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How to Choose the Right Security System for Your Small Business

By: Bill Wortman

 

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As a small business owner, you should not sleep well without the assurance of knowing that your business’ assets are secure. Whether data, inventory, or computer systems, there are so many valuable things to protect that you should not assume your business is immune to an extremely rare theft on your premises. Here are few questions to ask your security system provider before for deciding on an alarm system that suits you.

Are they licensed to work in your state?
Before even beginning to discuss the possibility installing a security system in your office, go ahead and check to see if the security company is legally licensed in your state. Don’t risk running into a legal issue down the road by purchasing a security system that the state has not yet approved.

Where do they connect the alarm system?
When purchasing a system, it’s imperative that you ask your service provider how they decide to connect it. Any experienced criminal will cut your phone or internet lines when first attempting a robbery, and you cannot afford for this to cut your access to the security monitors.

Which entrance(s) does the system monitor?
The system should monitor all entrances to the premises, not only the front door and back door but also the windows and any other openings that could used to break into your office. 

How is the information of a breach transmitted to the business owner?
In the case that the alarm was set off by an employee who left their keys in the office, it’s important that you can access the video monitor to determine if the security breach is a mere accident or an issue worth investigating. Many security systems allow you the convenience of accessing video on your Smartphone, which is especially useful for business owners who might not have access to a desktop.

How is/are the passcode(s) distributed to the owners or employees of the company?
You should determine if there will be one passcode assigned to yourself as the business owner and another to all of your employees or if there will be a different passcode for every employee in the office. Generally, you want to plan for employees to come and go, so you should have the ability to regularly update and distribute a new passcode in the event that something changes within the office personnel.

What is the full cost and any additional costs associated with the security system?
Make sure to inquire about how much the security system costs upfront and about whether you will be encouraged to pay for anything else such as to change your passcode or update your system as technology progresses.

How is the alarm triggered?
Make sure that you know how the alarm is triggered so that you can be sure that all the areas of your business are covered. Also, ask if you can track the origin of where the alarm is triggered, so that you can identify the cause in the event of an accidental disruption or, for a confirmed robbery, to quell the chances for that sort of robbery to happen again.

How is the alarm installed?
You want to be sure of how the alarm is installed and whether it could cause damage to the property. Some leased office buildings may have restrictions on the type of equipment that can be installed on their premises. You should confirm with the property owner before moving forward with installation of your security system to avoid any penalties that could ensue from neglecting the terms of your rental agreement.

Published: July 3, 2013
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Bill Wortman

As the Chief Business Consultant at BizCoachingOnDemand.com, Bill has over 40 years of business experience. He's held multiple executive-level positions and fulfilled the role of CFO at large, publicly-held (NYSE, NASDAQA, and AMEX) corporations. In addition, he's also been an owner of several successful private ventures in real estate and in the automotive industry.

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