Small businesses are the backbone of economies, meaning safeguarding their physical assets is paramount to ensuring their longevity and prosperity. Security threats, ranging from theft and vandalism to unauthorised access, can disrupt operations and result in significant financial losses. In this article, we delve into the specific physical security risks faced by small businesses, underscore the importance of robust security measures, and present a comprehensive guide to the ten most effective security measures for small businesses.
The cyber risks for small businesses are most commonly hitting the headlines, but physical security breaches are still a big issue. According to recent statistics from the Home Office, 28% of all business premises had been a victim of crime during the last 12 months, with theft being the most common crime experienced (15%), followed by burglaries and attempted burglaries (9%), vandalism (9%) and assaults or threats (7%).
When we look at small businesses, it was found that those with nine or fewer employees were 26% more likely to be victims of crime with burglary affecting nearly 10% of small businesses each year. This leads to significant financial losses that can cripple an unprepared small business. Additionally, vandalism, employee theft, and unauthorised access can disrupt day-to-day operations, reduce customer satisfaction, and tarnish a business’s reputation. These risks highlight the need for a strong and comprehensive physical security strategy for all small businesses.
Physical security measures serve as a critical defence against threats that can jeopardise a small business’s assets and operations. Ensuring your small business is suitably protected is not only critical for remaining profitable but can also help foster employee morale and customer confidence. Furthermore, investing in physical security measures ensures compliance with regulations and showcases a dedication to safeguarding not only property but also the well-being of employees and customers.
Implementing an access control system is an effective security measure small businesses can take. A site that requires authorised credentials for entry, limits access to only designated personnel and decreases the chance of trespassers gaining entry. This also allows 24/7 control, ensuring your staff are well-safeguarded.
Installing CCTV not only provides constant monitoring of key areas, but it can also act as a deterrent for potential intruders as well as provide valuable evidence in the event of an incident.
Utilise intruder alarm systems to alert you to unauthorised entry attempts, both during business hours and after closing. These systems are also financially beneficial as many insurers provide discounts for secured premises, as they are considered a lower risk.
Depending on the size and nature of your business, hiring security personnel can provide a physical presence that deters criminals and ensures a swift response to any criminal activity.
Electric gates and barriers help to secure your small business premises out of hours. Access can be permitted to select personnel during the working day and the physical barriers make for a good deterrent for criminals.
Adequate outdoor lighting around your premises, including entrances, parking areas, and alleys, can discourage criminal activity and improve overall visibility. Criminals want an easy target and to go unnoticed, therefore installing security and sensor lighting is likely to make them move on to a new target.
Small businesses should consider a monitoring contract for their security systems. This allows a third-party monitoring company to oversee a site’s security systems 24/7, receiving instant alerts if any suspicious activity is detected or an alarm is activated. They can provide an immediate response to the event, whether that be contacting the site’s keyholder or the police. Although an additional cost for a small business, the investment into the safety and security of the site is considered a cost-effective solution in the long run.
Store valuable assets and sensitive information in secure safes or locked cabinets to prevent theft or unauthorised access.
There’s nothing worse than realising your security system is down when you need it most. Regularly inspect and maintain your security systems, such as CCTV cameras and alarms, to ensure they remain functional and effective.
Educate and train your employees about security protocols to minimise any potential security breaches or incidents. Being able to recognise issues before they grow into something damaging and unmanageable is a simple way to protect your small business. Simple changes in behaviour such as not holding doors open for people you don’t know can prevent unauthorised individuals from accessing your site.
At BusinessWatch we want to help your small business stay as secure as possible and therefore offer a range of security solutions. Whether that be the installation of key security systems including CCTV, thermal imaging, intruder alarms and access control, or the monitoring and maintenance of these systems for maximised security measures.
We also offer a connected managed service to all our clients, which allows all your key systems to be connected back and managed by one central system. Not only is it a more sustainable solution in terms of energy optimisation, but it also maximises efficiencies and your level of security.
To learn more about how you can protect your small business, get in contact today by calling us on 0330 094 7404 or click here to get a free quote.