As a proud business owner, you do everything you can to protect your business. Whether it’s providing proper training to your employees, implementing workplace safety standards or upgrading your antivirus software, you make an effort to address the unique risks that come with being a business owner. You’re careful to monitor your store and take careful measures to prevent theft. But even the leeriest of small business owners needs to close shop occasionally.
As the holiday season approaches, so too does your time off. You go about your usual routine with hyper vigilance as you place valuables into the safe, turn off lights, set your alarm system, and remind your employees to triple check the locks. But the possibility of theft or damage to your storefront, property, and business is still there. From January to April of 2020, Toronto reported a 47% increase in commercial break-and-enters compared to the previous year. Although various law officers believe that low foot traffic and business shutdowns at the hands of the pandemic have helped fuel the increase, these statistics are a stark reminder that businesses are vulnerable to theft year-round.
So, rather than spending your time off worrying about potential break-ins, Acumen has collected these tips on protecting your business! Taking precautionary measures and updating your business insurance policy can help you safeguard your business for the holiday season.
Prevent Break-ins at Your Small Business
Although it’s tempting to install an alarm system and call it a day, small business owners can also use a combination of the following suggestions to deter possible theft:
- Get Security Cameras
Multiple security cameras are useful against theft and can be used during and after hours to provide you with a valuable record of customers and employees as they enter and exit your store.
Make sure your cameras are positioned to capture various angles of your shop so that they can capture a detailed image of the day’s events. It’s also a good idea to install a camera in your parking lot, especially if it’s located behind your store and beyond sightlines.
- Make Sure Your Store is Well-Lit
In addition to leaving some inside lights on to create the illusion of occupancy, small business owners should also make sure there is ample lighting outside. A well-lit shop exterior will deter theft and ensure that whatever footage you get is highly visible. Consider getting motion sensor lights, too.
- Upgrade Your Windows
Big display windows might look great, but can they protect your store against vandalism and theft? Traditional glass varieties are fragile, so opting for a tempered or laminated glass could help reduce the risk of smashed windows. Stronger windows will make it more difficult for burglars to break the glass on the first try, which will deter them from making additional attempts. Installing bars on doors or windows will offer additional protection in the event that the glass fails.
- Leave Your Cash Drawer Open
Leaving your drawers open for thieves to see seems counterintuitive. However, you don’t want to leave any drawers unattended: displaying the empty drawers, after you’ve taken the cash and deposited it somewhere safe, will show that you’ve got nothing of value that’s worth taking. Burglars will see no sense in rooting around for money that isn’t there.
- Maintain Your Property
The pride that your take in your business could be the ultimate theft deterrent! A clean, well-maintained property signals that someone is around. Letting grass grow, allowing exterior paint to peel, and leaving dated promotional materials displayed are all indicative of a seldomly used space. An attractive and vibrant business can be enough to deter most crimes.
- Get Insurance Coverage
Consult an experienced insurance broker to find out what coverage options are available to you. In addition to protecting you against professional liability claims, a business insurance policy can help small businesses recover following damage to their building, or loss of property due to theft. Smaller businesses are eligible to receive the same type of coverage that large businesses or corporations do, including protection for contents and damage, and specialized claims advice. Find out if you’re covered by speaking with a licensed insurance broker!
As various levels of government across Ontario attempt to control the spread of COVID-19, business owners have become increasingly vulnerable to risks imposed by new restrictions. Reduced hours, vacant stores, and fewer staff can make it more difficult for owners to keep an eye on their assets. CBC has reported that since the start of the outbreak, crime rates across Canada have increased and have predominantly affected small business owners.
Find Business Insurance that Works for You
Despite the upward trend in crime, we want to remind business owners that they have the power and ability to keep their business safe. Regardless of whether you’re closed for the holidays or just for the evening, protecting your assets from theft and damage is at the forefront of most business owner’s minds, especially following closures during the pandemic. In fact, when you have bills to pay, people to manage, and projects to complete, the last thing you need is to spend money on repairs or to cover the cost of stolen items. Protect your business by following these procedures to decrease your losses, and help you get back to normal. Get in touch with us today to discover how personalized business insurance coverage can work for you.