It’s been reported that over 70% of businesses involved in a major fire either do not reopen, or fail within three years of the incident. Add to that the total average cost of burglaries across the lifespan of a business amounting to £13,750 (an average of £3,000 per crime or fire), and that’s a big financial loss to a SME. For some, this could mean the difference between survival or failure; but what can you do to protect yourself?
Whether your business operates in the retail industry, or a more office-based sector such as a law firm or recruitment agency, investing in a smart physical security system for your business premises is a core element of survival, particularly with so many businesses failing during their first year of trade. And while investing in cyber security measures continues to be vitally important for businesses of all sizes, with over four in ten of all UK businesses suffering a breach or attack in the past 12 months, many businesses neglect the physical security of their premises, and the valuable assets contained within.
Cyber and physical security should go hand in hand for all SMEs, but it can be difficult to know and prioritise which aspects to invest in upfront. With so many things to consider, such as the hefty cost of renting or buying office space, employee wages and of course your own wages, it’s all too easy to forget the importance of protecting your premises from a variety of potential dangers, including; intruders, staff theft, environmental dangers and even fire hazards, including arson. What’s even easier to forget, is how much money you can save in the long run by protecting yourself from these dangers.
With so many smart business security solutions on offer, the biggest challenge for SMEs is deciding which provider to invest in, and the one that will give you the greatest benefits. Most crucially however, it’s important to invest in a smart business security solution that gives you multiple benefits, rather than just one, as outlined below.
Peace of Mind
There are several different types of security system available to SMEs, but the best is undeniably a monitored security system. An alternative to a potentially less reliable DIY system that while sometimes cheaper can be time consuming to set up with a much larger margin for technical error, a monitored security system gives you complete peace of mind. Installed and set up by a team of security professionals, taking away the stress of DIY set-up, monitored security systems also come complete with a dedicated team of monitoring specialists, keeping a watchful eye over your business premises 24 hours a day so you don’t have to.
Instead of being glued to a DIY security system’s portal, obsessing over every motion-detected trigger, you can leave this in the capable hands of this expert team. They will acknowledge any alarm triggers within seconds, leaving you free to run your business in peace, safe in the knowledge that your assets are safe and secure.
Whilst most employees are honest, there is always the occasional bad egg. According to research, over two thirds of British office based staff admitted to stealing from their workplace. It’s these employees that contribute to the total average cost of staff theft across the lifespan of a business adding up to a staggering £22,367. Installing a monitored security system, complete with CCTV and remote access control, means SMEs can keep an eye on key staff areas, such as stock rooms, server rooms and cash offices, while also acting as a deterrent for any dishonest characters.
While CCTV is the easiest method of catching rogue employees in the act, remote access controls offer a more preventative measure. Remote access control gives business owners complete control over who moves in and out of their premises, restricting who comes and goes with anything from key card access to audio and video entry, protecting your most valuable assets, granting access only to those you trust most within your business.
Monitoring live CCTV feeds within your business, particularly one that has customer service and sales sites, enables you to monitor any potential issues on the shop floor. These issues could include anything from growing queues that can be addressed by deploying additional staff, nipping any potential complaints in the bud, to clearing up trip hazards instantly in order to adhere to health and safety regulations, improving overall customer experience and satisfaction.
Cash Flow & Compliance
Since the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, businesses no longer need to worry just about their digital data being hacked in the cloud; protecting physical data is just as important. Installing a monitored security system protects your business premises and the sensitive physical data within, such as printed invoices or confidential contracts. Theft of this sensitive data could land small businesses with a fine of up to €20million, or four percent of the businesses’ annual global turner, whichever is higher.
While the fee for a data breach under GDPR varies depending on the severity and sensitivity of the data stolen, and it is highly unlikely that small business will face the full €20million fine, that doesn’t mean you should be complacent. In fact 37% of UK businesses are still not GDPR compliant, with more than a third continuing to send newsletters without prior approval from recipients, and more than a quarter admitting they haven’t secured their data against ransomware attacks. Installing a monitored security system is a step in the right direction towards compliance, and avoiding potentially hefty fines.
For small businesses that operate in the retail and sales spaces, protecting your stock from thieves and potential fire hazards is vital. When it comes to fire safety, it’s not only your valuable stock that is at risk, but the safety of your staff and customers. With a robust monitored security system in place that offers early detection of fire and smoke hazards, you can rest assured that your stock, employees and customers are safe and secure.
Setting up on your own as an SME is a bold decision, and not one that should be taken lightly. It can be stressful, so don’t take it all on yourself. You can’t put a price on security, so invest upfront and let someone take on the burden of protecting your physical business assets, ensuring your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
Lee Jasper, Head of Product Management at ADT
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