People who own and run small businesses may have been overlooked in the past. Not attracted to the big budgets and sophisticated requirements of big business, the security industry has not focused on providing small business security. Small businesses had to settle for inappropriate and overpriced security that resembled home security systems.
But there’s good news. Leading security industry manufacturers and providers are paying attention now. They’re beginning to understand that the unique needs of small business security require tailored security measures and systems.
Small business security does have one advantage. Needing smaller staff and experiencing less turnover than large businesses, small business’s risk for in-house theft is significantly less, reducing the need for inventory tracking and video monitoring for break rooms and storage areas. But small businesses still face serious risks for theft, vandalism, and violence.
Small business security needs are in many ways like those of corporations and individual homeowners. Common-sense security measures are important. Things like removing potential hiding places for would-be thieves by eliminating blind spots on building exteriors is a basic preventive measure. Lighting the building, inside and out, makes it possible for people outside the building to observe criminal activity at night and when the business is closed. Keeping entry points clear of obstructions and shadows is important to safety and security. Installing locks with security codes for individual employees prevents entry by unauthorized people.
Exterior lighting is not only important for security. It’s an important way to prevent injuries to customers and to prevent crimes against both customers and employees outside the building. Liability insurance is a significant expense, and good exterior lighting can qualify small businesses for discounts and insurance savings. So in a way, liability insurance is a good small business security measure.
Every year, small businesses lose billions of dollars to preventable theft and vandalism. Monitored commercial alarm systems are an inexpensive and effective way to protect your small business. They’re easy to install in less than a day, and they’re easy to operate. A good small business security system will include control panels, security keypads, glass break sensors, window and door contacts, motion detectors, and sirens. Systems can be hard-wired or wireless. They can include loud immediate alarms or silent alarms that alert law enforcement without interrupting ongoing business. They can have add-ons like fire alarms and video surveillance. You can get a back-up system to assure your small business security needs are covered at all times.
If you haven’t already done it, you should ask a security professional to inspect and assess your small business for vulnerabilities and ask for a proposal that addresses them. Inherently more vulnerable to financial losses, there’s no such thing as too much security for a small business. An expert in the field can help you identify your small business security needs and create a plan that both meets your budget and makes your small business more secure.
When shopping for a small business security system provider, there are a few basic ways to select the best one for your needs. First, you should always talk to more than one company. Three or four reputable vendors is a logical choice that produces competition and gives you a variety of ideas and options. They should be willing to come to your business for face-to-face meetings. Be sure to get the proposals and price estimates in writing, and make sure the proposals are complete, including monthly charges, set-up and installation fees, and warranties. Find out if they offer training for you and your staff. Once you’ve made a commitment, review the contract very carefully to make sure it includes all the options you discussed with them.