarm System 

Your worst nightmare is arriving at the office one morning to find all your property gone and your building trashed. A quality alarm system can help protect you from damage in the event of a break-in.

Criminals will know they have mere seconds to grab what they can and go before law enforcement arrives. If you rent your office space, you can find wireless systems that don’t require you to damage or significantly alter the property if it didn’t come with this amenity. 

5. Train Your Staff 

You can’t supervise your business 24/7, and the best security system will fail if your staff doesn’t follow proper safety protocols. Train everyone on your closing procedures so if someone who doesn’t typically work late decides to burn the midnight oil, they know what to do to lock up the shop. 

Also, instruct your employees on entrance procedures for visitors. If you run a restaurant or retail establishment, you won’t screen entrants, but allowing only authorized personnel in some areas can guard your valuables. 

6. Consider Gates and Guards 

If you have a substantial amount of expensive equipment that you can’t conduct operations without, you might want to invest in a security gate, guard protection or both. Gates allow for access control — unauthorized individuals can’t pull up with a truck to fill with your assets.

Guards alone are enough to deter some thieves, and they can help your employees feel safer when they walk to their vehicles at night. 

7. Secure Materials on Jobsites 

If you run a construction business, you know that some items are hot tickets for thieves. The price of copper wiring could reach $5 a pound, making it a frequent target. Small appliances and tools often grow legs and walk away, too.

Ensure that all your company trucks have lockboxes or cabs to protect equipment when off-site, and teach your employees how to secure their valuables when working in the field. 

8. Join or Start a Business Watch Program 

A business watch program is similar to a neighborhood watch — only, given zoning regulations, it often consists of small companies that occupy the same street or area. Ask other owners if one exists in your neighborhood, and if not, gauge their interest in starting one.

It requires little except keeping an eye out for suspicious activity in the surrounding region and reporting it to the authorities. 

Keep Your Small Business Assets Secure With These Tips 

You want to protect your business assets, and you need security to do so. With these tips, you can sleep soundly at night, knowing that your organization’s buildings and valuables remain secure.

About the Author:

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded. He writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors and more. Follow @TModded on Twitter for more articles from the Modded team.

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