Theft from any business is bad news. But for small companies and start-ups, even small losses can have significant impact – even to the level of threatening the viability to continue. Securing against both internal and external theft is, therefore, vital, and putting a solid plan in place should be high priority.
The following discusses the crucial aspects every business owner should consider.
Internal and External Theft: the differences
While we’re sure it’s not necessary to teach businesses how to suck eggs, it’s worth covering the basics about internal and external theft.
- Internal theft: This is when the crime is committed by someone from inside your organisation. It includes the physical taking of stock or equipment, fraud and embezzlement.
- External theft: When someone who’s not employed or connected with the business steals, it’s known as external theft. This can take many forms, such as shoplifting, a break in or fraudulent returns.
Internal Theft Prevention
According to the Australian Retailers Association, internal theft is responsible for more than 40% of shrinkage for Aussie retail establishments. Add in the fact that each individual incident usually accounts for a higher value of loss than that of a single external theft, and that stealing from within tends to be more sophisticated and harder to detect, and you begin to realise how seriously this needs to be taken.
While no-one likes to think that a trusted employee would steal from them, it’s sadly an all-too-common occurrence.
Steps that help safeguard against internal theft include:
- Carrying out due diligence when making new hires: This means checking references and perhaps gaining a criminal record check.
- Draw up clear internal policies: Quick, effective action when internal theft is discovered is vital. Ensure that policies show exactly what will happen if an incident is discovered and make sure all employees are aware of this.
- Develop procedures that minimise opportunity: This might include using an external source to oversee accounts, keeping the books yourself (or checking them periodically) and not allowing the same person to carry out stock checks.
- Fit security cameras: Monitoring areas where employees could easily steal items should be considered a necessity. Stock rooms, office space and locker rooms (not toilets and bathrooms, obviously) are all locations where someone might take the opportunity to steal. Even what seems like incidental theft (office supplies, kitchen supplies) all add up, and, especially in the case of small businesses, are losses that can be ill-afforded.
- Vary your banking routine: Making regular trips to the bank to deposit funds may well be necessary, but doing it like clockwork is always a bad idea. Vary your route and time so there’s no chance a robbery can be planned around your schedule. While this is also relevant for preventing external theft, it’s worth remembering that many an inside job has occurred courtesy of information provided by an employee.
- Consider access control: Such a system allows you to know exactly who’s entered your premises and when, providing an extra security layer and deterrent against internal theft.
Whether or not you have a retail premises the following are all sensible precautions to take, as it’s pretty much a given that even the smallest office, workshop, warehouse or other business space will have – at the very least – expensive computer equipment and records of customer data.
- CCTV: With the technological advances we’ve enjoyed over the last decade, CCTV is no longer an expensive luxury. In fact, it’s virtually a necessity. Even the simplest of installations provides the ability to monitor premises remotely from a smart device of your choice.
- Alarm system: This should go hand in hand with your CCTV system. You can choose from a stand-alone configuration, a monitored service or something in between, whereby sensors will alert you (or a chosen person/service/police) if an intrusion is detected.
- Use security mirrors: Especially relevant in retail, the strategic placement of such mirrors help you and your employees monitor the whole premises.
- Train your staff: Instilling great customer service skills in your staff provides dual benefits. Firstly your customers get the required attention (and are therefore more likely to return). Secondly, helpful and ever-present members of staff are a big deterrent to shoplifters.
- Product placement: For store owners, place small items towards the back of the store and larger ones to the front. That way a would-be thief of a small item has to walk the whole way through to store to exit, rather than being able to grab and run.
Contact Crown Security to Upgrade Your Small Business Security Technology
Value for money is essential for small business expenditure. That’s why savvy company owners trust Crown Security for new installations and upgrades of their physical theft prevention components. From CCTV to alarm systems, security lighting to access control, their expert team will determine the best solution for you.
Contact us to find out more or call 08 9400 6000 for a no-obligation chat.
- Posted by admin
- On 09/06/2020