No matter the size of a business, the need for some level of security is essential. Thankfully, as technology becomes more affordable and widespread, small businesses are able to protect both their property and data to a high level in a way that was not possible a few years ago.
Why Do Small Businesses Require Security Systems?
While many assume that the need for a security system for small business is minor, the fact is there are specific problems for such a size of company. Almost half of cyber attacks are directed at small businesses and what may appear to be insignificant vandalism can have a profound effect on start-ups or those with a small turnover.
Other than peace of mind, which is by no means an insignificant consideration, security systems are beneficial in some obvious and some not so obvious ways.
A business’s employees are its biggest asset, so providing a safe and secure work environment is essential, both legally and morally. This becomes particularly important if your staff are dealing with members of the public on premises that have high value equipment or large amounts of cash. A well maintained fire alert system is also a major consideration for all businesses.
Theft of physical property, such as stock or equipment, is always a worry for business owners, and small businesses are particularly vulnerable to its effects due to what can be typically small profit margins. Such threats come from both customers and staff, and a toxic atmosphere in the workplace from suspicion can have a profound effect on a business. Security systems not only provide peace of mind for business owners, they can also make employees feel secure in the knowledge that a well designed system will exonerate them from suspicion.
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Protect Against Fraud
In an increasingly litigious environment, businesses are often the target of claims made by fraudsters. Although many do not even make it to court, the worry, potential cost and complications that arise from such claims can be profoundly problematic. Security systems are the first and most important method of combating this threat.
Insuring property against crime and accidents is a costly endeavour, even if a business has low value assets. Even the most basic entry level system can bring your insurance premiums down considerably, making it even more cost efficient than it may first appear.
Types and Costs
Which type of security system you require, and the level of features inherent in each system, will depend on a number of factors. For small businesses, however, cost efficiency is one of the most important considerations.
When mentioning business security, the likelihood is the first type of system you will think of is video surveillance. Gone are the days of blurry pictures, intermittent picture taking and video tape libraries, which were often taped over within days to keep down costs. Modern video surveillance systems are able to store large amounts of information for little cost, and with clear picture quality.
Systems start from around a few hundred pounds, but should you need full coverage and several cameras, you can pay as much as £500 per camera. If you have large premises, it is therefore best you prioritise certain areas to keep costs down.
Burglar alarm systems are best implemented for companies who wish to monitor break ins, particularly during out of work hours. While some systems are linked to security firms, who can monitor everything from glass breaking to motion detection, for small businesses, unmonitored alarms, which only emit a loud noise, are typically only employed as a method of prevention.
These DIY systems are affordable, particularly for smaller properties, and can be implemented for as little as £100, but it is not advisable to use basic level alarms as a stand alone system. Privately monitored alarm systems start from around £100 per month, and are advisable if your business’s equipment is of a high enough value. Costs should also be considered in relation to money saved on insurance.
It is legally incumbent for all businesses to employ a fully functioning fire alarm system in their property, and while it should not need pointing out that employee lives are the most important factor, the devastation on businesses from fire means that early smoke detection is vital.
Basic level fire alarms are of a high enough standard to detect problems and small businesses should be able to install a system for as little as a few hundred pounds. The real issue regarding fire alarm systems is employing a company that knows which devices are necessary and where they should be deployed. Maintaining the equipment is also essential, so obtaining advice from a competent supplier, or monitoring service, is also an important consideration.
The first consideration for all businesses regarding security is finding the right supplier. There are many choices available to small businesses, so it is essential to access a company with the right reputation.
Some of the most highly regarded include: