Risky Business: How To Minimize Risk in a Cash-Driven Business

By Tommy Wyher,
business.com writer
Jul 19, 2016
Image Credit: Monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

There are plenty of industries that are quite conservative and have no legitimate risks monetarily or even legally. This could be because the industry is legal in a state but not legal in a country.

The legal marijuana and even medical marijuana industry is the perfect example of an industry that comes with both monetary and legal risks.

All risks in volatile businesses can be mitigated with the correct amount of preparation and keeping themselves informed.  

The following are a few ways you can keep your business safe if dealing with large amounts of cash or valuables.

Related Article: Accounting Mistakes That Put Your Small Business at Risk

CCTV Cameras Are a Must

Whether you run a pawnshop or short term loans company, having a lot of valuables in cash or material can be a huge risk. The presence of cameras can help thwart any robbery attempts or people trying to steal merchandise. Do not skimp when it comes to this equipment as a lower resolution camera could miss something or make it difficult to identify an intruder.

Obviously, if your business is going to have a large amount of cash or valuables in the store overnight, an alarm system that immediately notifies police is also necessary.

Move Cash a Few Time per Day

Whether a business is dealing with cash loans or even deals only in cash like legal marijuana shops that cannot find a bank, the money should be moved frequently. Taking the money off of premise a few times a day can help keep it safe whether it is taken to the bank or to a safe.

Keeping copious amounts of money in a safe is dangerous as it will be left unattended. If the business is open for 12 hours, have someone go every four hours to move the cash to a safer location. Waiting until the end of the day at closing to move the money can leave you vulnerable especially when closing the business alone.

Armed Security on Premise

Cash for gold businesses is the perfect example of a business that absolutely needs an armed guard. Not only can someone rob the business but the person transporting the gold is also vulnerable to being attacked. Make sure if anyone is transporting something of value that they have an escort out to a car.

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Even outside of largely frequented shopping malls, people have been robbed of all the gold the business took in during the day. Having armed guards work during hours that a business is closed can be expensive, but one robbery can often pay this guard’s salary for the year.

Watch Out for Counterfeit Bills

People who use counterfeit bills usually use them in increments so small that they don’t raise a red flag. There are no reimbursement policies for businesses that have to accept these bills as a form of payment. For this reason, it is extremely important to have your staff trained on counterfeit bills as the use of these could add up at the end of the year.

Counterfeit money detectors are often used at cash only businesses like marijuana shops and pawn shops. The investment in one of these detectors is sure to pay itself off quite quickly. Don’t let the counterfeit money makers in your area turn your shop into a favorite for exchanging fake money for real merchandise.

Background Check Your Staff Extensively

The staff that is going to be holding thousands or even millions of dollars in cash a year should be checked out extensively before considering hiring them. Cash-based businesses can be easy to steal from especially if the accounting is something that is being done by an amateur who barely knows how to use the most basic accounting software.

Any crimes that involve theft should eliminate a person as you need to trust your staff completely when they are dealing with large amounts of cash or dealing in valuables. Drug convictions also can be a red flag as addicts have been known to steal from employers. Obviously, if you are running a legal marijuana shop then a person who has been arrested for simple possession can get a pass. Sometimes getting extensive background checks can be expensive but it will be worth the peace of mind knowing you can trust your employees.  

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Preparation is key when trying to keep a business safe that deals in valuables or cash. Security is absolutely paramount as a large portion of the business’ cash flow is on site or not in a bank. Thieves often times go for places that might be weary of calling the police as well.

Legal marijuana providers have been robbed on frequent occasion as in some places banks would not accept their money in fear of federal intervention. Do not leave anything up to chance as your business is your livelihood. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best especially in your cash or valuable based business.

Tommy is a writer who enjoys traveling quite frequently. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill means that Tommy is an absolute college basketball fanatic.
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