As security pros predict a rise in crime, small business owners can help protect their investments by safeguarding against burglary, robbery, shoplifting and fraud which, according to the National Sheriff's Association, cause an estimated 30% of all small business failures."Crime can be especially devastating for a small business," Joe Mac McConnell, VP of small business at ADT Security Services, tells What Works for Business. "The financial loss can be devastating, not to mention the threat crimes like robbery pose to customer and employee safety."
ADT, along with other security experts, has developed this list of safety tips to help your small biz build a barrier against crime:
1. Provide adequate interior and exterior lighting. Interior lighting should be visible to those outside. Exterior lighting should illuminate dark areas around buildings and parking lots.
2. Install an obvious video surveillance system to serve as a prevention tactic, help with identifying possible criminals and deter fraud. Once cameras are installed, place security signs at points of entry to publicize the presence of those cameras.
3. Utilize a safe with a mechanism to make periodic drops during the day to minimize the amount of cash in registers. Immediately drop large bills to discourage potential robbers.
4. Use background checks and other methods to screen all employees before hiring as the best defense against internal theft. Train new hires about security and safety practices.
5. Install silent alarms to notify police and give them a better chance to catch perpetrators.
6. Reduce advertising banners on front windows and displays behind windows which can obstruct viewing into the store.
7. Instruct employees to be the first line of defense in loss prevention by greeting or acknowledging every customer who enters. Provide personal service to as many customers as possible.
As McConnell notes, while you can't completely eliminate the risk of crime, "Small business owners can help minimize risks by implementing a comprehensive security plan including physical security technology, thoroughly training employees and troubleshooting potential weaknesses."