5 Proven Ways to Make Your Business Security More Effective NOW
Business Security does not have to be as scary or complicated as you make it out to be. Think about this, those individuals who perpetrate crimes against business owners are just as fearful for getting caught. The point is to get a plan and implement your plan. As a business owner, it is your job to make it next to impossible to take products or information from your business. In this article, I will discuss 5 proven ways to make your business security more effective.
1. Risk Assessment
No matter the size of your business, you must determine your vulnerability and weaknesses when assessing your business security needs. This assessment will give you a snap shot of where you are NOW and where you want to be in the near future. If you are in a physical location, begin with the exterior of your location to determine your vulnerability. The obvious would be to determine if you need a security system with monitoring or if it needs to be upgraded to wireless. Wired security systems can be cut, causing your system to be inoperable. A high percentage of companies have door and window alarms; consider installing motion sensors.
Additionally, you should determine your interior vulnerabilities. Is high value merchandise under lock and key? How easy is it to access customer data? Do you have cameras in strategic locations like the cash drawer, safe, sales floor and entrance? Are you conducting background checks on new hires? Hiring the wrong person without a background check can be costly? Do not skimp here! These are just a few ideas to get you going in the right direction.
2. Is Your Business Location Secure?
How safe is it to walk in the parking area during the evening? Do your customers and staff feel safe? Do you have any security cameras? If you are not sure on what actions to take, seriously consider calling out a security/alarm company to give recommendations on what is best for your location.
Here is some food for thought! If your business is in a shared location/plaza then consider approaching the owner of the property to hire security guards. This may cause a small increase in rent or the owner may take it upon themselves to foot the bill alone. If you are the owner of a location and are in need of hiring security guards or off duty police, then make it a priority so customers and staff feel comfortable on your property. The stigma of not feeling safe at a business location can and will keep customers away from your establishment. When people feel safe and secure at any establishment, they don’t mind returning and spending money.
3. Business Security Training
Too often, business owners and management don’t take the time to get the proper training or to make sure their employees are trained. Any business security begins with a solid foundation. Take a look at your policy and procedures for payment processing. What are your requirements for accepting credit/debit cards? Checks? Your payment acceptance procedures must be documented for all personnel to refer to when necessary and for training purposes.
Employees who work inside your office or with cash should follow specific procedures. For example, if an associate opens in the morning and takes a lunch break, the other associate who remains in the office should count the till before the associate goes to lunch. This will help reduce/eliminate cash shortages. How often have you experienced cash shortages and have not been able to determine where the money disappeared? Unless you put this procedure in place, you will always have questions when this occurs.
Your business security training should focus on physical security, office procedures, sales, cash acceptance, and debit/credit card procedures.
4. Inventory of Merchandise and Equipment
Hopefully you have a Point of Sales system (P.O.S) that helps track inventory. This will help with determining whether inventory is missing or has been sold. If you do not have an P.O.S that helps track inventory, you may want to consider upgrading your system. Merchandise pulled from stock should be documented or scanned to show movement and who is responsible for the item being removed from stock. Conduct inventory on a regular basis to keep track of what is in stock and to replenish merchandise when necessary.
Take an inventory of your equipment and make certain ALL model/serial numbers on equipment are recorded and kept in a secure location for future retrieval. For certain equipment, make sure it is bolted down or secured so it does not grow feet and walk away.
As you may know, skimmers can be placed on P.O.S systems and record sensitive customer information from the debit/credit card. Check your P.O.S on a regular to make sure it has not been tampered with or replaced.
5. Follow-Up and Implementation
Your policy/procedures must stay current. The criminal element will always look for holes in your system or how to exploit vulnerabilities. Your policy/procedures are only a guide and will have to change to be relevant and effective. Take a look at your business security as often as necessary and encourage feed back from staff and professionals in the field.
Are you struggling in the area of your payment acceptance procedures? business security training?
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