For many people, the holidays are a happy
time - but the jolly feeling may be particularly strong for a small retailer
that is looking forward to hearing the jingle of the cash register. For many
retailers, the holidays offer their busiest period and here are some holiday
security tips to keep in mind.
Make certain you are prepared for a
potential flurry of extra shoppers by training staff members on how to manage
the rush. Emphasizing exceptional customer service can make a big difference to
stressed-out holiday shoppers. If you don't think your current staff will be
enough, consider taking on temporary help.
Physical security measures are frequently looked over during the holiday
season. During this very hectic time, business owners tend to focus on their
inventories, and the staffing issues they may face during this period. In fact,
this is the time when small business owners need to focus on updating their
physical security measures because the issues that physical security
encompasses- threats, practices, and protections. These are similar for
practically every site and small organization.
A good step to physically securing your
business is to formulate a written plan addressing your current physical
security needs and your intended future direction. Ideally, your physical security
plan should be part of your site's written security policy. If possible, this
plan should be reviewed by others for completeness. Your security plan should
include your inventory- i.e. the descriptions of the physical assets that you
are protecting; descriptions of the physical areas where the assets are located
on; and what measures may be used to identify any potential theft, making
certain that your security
perimeter is protected of an unwanted entry; and what security defenses
are existing- and ways of improving them.
Consider your security plan a sensitive document. By its very nature, it
contains detailed information on your defenses' weakest points.
A detailed security plan may seem like
overkill for smaller businesses. Nevertheless, simply enumerating the threats
and the measures that you are using to protect against them will serve you well
in understanding how to protect your assets. Is fire a possibility? If so, you
may wish to invest in a fireproof safe for backups, or you may wish to contract
with an off-site backup provider. Do you
back up your server but not your desktop PCs or POS (point of sale)
receipts? If so, you may wish to make
sure that people in your organization know this, so that they store files on
the file server and not on their computer's "desktop."
At the very least, you should ask yourself
these questions; If there were a fire in your building, does everyone know the
location of the Emergency Exits? Is the fire
alarm working? Do you have a map showing ‘YOU ARE HERE” available to enable
easy egress from your business during an emergency? What would you do when a
person has a breakdown or an angry outburst or they tried to attack someone in
your store? Does anybody other than you ever have physical access to your store
and if so what emergency policies and procedures are in place?
establish a communication and response policy in case of an emergency
situation. Lay out how the employees should respond to threats like an
intruder, attack or suspicious behavior. Identify the procedure for
communicating the threat to the rest of the staff, which may include an
intercom, telephone system or an alarm that is manually activated to indicate
danger. Plan for a backup method of communicating with others. You might also
identify an emergency meeting area that contains supplies like a first aid kit.
And after the
business closes for the day and everyone goes home, please remember that the holidays are a time to appreciate what we have
and enjoy the people in our lives.
Simple Steps for Securing your Small Business
Fire Safety Rules for your Business
Burglary Prevention: Risk Assessment for Small Business