If you run a retail business then one of your main priorities should be keeping it safe for both your customers and employees, as well as improving security to protect your stock. If a criminal were to gain access to your business, it would have a huge impact and not just financially, but also perhaps physically or mentally, for anyone involved.
Offences against business are estimated to make up a shocking 20% of all recorded crime in the UK, with cyber crime costing businesses more than £21billion a year.
But, how do you ensure that your retail business is safe and secure? Well, here are six steps you NEED to take:
Step 1: Carry out a risk assessment
Every business is slightly different, so first, you need to carry out a risk assessment – so you can discover the key ways you could and should protect your retail business. Use this Commercial Security Risk Assessment from Thames Valley Police to help you. This will enable you to assess the risk to your company in terms of criminal activity, detail any security already in place, identify what extra security you need and enable you to carry out regular checks.
Step 2: Secure your premises
Securing your premises is an effective way to deter any potential thieves but also gives you more chance of catching them if they do continue to commit the crime. This may include installing a security alarm system (with signs to warn of its presence), setting up surveillance cameras, employing a security guard or adding another layer to windows and doors with Security Roller Shutters. You can find a variety of security on websites such as SecurityDirect.
Step 3: Put a senior member of the team in charge of security
This member of the team should be informed of any security issues and these should be logged and any problems resolved ASAP. Whilst one person is in charge, all staff should highlight any problems and take on some responsibility for the overall security of the business. Likewise, there should also be a strict policy on keys and access – it is important that all key holders are kept up-to-date on any changes to security.
Step 4: Conduct a background check on employees
You must ensure that those closest to the business aren’t the ones threatening the safety and security of you’ve created. This is why it is very important, every time you take on a new employee, to check their references as well as their employment history. As above, always be cautious when granting access to keys and security codes. Be clear on policies surrounding theft, ensure all staff are aware of these and act on any incidences. Keep a close eye on till money and any petty cash, as both of these are particularly vulnerable to employee theft.
Step 5: Protect information from theft
To protect information, which includes client’s financial records and employee details, use access controls on computers, these will restrict entry and regularly review who has access to these. Also, ensure your systems are well protected by installing firewalls and anti-virus software.
Step 6: It is important to do regular checks!
It is very important to do regular checks as criminals find more sophisticated methods to commit their crimes. Ensure all security is in good working conditions and up-to-date, change passwords regularly and carry out training to keep staff informed of procedures.
It is better to take precautions now and avoid anything ever happening – rather than waiting for an incident to occur in order to take these steps.