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Tips to Protect Small Businesses

Firstly, realize that business is business. You have something which someone wants. You have stock, business products, equipment, or cash. This is the start of protecting your assets. And this applies equally wherever your office is located. Even if you have a home office, make sure you have a door which locks. Monitor who is allowed in, and when. Be aware of who has been in there and always keep cash or valuables under lock and key.

There is no denying this is annoying, but would you rather take the time to lock that drawer, or lose the cash? A friend employed a maid, who was recommended by another friend. The girl was apparently from a good family, hard worker, etc. After two weeks of arriving late, doing a sloppy job, my friend noticed three thousand euros in cash was missing from her (unlocked) home office desk drawer. Not a pleasant feeling. And of course, impossible to prove.

It is easy to be too trusting. And if you are responsible for taking on part time or full time help, you will want to trust them. You will have a hard time accepting the fact that a trusted employee is stealing money, time, equipment or products. It has been estimated that in the USA one third of all employees steal from their employers. The prevalence in underdeveloped areas and countries is probably much higher. Think about installing a simple closed circuit television system when you are not there. If you make it public to your employees, it will act as a deterrent. It is a way to still have your eyes and ears open, even when you are not there. The prices of this kind of surveillance equipment are coming down all the time.

You have probably invested a substantial amount of cash in business equipment. Take the time to make sure that it is all marked with a security marker pen. Pay particular attention to small removable items, like laptop computers, calculators, fax machines.

Be aware that locks only slow down a thief. They don’t keep them out. Quality locks with substantial deadbolts will help. Pay attention to adequate lighting. Remember that thieves don’t like light, noise, dogs or anything which draws attention to the area in which they are trying to operate.

Take great care with your business keys. Have a key register and keep a record of who has what keys, the dates they were given out, and by whom. Before you use your key register, ensure that you have noted how many of each key there is. Don’t label them with addresses or specific information as to where they unlock. Instead, use a code only you know. Such as, O1, O2 – meaning office keys number one and two. Then if they are lost, and found by someone unscrupulous, the key will not lead them to your door.

New businesses tend to be more trusting of accepting checks because they are trying to build the business and want to attract customers. Crooks realize this. They thrive in these situations. Establish a firm procedure with which you are comfortable and believe is equable, then no matter what, stick with it. One exception to the rule may cost you dearly.

So no matter how busy you are, take some time to implement just some of these protection ideas. In the long run, you know it makes sense.