7 Ways To Help Prevent Theft at Your Business
What if your profits were slipping away and you didn’t even know it?
This is what many businesses discover after they perform inventory — that items have been stolen. Worse, the owner and employees don’t realize anything was gone until long after the thieves have gotten away.
If you want to protect your profits, preventing theft proactively is just as important as good commercial insurance. Want to keep your own company safe? Keep reading to discover how you can foil thieves!
1. Make Eye Contact With Visitors
Believe it or not, one of the best ways you can prevent theft is to make eye contact with anyone who visits your establishment. Because of this, you need to train your staff to make regular eye contact as a standard operating procedure.
Why is this so important? To begin with, eye contact followed by a short greeting is a standard element of customer service…no honest shoppers want to feel like they are being ignored! As for would-be thieves, they are likely to strike when they think nobody is paying attention. By making eye contact with all visitors, you offer a subtle reminder that you are paying close attention to them and that would-be thieves should take their criminal behavior elsewhere.
2. Install a Good Alarm
While eye contact is very important, most businesses can’t have somebody minding the store 24/7. It’s not a coincidence that many burglaries happen at night after everyone has gone home for the day. To foil such burglars, it’s important for good entrepreneurs to install an alarm system.
It’s up to you whether you want to buy and set up an alarm on your own or if you’d like to contact the services of a local security company. As long as you have a central monitoring system in place and can check on the status of your company via mobile device, then you can rest assured that your establishment has the protection that it deserves.
3. Limit Access Where Needed
We’ve already established that thieves don’t usually commit criminal activity when someone is watching them. The more savvy criminals know they are likely being watched by cameras (more on cameras soon). Because of these things, would-be thieves normally try to find areas where nobody can see what they are doing.
To keep this from happening, you need to limit certain areas. For example, lock dressing rooms when they aren’t in use and don’t be afraid to establish an employee-only restroom. While you’re at it, make sure access to the manager’s office and any important rooms (such as storage rooms) are locked, ideally with a passcode that nefarious visitors would have no way of guessing.
4. Check Doors and Windows Before You Leave
Most burglars don’t have anything personal against the stores they rob. In fact, burglary targets are usually picked out because the criminal is checking for unlocked doors and windows and gets lucky. In short, whichever store was sloppy about closing up that night is likeliest to get stolen from.
The good news is that you can avert this by simply checking on all the doors and windows before you leave (or making sure somebody else does if you’re not the last person out). While you’re at it, make sure that your own vehicle outside is locked and that you don’t have any important keys visible on the dashboard or on your seats. After all, the last thing you want to do is lock everything up and then leave the keys in plain sight of a criminal!
5. Install Cameras (and Let Everyone Know They Are in Use)
There is perhaps no better way to stop theft inside an establishment than installing security cameras. For best results, you should use CCTV cameras that allow you to store the footage offsite so you can review it later. Such cameras need to be installed in the right locations so you can keep a good eye on both your customers and your workers.
You shouldn’t hide these cameras. In fact, we recommend installing signs telling everyone that your business is being monitored at all times. As we noted before, most thieves are criminals of opportunity, and if they see your business is protected by high-tech cameras, they are likely to move on to a safer target. As a bonus, these cameras may help prevent liability lawsuits.
6. Never Skip Background Checks When Hiring
So far, we have mostly been focusing on how to keep outside visitors from stealing from you. But make no mistake: Employees often steal from their employers. This ranges from mild things like stealing an occasional stapler all the way to trying to run away with the money you were planning to deposit at the bank.
While it’s not foolproof, the best way you can avert potential employee theft is to conduct thorough background checks on everyone you hire. This includes everyone from your latest customer service specialists to any local contractors you plan on working with. While it takes a bit of extra time and money, background checks are a real win/win for you: They help you prevent theft because many would-be criminals won’t apply, all while helping you hire the best possible workers who may, for example, be responsible for operating vehicles and other heavy machinery.
7. Make Sure Exterior Areas Are Well Lit
Remember when we said most burglaries happen at night? The reason for this is simple: When people are doing any criminal activity and don’t want to get caught, darkness is easier for them to hide in, making good lighting a good insurance policy for your company.
While you can’t turn off the night, you can drive away the darkness by installing good lighting, particularly around entryways like doors and windows. If you don’t want the lights running all night, consider installing motion-sensitive lights. Either way, once thieves see you’ve left them no place to hide, they will be likely to move on to a different target.
Protect Your Business With the Right Insurance Today!
At InsureOne, we’re here to help companies like yours to grow and thrive. We’re always ready for you to get a quote online. Alternatively, you can give us a quick call at 800-836-2240 or feel free to come into one of our nearby offices at your earliest convenience!