When you run a small business, security is often on top of your mind. Of course, there is much more to handle, from managing operations to supervising your team, keeping track of books and accounts, paying taxes, and running marketing campaigns.
But budgeting for your expenses remains a priority, which is surely a savvy move. However, some aspects of running a small business are indispensable, and you cannot compromise them.
Premises safety is vital and you need to protect your business from theft, pilferage, data loss, and damage. These are the last things you want to deal with because such incidents can hurt your finances and reputation.
But you cannot expect to hire a security team or invest in high-end equipment to safeguard your cash, assets, and employees. However, you must still find a middle path to secure your business because cutting corners is not an option.
Fortunately, implementing a few common sense measures is enough to protect your premises from attackers and internal threats. Let us share a few tried and tested premises security hacks that small business owners can implement on a tight budget.
1. Begin with the basics
Small business owners can make a good start with premises security by picking the basics.
Consider upgrading the door and window locks because you need not spend a fortune on them. Swap regular locks with commercial-grade locks as they provide better protection.
You can avert the break-in risk further by replacing the old doors with reinforced steel ones, as the material is far stronger than regular wood.
Adding security bars on the windows provides an additional layer of protection from theft and vandalism.
2. Control access to valuables
Besides regular security assessments, implementing access control on valuables is another viable measure for small businesses.
Define the areas requiring extra vigilance, such as one’s housing cash, stock, expensive equipment, and confidential data.
Limit access to these areas by allowing only a few trusted employees in. You can provide employees with ID cards to ensure only they can enter these areas.
Keep the keys safe and change the locks every six months to deal with the risk of theft. You can go the extra mile by investing in an advanced access control system.
3. Run regular safety assessments
Premises security is not a one-time task because you may end up leaving things to chance by taking a set-and-forget approach. A small business is as vulnerable as a large enterprise, regardless of the number of entry points.
Attackers and dishonest employees may find ways to break through the best defences, so you cannot risk employee complacency with premises security. Conduct regular assessments of safety arrangements inside and outside the buildings, parking lots, and boundary walls.
Check the high-risk areas such as cash counters, vaults, server rooms, and inventory storehouses even more thoroughly.
Act quickly if anything seems amiss, whether a broken lock, damaged CCTV camera, or a weak shutter.
4. Train your employees
While implementing advanced solutions gives you peace of mind regarding premises security, you cannot overlook the significance of employee training.
An attacker may jump up on an employee in a dark parking lot or while carrying cash on the road. Empowering your employees with adequate training and safety awareness is a good way to ramp up premises security.
Also, provide them with a list of emergency contacts, such as the police and ambulance services, to get help during an emergency.
Safety training makes people more vigilant and confident about dealing with challenging situations. They can protect themselves and save co-workers and visitors from unprecedented threats.
5. Vet new hires
A business is as secure as the employees make it. Retaining employees should be a priority for small businesses because it can lower the cost of hiring and training new hires.
Surprisingly, employee retention can also help on the security front, as tried and tested team members are less likely to indulge in theft and pilferage. You must also vet new hires to minimize the chances of employee theft for your small business.
Stringent background checks should be a part of the hiring plan. Keep an eye on all employees, as people may change down the line. Implementing a zero-tolerance policy against such behaviour can also go a long way in preventing theft.
6. Think high-tech
Following the basics puts your small business in a good place against physical threats, but you cannot rely on them enough. Burglars and dishonest workers can find ways to overcome physical barriers and get in.
You can consider going high-tech with security, even if it means spending a bit. Video surveillance, intrusion alarms, and virtual guards are a few ideal security systems for small businesses looking to ramp up their safety measures.
You can look for a security partner to discuss your options within your budget. Experts can recommend the best ones to secure your premises without burning a hole in your wallet.
7. Do not skimp on cyber safety
Premises security is undoubtedly the top concern for small businesses. But you cannot skimp on cyber safety because protecting your digital assets is equally crucial. You can imagine the implications of losing customer data and employee records.
It can lead to a loss of credibility, and you may even encounter massive compliance penalties. The best way to deal with these threats is by including cyber risk management in your security plan, regardless of the volume of data your servers hold.
Implement measures like securing your Wi-Fi networks, enforcing role-based access to confidential files, running upgraded software, and educating your team on best security practices.
Small businesses running on tight budgets may cut corners in several places. But physical security is the last thing you should compromise because every incident can threaten your finances and reputation.
Fortunately, you can follow these simple measures to keep attacks and attackers at bay. Remember to pay as much attention to internal threats as external ones because dishonest employees can work silently and hit hard.
But these practical tips cover your business on all fronts, so you must implement them without second thoughts.