As you look for ways to save money this year, there’s one line item that can significantly impact your small businesses––security and loss prevention.
Employee theft, for example, puts a heavy toll on US businesses. It’s a crime that costs U.S. businesses $50 billion annually, according to Statistic Brain.
Consider the reality that theft and other crimes can happen on your premises. According to GuardOne, a security patrol and remote video monitoring company, more than 400,000 businesses in the United States experience theft, robbery, vandalism, and criminal acts each year.
Even if your business doesn’t seem like a natural target for theft or vandalism, there may be areas you’ve overlooked. “Some types of businesses––such as banks, convenience stores, and high-end retailers––are a natural target for theft,” said Robert Copeland, President, and CEO of GuardOne. “But if you have the right security partner your employees, guests, and property will be protected.”
Which security vulnerabilities are in hidden plain sight? Here’s a look at ten signs that indicate it is time to evaluate your business security:
1. Retail shrinkage, equipment, or inventory loss
Retailers lost nearly $44 billion from theft in 2014, with 34 percent of those crimes committed by employees, according to a survey by the National Trade Federation (NRF) and the University of Florida. Theft is a colossal profit loss for retailers. A trained guard or surveillance camera will help reduce losses, increase profits, create a deterrent for would-be thieves, and catch criminals in the act.
2. Issues with squatters, damage or vandalism
If your office, warehouses, parking lot or distribution centers are unattended at night, the risks of vandalism, squatters, and damage rise. Physical retail spaces can easily benefit from security monitoring to deter crime.
3. Parking lot, garage or business perimeter safety concerns
Employees and customers may feel uncomfortable walking to their cars at night, particularly if the parking lot is not well lit or heavily trafficked. Unattended parking lots can attract vandalism, theft, muggings and other crimes. A security guard on patrol can reduce these risks, serve as a crime deterrent and ensure the safety of your employees and property.
4. Reports of increased crime in the area
High crime is not synonymous with doing business in a bad neighborhood. Your business could be in a location that is sparsely populated. As a result, the area attracts loiterers and vandals. Risk can be reduced through the use of high tech business surveillance systems.
5. Incomplete safety records and protocols
Company employees are often tasked with record keeping concerning safety, personnel, and property. They may not be adequately trained for this task.
For example, if a door is repeatedly left open, a security guard will notice (and record) the pattern. Then, he or she will investigate causes whether it includes a faulty lock or if an employee leaves the door open to sneak back in later. Since on-site guards work for the security company and not your business, he or she can provide objective third-party records (and testimony) for events like employee termination, liability issues, and workplace injuries.
6. Increased retail foot traffic
If your business experiences a high-volume traffic throughout the year, or seasonly, it can benefit from on-site security guards. Their role is to manage security and liability concerns, check guests’ IDs, log people in and out, manage crowd control, search guests for contraband, and respond to incidents and alarms.
7. Unprepared for emergencies
Security guards are equipped to manage a wide range of emergencies: medical emergencies, natural disasters, terrorist threats and more. They are trained to act quickly, responsibly and sensibly regardless of the circumstance.
8. Prone to lawsuit abuse
According to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, “Litigation costs small businesses in America over $100 billion per year. One in three small business owners report that they have been sued or threatened with a lawsuit.” No business is immune from frivolous lawsuits or false claims.
On-site physical fights between employees or customers, harassment claims, or employees “faking” a work injury can also put your business at risk. Security guards and surveillance cameras can protect you from all of these unfortunate scenarios and more.
9. Employee’s regularly express safety concerns
Have employees voiced their concerns regarding the safety of your workplace environment? If so, protect your employees and your property with a high-quality security system. Take proactive measures to safeguard your assets, protect your employees, and improve your business operations by fixing observable problems and delegitimizing false claims.
10. Unreachable security outside of regular business hours
If you have an unreliable security detail that doesn’t always show up for work, won’t answer a call or text or you can’t ever reach loss prevention management, it’s time for a change. Security should be the one thing you don’t have to worry about.
Every successful business has a solid foundation — security is a base layer. Criminals frequently look for more ingenious ways to rob honest, hardworking business owners. Ensure your security measures remain up to the challenge. Conduct an annual security audit and remain open to suggestions from your employees on how you can better protect your business.
Since 2002, GuardOne Security has been a trusted source of guard patrol, video monitoring and unwavering support for clients across a multitude of industries. From a high-tech command center and headquarters in Atlanta, the GuardOne Security national footprint spans 25 locations in 11 states, providing clients with relationships and personal attention unmatched in the industry.