With burglaries in Australia rising and commercial businesses at the greatest risk, it is important for all small business owners to take some proactive measures to protect themselves from theft. “Theft and professional liability insurance can help your business after the fact, but preventing the events from ever happening is the key.”
Every business owner should take proactive measures to protect their company from burglaries. Statistics reveal that someone is burgled in Australia every minute and that commercial businesses are more at risk than households.
It is estimated that crime costs Australian businesses up to $800 million each year. That’s a huge amount.
In addition to protecting the financial stability of your company against theft and burglary, you also have a duty of care, as an employer, to keep your workplace as safe as possible.
There are a number of ways that you can maintain a safe environment and protect your company in terms of its premises, resources and intellectual property.
Research the safety of the area your business is located in – call the local police station and speak to surrounding businesses about the safety of the area. This will help you determine what level of protection you need.
Invest in a security alarm – there are a number of different security systems on the market which are specifically designed to help provide small businesses with effective, yet affordable security. Some systems come with a small equipment cost and installation fee and a low monthly monitoring fee.
Apply for burglary insurance – take out an insurance policy that protects your company’s property if it is stolen or damaged as a result of theft. There are six main things you should look for in this type of insurance policy:
1. what the policy covers
2. what the additional benefits are
3. what the exclusions are
4. what the conditions are
5. what the optional extras are
6. what the excess is.
Protect your intellectual property – a lot of companies put more emphasis on protecting their physical resources like their premises and resources rather than their intellectual property. In this digital age, most of our intellectual property is stored on our computers. To protect this, computers require top of the line virus protection, access passwords, offsite back-up service and disaster recovery storage. Disaster recovery storage is extremely important in the event that computers are not stolen, but rather damaged.
For intellectual property that is stored in filing cabinets and drawers combination locks will offer protection.
Change your locks, passwords and security combinations regularly – locks, passwords and security combinations should be changed in line with staff turnover. If your staff turnover is relatively small you should think about changing passwords quarterly and locks and combinations annually in any case.
Protecting your business is not a one-off activity. It is something that you need to re-evaluate as your company changes and grows. Frequently evaluating your security measures is extremely important especially when it comes to your insurance cover. The first step of an effective security re-evaluation is to assess the value of your contents in relation to the amount of cover you have. The alarm system you take out initially may need upgrading down the track and the insurance policy may need be revised.
Author Bio: Tom Mallet is an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics, including offsite back-up service .