Breaking and entering. Unlawful entry. Armed robbery. Shoplifting and stealing. Regardless of which terms we use to describe it, burglary and theft are bad for business. A recent study released from the National Retail Federation found that retailers lose billions of dollars to shoplifting, employee and vendor theft and administrative error – collectively known as inventory shrink. Shoplifting accounted for the lion’s share (38%) of that in 2014, followed closely by employee theft (34.5%). In addition, businesses are four times more likely to be burglarized than homes.
If you’re a business owner, you’ve worked too hard to see your efforts walk out the door for free. Here are some ways that you can protect yourself and your businesses from the bad guys.
- Watch and learn — Consider investing in security and surveillance systems complete with motion-activated flood lights and strategically positioned cameras. Just the sight of surveillance cameras can make a burglar think twice. They can also result in lower insurance premiums — and keep employees on their toes. Most importantly, they give you peace of mind and the ability to monitor your business 24/7 via your smartphone or computer.
- Carefully screen employees and vendors – The 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse says that organizations lose approximately 5% of their total revenues to fraud each year. That can add up to a hefty sack of cash, so take the time to check references, as well as train your employees to watch for all suspicious activity. Remember, shoplifting never takes a holiday, which is another good reason for surveillance cameras, as well as door alarms. Vigilance is key.
- Lock it up and turn it on – As simple and basic as it sounds, you’d be surprised by how many business owners forget to lock every door and window before heading home. Thieves are sneaky and good at finding a way in, so don’t make it any easier for them. Consider installing some heavy duty locks. Dead bolts and double-cylinder dead locks are two great theft deterrents. Add checking all doors and windows to your standard closing procedure. In addition, make sure your surveillance cameras are on and recording — and remember to arm your security system if your business has one.
- Accept debit and credit – There may be fees involved, but less cash on hand makes your business less of a target. Plus, you’ll become more popular among today’s high-tech consumers who like to use systems like Apple Pay at the register.
- Stay secure inside and out – Whether your business operates out of an office, storefront or shopping mall, your employees and customers want to feel safe when it’s time to go home. Thieves don’t like the spotlight, so make sure your lot is well lit. They like surveillance cameras even less, so we recommend installing and monitoring them regularly. Remember to check on their battery backups too.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for Surveillance
As you explore surveillance and security options for your business, be sure to hire an experienced company to provide and install your systems. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Other business owners understand what you’re going through and are usually more than willing to share their experiences – good or bad. If possible, look local. If something goes wrong, you’ll want to know that a technician will be right over.
At MAX Communications, we install video surveillance camera systems for companies large and small. Our customers report less theft, lower insurance premiums, improved productivity, and peace of mind. To learn more, contact us today.