As a small business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities you need to handle. You have to conduct the hiring and firing, plan marketing and advertising, deal with budgeting and accounting, and so much more. However, as important as all of these jobs are, there’s one that is much more crucial – Improving security. After all, you can make as much money in the world, but it won’t make a difference if you’re vulnerable to burglars. Break-ins and theft threaten the very existence of your company, so it’s vital that you take action and put the necessary measures in place to avoid them. With that in mind, here are ten security tips for you to consider.
Tip #1: Conduct A Risk Assessment
Most break-ins are random and unplanned, by a burglar who simply spots an opportunity and seizes it. Because of this, you need to conduct a risk assessment and look out for the vulnerabilities that these criminals exploit. These could include the back door you leave propped open or the cash you leave unsecured in the office. Look around your business and make a list of any risks you spot. Once you’ve done this, you should come up with ways to eliminate them.
Tip #2: Keep Up Appearances
As you’re conducting your risk assessment, you need to go outside your business and check out the surrounding area. If your premises look unkempt, with rubbish piling up everywhere, overgrown bushes and hedges, and graffiti on the walls, then you need to give the place a tidy up. When the outside of your business isn’t being taken care of, criminals could assume that the security isn’t either and will try their luck. It’s always better to be safe and avoid this possibility.
Tip #3: Secure Your Business Premises
Your premises is probably home to inventory, office equipment, cash and more, so it’s crucial that you make it as difficult for burglars to get in as you possibly can. You should start by going around the entire building and checking that all of the windows and doors are locked and secure. You should also eliminate possible hiding places outside and make sure that all entrances and exits are well lit. Also, ensure that you only give office keys to those you can honestly trust.
Tip #4: Install Physical Deterrents
As already mentioned, most break-ins are the result of opportunity, so locking the doors certainly eliminates this. However, burglars won’t know that doors are locked until they try them, which still leaves you at some risk. Because of this, you need to make sure that they don’t want to come anywhere near your building. You can do this by installing physical deterrents, like CCTV cameras, motion activated lights, and security signs. This can cost you a bit but is worth it.
Tip #5: Always Check Employees’ References
Conducting interviews is a long and exhausting process, which is why many business owners and managers cut corners now and then and don’t bother to check interviewees’ references before offering them a job. This is an incredibly risky decision, as you don’t know for sure why they left their previous employment. It’s crucial that you speak to past employers and check that their departure was amicable and had nothing to do with criminal activity.
Tip #6: Ensure Staff Are Trained
Break-ins can happen any day at any time, so it’s vital that your staff are trained for such an emergency. Make sure that they know how to spot suspicious behavior, but explain that they should never argue or try to fight with a burglar. It’s much more important that your staff are safe, even if it means losing a bit of money. You should also introduce clear policies regarding employee theft so that no one takes anything without realizing that they shouldn’t have.
Tip #7: Protect Your Data
We live in a technologically-minded time, so it’s important that you prepare for and defend against cybercrime, just as you would any other. To reduce the threat of data theft, you need to bring in an IT certified specialist to put protections in place. These should include firewalls, antivirus software, and more. You should also ensure that each of your passwords is strong and unique and that you avoid connecting to public wifi using devices used for your business.
Tip #8: Keep Your Stock Organized
If you keep stock in your business premises, then you need to make sure that you keep it safe. There are a number of ways to do this, but one of the most important is that you keep it as organized as possible. This way, when you’re conducting a stock count, you’ll be able to spot a discrepancy right away. You also need to ensure that you hold these stock counts on a regular basis and that you store it somewhere away from an exit, preferably watched by CCTV.
Tip #9: Speak to Other People
There are loads of ways you can protect your business from crime, many of which you are unlikely to come up with on your own. Because of this, you might want to speak to other business owners to get some tips from them. You should also consider hiring a security expert to have a look around and offer suggestions on ways you could be safer. This way, you can know for sure that all of the bases have been covered.
Tip #10: Check Your Security Regularly
Unfortunately, improving your security is a job that is never really over. After all, crime and crime prevention methods are constantly evolving, so what worked for your business a year ago might be completely useless now. This means that you need to conduct security checks and risk assessments on a regular basis and make improvements if and when you need them. You should also listen to feedback and security suggestions from your employees.
As an entrepreneur, your top priority should always be keeping your small business safe. Because of this, it’s vital that you consider your security and make the necessary changes and improvements. Hopefully, some of the tips above will be able to help with this.