Top 10 security tips for your retail business
Security is vital consideration in all aspects of our lives.
Today, more than ever, there are unfortunately greater threats to both people and property. Although this is not something we should become alarmed by, it is an issue that we all need to be aware of.
The owners of all types of businesses, including shops and retail outlets, are not immune from this threat. In fact, these types of businesses can often be a prime target and consequently small business owners need to protect themselves accordingly.
Threats to business security can come in all forms and may include anything from fraud, and burglary to fire, vandalism and terrorist threats.
While a comprehensive Shop & Retail Insurance policy will help should the worst happen, proactive strategies should be put in place to minimise threats to security occurring.
Once implemented, these strategies should be reviewed regularly, at least annually, to ensure they continue to reflect the changing nature of your business as well as the environment in which you operate.
So, take a look around your business. How secure is it? Is the personal security of you, your staff and customers as protected as it can be? How vulnerable are property and stock?
Once you have assessed potential security issues, take action! Failure to put appropriate security measures in place not only leaves the way clear for thieves, it also impacts on your business insurance.
Your insurance company will require you to comply with their minimum security precautions for the type of business you run, such as the installation of a certain type of alarm or specific locks on external doors. Lack of compliance with the specified precautions may invalidate your policy and leave you dangerously exposed should an incident occur.
However, most business-owners want to go beyond just doing the bare minimum, understanding the importance of safeguarding the personal welfare of themselves, their staff and customers as well as the ability for their business to operate.
And just as selecting the right business insurance doesn’t work on a “one size fits all” approach, neither does your security planning.
A travel agency with no stock, only office equipment will have very different insurance needs to a jeweller who may have hundreds of thousands of pounds of stock on-hand.
Security planning does not necessarily have to involve sophisticated or expensive measures. A simple evaluation of potential risks and practical, cost-effective strategies could prevent considerable loss.
The following 10-point checklist provides a starting point for considering the security of your business premises:
1. Security lighting. Is security lighting installed throughout and around the premises? Are all lights operating? Is some lighting left on inside the business at night? Are entry and exits well lit?
2. Building design. Is the building solidly constructed so unauthorised access is restricted? Is there adequate protection against entry through the roof? Is the building secured to reduce the risk of vehicle ram raid?
3. Doors and window. Are the external doors and windows solidly constructed? Are they fitted with deadlocks? Are doors and windows locked at all times? Are skylights secured?
4. Property identification. Has the make, model and serial numbers of items such as computers, printers and photocopiers been recorded? Is your property photographed for identification?
5. Telephone. Are telephones pre-programmed with emergency contact numbers? Are telephone lines installed in such a way so they cannot be tampered with (particularly important if your alarm system is connected to your telephone line)?
6. Safes. Has a safe been installed? Is it appropriately positioned? Does it have a drop-chute facility? Is it kept locked?
7. Cash handling. Are there established cash handling procedures? Do you have irregular banking procedures? Is money counted out of public view? Do you use a company to transport cash?
8. Key and valuables control. Is there a key register? Are all keys secured? Do staff have somewhere to store their personal items securely? Is there restricted access to this area?
9. Alarm systems / surveillance equipment. Is an intruder alarm system installed? Is it monitored? Is surveillance equipment installed? Is footage recorded with the tapes kept for a minimum of seven days? Is there a fire alarm?
10. General. Are sensitive documents appropriately destroyed? Are computer passwords changed regularly? Do you have an emergency evacuation plan? Do staff know the plan?
In addition to the above checklist, the implementation of a security plan is an ideal time to review your business insurance. Consider:
• What does your Shop & Retail Insurance policy cover?
• Have you met all the minimum requirements stipulated in your policy?
• Have you updated your business insurance policy to reflect any new purchases or changes to your business?
• Do you need to upgrade your insurance to include add-ons such as stock protection, contents insurance or theft by employees?
Practical security planning, coupled with comprehensive and appropriate business insurance coverage, will ensure the safety of personnel and property in somewhat uncertain times.
Simply Business not only offers shop and retail customers a range of insurance quotes, but also has consultants on hand to talk through the different covers available and the security issues and requirements for them.
Purchasing business insurance with Simply Business is fast and easy. Unlike other comparison sites we take our service beyond the quotes – you can buy a policy in your own time, with full support from our insurance team.
Try it now – compare shop and retail insurance quotes online
This article was originally published on Simply Business.