Your business is your livelihood and your baby. You want to protect everything you’ve worked hard to build. Unfortunately, miscreants exist, and tight economic conditions make people more likely to grow sticky fingers.
Here are ten tips for how small business owners can improve security.
1. Hire a Security Guard
A security guard deters thieves in several ways. Their mere presence makes miscreants more likely to move along. If an incident does occur, they can detain the suspect or provide a description once the police arrive.
They can also escort employees to their vehicles after-hours, protecting staff safety. Please consider this security improvement measure if your office is in a high-crime area and your employees frequently work late.
2. Consider Firearms Policies Carefully
You might have included a line prohibiting firearms on company property in your employee manual. However, you have more leeway as the owner to bend the rules.
Whether or not you use a weapon to improve security is a highly personal decision driven by personal beliefs about firearms. However, if you decide one is necessary — such as if you own a convenience store — consider practicality.
Weapons like AR-15s fire the smallest bullets at the highest capacity, but they are unwieldy in tight spaces and don’t have as much stopping power as a shotgun at close range.
3. Go Keyless
Remember the old Jane’s Addiction song, “Been Caught Stealing?” The narrators walked right through the door — as do many thieves.
If a staffer loses their keys, you have to go through the time and expense of calling a locksmith and changing locks. However, keyless entry systems spare you that trouble and offer other advantages, such as keeping track of who is coming and going when you can’t be onsite.
4. Prevent Smash-and-Grabs
If you run a retail storefront, part of your attraction is displaying your wares to passersby. However, temptation arises from what people can see.
Consider outfitting your windows with retractable bars to prevent smash-and-grabs. You might even do so for law and accounting offices if folks can see your receptionist’s computer through your front window.
5. Safeguard Your Fleet
Construction equipment doesn’t come cheap, and job sites are hotbeds of theft. Ensure you outfit all work vehicles with a locking vault to protect your gear. If you use trailers, select the enclosed version whenever possible to safeguard larger tools like jigsaws.
6. Let There Be Light
Thieves love the shadows for after-hours break-ins. Prevent them a clear line of darkness by installing motion-detector lights around your exterior. Illuminating parking areas also protect your staff’s safety after hours.
7. Sound the Alarm
Even if you don’t have an alarm system in your home, you probably want one for your business. The signage alone deters thieves, and features like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors help you meet your building safety requirements. Video monitoring gives you a better chance of catching the responsible party if theft does occur — especially useful if the attack comes from within your organization.
8. Perform Background Checks
You probably think of your staff as family, and discovering one of them is stealing from you can hurt like a betrayal — and put you in the uncomfortable firing seat. Please weed out potentially problematic hires before you bring them on board.
You might pay a little for top-notch background check services, but the expenditure is well worth it. It costs tons to replace an employee, not to mention what their misdeeds might do to your bottom line.
9. Secure Your Data
Cybersecurity is everyone’s concern these days. Even if you work in construction, you still process customer payments and have information like their address, phone number and credit card data on file.
Ensure that you regularly update your computers for security patches and keep them protected by a firewall and antimalware software. Depending on your business, the IRS may require you to have cyberattack policies in place, but it’s always a best practice to contemplate the worst-case-scenario before it occurs. If you keep hard copies of client data — like all those invoices — invest in locking file cabinets
10. Regularly Review Procedures
The best security system in the world won’t alert you to theft if the last staffer leaving the office forgets to set it at day’s end. Likewise, no antivirus program in the world can prevent a data breach caused by an employee emailing proprietary data to an unauthorized party.
Ensure you provide routine security training so that all staff knows what to do to protect both the facility and your data. Make attending such ongoing development part of the job requirement for your employees.
Small Business Owners Can Improve Their Security With These Tips
If you are a small business owner, you need to protect your livelihood and the fruits of your labor. Learn how to improve your security by following the above tips.