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Startup Security: 5 Ways to Avoid Theft in Your Small Business

By: SmallBizClub

 

Ways to Avoid Theft in Your Small Business

Theft costs businesses millions of dollars each year. For your business to grow, you need to protect your profit margins, and a part of that is preventing theft. Random thieves and even your own employees could be draining your cash and carrying off your material goods. In fact, more theft comes from inside the company than from outside. Here are some steps you can take to prevent theft.

1. Be Observant

Just the fact that they’re being watched can deter many thieves. Install surveillance cameras both outside the building at all points of entry, and at important locations inside. This might be around loading docks, valuable merchandise, cash registers, or blind spots such as narrow warehouse aisles. Place overhead security mirrors throughout open spaces for wider fields of view. Encourage and provide incentives for employees to report suspicious behavior.

2. Communicate Consequences

Make it clear that you won’t tolerate theft. When onboarding new employees inform them that anyone caught stealing will be terminated immediately and fully prosecuted. Mention some of the possible consequences, such as jail time and the stigma of a criminal record. Post signs stating that you have a zero-tolerance policy for shoplifters, and reminding visitors that they are under surveillance.

3. Educate Your Staff

Get your staff some security training sessions, such as the type of behavior to look for, the importance of securing locks and activating alarms when they leave, and logging off computers when they’re away from the desk. Randomly perform audits of inventory and point of sale receipts.

4. Protect Value

Be sure that expensive merchandise, equipment, tools, and raw materials are closely monitored and kept locked and secured when not in use. Leave the keys with trusted supervisors and hold them accountable for tracking and storing valuables properly. Access to computer data should also be restricted to a need-to-know basis only. This helps to prevent theft of sensitive customer information like social security and credit card numbers, or intellectual property like designs and research.

5. Crimes of Opportunity

You might also consider data analytics. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. Analysis of incidents will help to predict when and where these theft at any level is most likely to occur. You can then design and institute opportunity blockers. For example, just installing CCTV cameras in the right places can reduce theft by 79 percent.

It takes planning and constant monitoring to maintain an honest and secure company. But the time and cost of doing so will be worth it if it protects your bottom line.

Dixie SomersAuthor: Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. Dixie recommends taking an MBA degree program online for the best information about how to educate your employees best.

Published: August 4, 2017
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