Theft and vandalism are two security problems that could drive up costs for your business. There are costs to replacing what’s lost or damaged. There are costs of lost time in working through claims and repairs. There's also the potential for lost revenue in being unable to open, produce, or deliver goods or services to your customers.
It's impossible to eliminate every risk of theft or vandalism against your business. Still, there are steps you can take to prevent many of those events.
What can I do to improve the security of my business?
There are six steps you can take to protect your business location:
Step 1: Install a building security system for your business.
Building security systems that include door and window alarms, motion sensors, and perimeter cameras are an important line of defense.
If you're like some owners, you might prefer to buy cameras, commercial-grade locks, and alarm-sounding devices that you can install yourself. Amazon, Best Buy, and other stores offer some DIY security solutions with great reviews, including Amazon Ring, Google Nest, and SimpliSafe. You can also explore this list of products to boost your site security:
- Commercial deadbolt locks
- Steel security doors
- Folding security gates
- Security lighting
- Light timers
- Security glass film, which prevents breakage of standard glass windows and doors
- Office safes
Note: In this article, we share links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, Owner Actions may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
If you choose to build your own security system, keep these best practices in mind:
- Choose pieces that integrate and can be managed through a single mobile app.
- Select parts that are easy for you or an electrician to install.
- Study up on the maintenance requirements of the systems you install, including whether any pieces need battery backup or to be removed and charged periodically.
- Select pieces that offer security settings you can customize to attain the right level of security for your business.
- Read customer reviews of the products you might buy to learn how owners feel about the product after install and whether they’d recommend it to others.
- Sum up the total costs of ownership, including monthly fees and help from an electrician for installation, for an apples-to-apples comparison with a security company’s solutions.
Of course, another option is to work with a security consultant. Security consultants can help you find weak points in the systems you choose and areas where added security may help you protect your business.
Most security consultants work for companies that sell security products, so their recommendations will likely be limited to what that business sells rather than what's best in the market. Still, the benefit of a consultant (and the security companies they’re with) is the guidance you receive in building a fully integrated system that can be controlled from a single panel or mobile app. Many will offer ideas to help you control access across facilities and assign custom access levels to individual team members. These configurations are difficult to set up through off-the-shelf solutions.
If you’d like to work with a business security provider, try one of these firms:
Step 2: Hire an on-site security firm.
If the threats of theft, vandalism, or entry are especially high, think about hiring a security firm to guard your site. Most can provide either round-the-clock or after-hours security to deter theft and other acts. Some also offer drive-by security services to check on your site at throughout the day or night.
Another option is to hire your own security team to protect your site. This option can be costly, but it's a great way to deter theft. You can work with your HR manager to find and hire a qualified team, or consider working with an outsourced HR rep who can take on this task.
Interested in working with an HR team? Here are a few worth looking into:
|Before employing or contracting with a security team, speak with your commercial insurance agent about how this move will affect your policy and liability coverage. This is especially important if your security team will be armed or if your security team will include any guard dogs.
Want to learn more about business insurance? Check out this article:
Would you like to explore some insurance plans that accommodate (and may reward you for) your security practices? Check out these online insurance providers:
Step 3: Push for safe practices.
Safety plans can have a real impact on the safety and security of your business.
With this in mind, take time to create safety plans for opening and closing your site, the transport of cash and valuables, and access to doors, the shop floor, and inventory storage locations. Here are some steps you might take:
- Train your employees never to hold the door for others unless they can swipe their access badge.
- Put a buddy system in place to ensure no one bears the risks (or temptations) involved in moving money, valuable goods, or inventory alone.
- Use badges or keys to restrict each person’s access to your building or site and deter them from having full run of all parts of your business.
- Limit the number of keys you issue and take inventory of them regularly.
- Teach your employees not to loan their keys to others.
- Name a point-of-contact within your business who will handle reports of suspicious behaviors.
Once you firm up your plans, document them and include them in your employee handbook. Specifically, you may want to address your policies on access, visitors, allowable times of entry, rules around badges and keys, and the consequences of breaking security policies.
Want to learn more about employee handbooks for your business? This resource will help you get started:
Step 4: Perform audits.
Be proactive with your security. Walk through your site and log into your security systems to spot behaviors that could invite problems. These audits may help you spot “workarounds” your team uses to bypass inconvenient security procedures. You might also see blatant measures they're taking that put your business at risk.
When you spot new problems, brainstorm your options. You might introduce security training, adjust to your security settings, or add more cameras or security equipment. You might also expand your audits to look for internal thefts or issues like embezzlement.
For problems that seem difficult to resolve, consider working with a security consultant to brainstorm better solutions.
Step 5: Maintain your site.
Site maintenance may already be on your to-do list, but tack on these actions to better protect your site:
- Trim trees and bushes away from your doors and windows to ensure cameras and people passing by your business have a clear view of break-in attempts.
- Ensure your light bulbs are in good working order. Check those located in floodlights and outside lights to illuminate people coming and going from your business.
- Test door and window locks at the end of each business day to ensure no one can enter or exit your business with ease. If any are broken, be sure to repair them right away.
- Run tests on your equipment each month to ensure every piece you’ve installed is in good working order.
Step 6: Form a plan to call out threats.
Think about incorporating panic buttons, text codewords, or other measures that inform your team of a breaking security matter. Ensure your entire staff knows and practices lockdown and escape procedures and is aware of any action plans you have in place to protect the business.
Data security matters just as much as site security. Read our guide, Safeguard Your Business from Modern Security Threats, to learn how to get started with sound data practices.
Then, log into your owner’s portal for a step-by-step guide that'll help you hedge against risks and overcome issues impacting your business.