Being an entrepreneur is certainly gratifying, but it isn’t all fun and games. Many new business owners launch their ventures, expecting to have more freedom and free time. Sadly, between marketing, accounting, customer service, and more, there are very few hours to relax. What makes business ownership that much more stressful are the countless risks involved. Although large ventures often make the headlines, small companies are always being targeted by crooks. With that in mind, here fourteen essential security tips you must know to protect your business. 

  1. Conduct A Risk Review

Thefts, especially those committed against a business, are usually random attacks. They are conducted by individuals who saw an opportunity and chose to take it. That is why you should carry out regular risk reviews of your venture. All companies legally must conduct reviews to look for dangers, but this assessment will identify vulnerabilities that crooks could exploit. Once you know of any risks in and around the business, you can take steps to minimise your vulnerability. 

  1. Lock Up The Building

Most business premises are much more than four walls. That building is the heart of your venture, housing inventory, equipment, and cash, among other things. Having many expensive items inside would make your premises appealing to crooks. Because of this, you must make it difficult for them to get inside. The easiest way to do this is to lock every window and door. Make sure that you only give keys to those you trust and only leave an entrance open if it’s monitored. 

  1. Work On Kerb Appeal

Although we’re told to never judge a book by its cover, image is everything in the business world. The appearance of your premises tell a story and give passersby plenty of information. A clean and tidy exterior shows a venture built around professionalism, while litter and graffiti suggest a lack of care. Not only could the latter put off customers, but it might attract criminal behaviour. To keep that from happening, you should work on kerb appeal by cleaning the building exterior. 

  1. Use The Right Deterrents

A sturdy lock might keep criminals away after hours, but it won’t stop them from coming inside your business when the store is open. Thankfully, there are plenty of other deterrents that can. Investing in CCTV installation, for example, would not only put criminals off the idea of attacking your business but catch them in the act if they do. Burglar alarms are another feature that will make crooks think twice. Make sure that people are aware of these devices by hanging signs. 

  1. Check New Hires’ References

Every business owner eventually needs to hire their first employee. When the time comes to do so, make sure that you remember to check their references. The hiring process is long and exhausting, which is why many hiring managers try to get it over with quickly. However, you shouldn’t skip this essential step. Unless you check the references given to you, it’s impossible to know whether your new hire is genuine. This could leave you with untrustworthy employees.

  1. Give Staff Security Training

Criminal activity could strike your business on any day. Because of this, you must make sure that your employees always know how to handle emergency situations. Procedures must be put in place for robberies, terrorist attacks, fires, and other dangerous events. Giving security training to employees, will ensure that these procedures are taught, along with other crucial information. This training should be updated and repeated often to remind staff of anything they must know.

  1. Have Computer Access Levels

Advancements in technology mean that cybercriminals are a larger threat today than they ever have been. Thankfully, there are more ways to defend against them too. Whether your venture uses one computer or an entire network, you must designate a username for every employee. This allows you to limit the access of each user depending on the employee’s place in the business.  Doing this means that hacker will have a harder time accessing sensitive data. 

  1. Update Any Online Security

Firewalls, antivirus software, and other online security measures are invaluable to a business. Unfortunately, they aren’t always effective. If you put off important software updates, you could leave your business vulnerable to hackers and other cybercriminals. After all, most updates are made to patch up any previously unseen problems. Unless you update your security software, these issues won’t be fixed. That is why you should check for software updates regularly. 

  1. Store On The Cloud

Environmental concerns mean that businesses today are expected to do more to lower their carbon footprint. An effective way of doing this is by using cloud storage. Keeping important documents on the cloud, rather than in filing cabinets means that less paper is wasted. What’s more, this is much more secure. After all, even without a key, any determined criminal could get into a filing cabinet. Cloud-based data is encrypted, so even hackers have issues accessing it.

  1. Trash Sensitive Paper Waste

While you should store documents online when possible, there will be instances when a hard copy must be kept. If there ever comes a time when that document is no longer needed, you should dispose of it in the proper way. Anyone could get into your rubbish, after all, which means that any files thrown out shouldn’t be intact. To keep sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands, make sure that you trash all business documents by putting them through a shredder. 

  1. Offer Cashless Payment Options

Only allowing cash payments means that you’ll have lots of money at your premises. This would make you a target for thieves and increase your potential losses. That is why you should offer cashless payment options, including credit and debit card payments. Even with these extra payment options, you must still visit the bank often. Leaving cash locked away for weeks or months will allow a large sum to build, which asks for as much trouble as cash-only stores do. 

  1. Be friendly With Customers

Criminals are very rarely monsters. Instead, they’re merely opportunistic or desperate. This means that you could benefit hugely from being friendly to every customer. A warm and kind attitude might discourage potential crooks from taking advantage since they won’t want to harm a good person. This will only work if your entire workforce acts as friendly as you do. Because of this, you must give customer service training and show exactly what you expect from staff. 

  1. Write A Visitor’s Policy

Countless people visit your business premises every day. From contractors to family members, none of these people are employed directly by you. This means that they could pose a threat to your company. Writing a visitor’s policy should limit the risk these people represent. There are many rules you could include in your policy, including one that states all visitors must be escorted by a staff member. If every permitted visitor has an escort, you can spot anyone who wasn’t let inside. 

  1. Speak With An Expert

Security is a complicated area of business ownership. Because every venture is unique, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all security solution. Every business faces its own threats, so every one must be protected differently. Rather than attempt this task alone, you should consult with an expert. They will carry out a risk review, look into any threats, and offer solutions on ways to resolve them. This advice is invaluable and ensures that no vulnerability is missed. 

Protecting your business is important, so remember the essential security advice above.