If you run a small business, you’ll know how vulnerable it can make you feel – did you lock up? Are your staff safe in the evenings? Is your stock safe with the staff? Have you been hacked this month? Is shoplifting becoming a bigger problem? So many issues, so little time.
There are five main things you can do to keep your business safe and afloat, so here they are.
Fencing and other physical security measures
The biggest threat to your business is from the outside – thieves, whether organised or opportunistic, can break in and cost you thousands of pounds. By putting up secure fencing, maybe with a PIN code, you can deter the opportunistic types, and make it harder for the more determined ones. Fencing combined with cameras will really discourage all but the most organised and single-minded burglars and thieves.
It’s not just theft that can damage your bottom line, either. If you don’t look after your stock you won’t be able to sell it, so you should take care of it at all times, especially when it’s outside for any length of time to keep elements off it. You could invest in some custom-made tarpaulin covers from a company like Cunningham Covers, for example, to provide maximum coverage, especially if you produce oddly-shaped goods.
Employ trustworthy staff
It’s sad to say, but a lot of security breaches and petty thefts are insider jobs. It can be difficult to find the right people – skilled and trustworthy – but you need to make the right background checks and keep an eye on staff until they’ve been with you for a while.
When it comes to important information and financial details, only tell the people who need to know. Even if your business is small, you need to restrict this information to yourself and whoever else you implicitly trust.
Back up your data
Hackers are becoming ever more sophisticated and dangerous so it’s vital to protect your important business information by backing it up and keeping it safe in a remote place, just in case the worst happens.
It’s not just hackers, though – there can be natural disasters like floods or a fire that could destroy your computers and files in one building. However, if everything’s backed up safely onto a remote hard drive, you have one less thing to worry about.
Make sure there’s enough light
You need enough light to make it look as if your building is occupied; bright lighting makes staff feel safer as they come and go from work, especially if your staff keep later hours.
Look for cark corners and make sure there’s light in there, as thieves or muggers could use the dark to hide out. There should also be motion sensor lighting by windows and doors to scare burglars, as well as to make staff entering and leaving in the dark to feel safer.
Provide security training
Make sure your staff are aware of physical and online threats and that they know how to deal with them. Keep an open dialogue between yourself and your staff – are there any dark spots in the car park? Have there been any weird emails recently?
Your employees should also be trained to handle awkward or threatening situations, from dealing with requests for credit to outright robbery. They should know how and when to call emergency numbers and how to report suspicious behaviour. You should carry out regular risk assessments and send staff on training courses as new threats arise.