The holiday season is a time when many entrepreneurs put their businesses aside temporarily and focus on spending quality time with family members and close friends. During this time, business owners close their shop or establishment for an extended period and reopen the following year.
Sadly, the holidays are not all good cheer and merrymaking. Thieves and other ill-intentioned individuals kick their stealing into high gear and target unguarded and unoccupied business establishments. HG.org, in fact, reveals that personal larceny and robbery spike by about 20 percent during December.
If you have plans to leave your establishment closed for the holidays, keep these tips in mind to help you safeguard your business while you’re on vacation:
1. Go Over Security Policies with Employees
Before everyone in the office goes on an extended break and come back next year, review the security policy of your company and make sure everyone is on the same page. A few points to go over include:
- Your company’s security action plan in the event of an emergency
- Guidelines for locking up valuables and personal items while everyone is on vacation
- The cybersecurity policy of your company
2. Combat Low-Tech Crime with High-Tech Security Solutions
Burglaries have happened for centuries, but you can fight back by installing top-of-the-line security solutions for your business, including reliable access control systems, motion detection cameras, cybersecurity software and alarm systems.
Once you’ve installed your security equipment, test all of them, so you know that they’re operating and reporting properly.
3. Refrain from Posting Your Holiday Hours
Some businesses advertise their operating hours during the holidays. This, however, is an unwise practice, as you’re letting criminals know when your business is unoccupied.
Rather than publish your holiday hours on your establishment’s windows and doors, post a simple sign that says, “Get in touch with us for holiday hours.” Alternatively, use an automated email response encouraging senders to reach out for holiday hours. Then, assign a staff member to respond to these calls.
4. Keep an Eye Out for Any Suspicious Activity
Before burglars rob a business, they hang around the vicinity of the target establishment. They usually take note of the company’s daily activities and observe the people coming in and out of the building. Once they can safely assume that the commercial space is empty, they strike as quickly as possible.
Before leaving for the holidays, check what’s happening around the vicinity of your business. Report suspicious people and activity to your local law enforcement authorities.
5. Perform Background Screening on Seasonal Workers
When you’ve hired seasonal employees to help with the holiday workload, take extra precautions. Conduct background checks to make sure that you don’t inadvertently invite a criminal to your premises.
Also, give adequate training to help your temp workers do their jobs right, but don’t provide access or insights that will encourage them to steal from your business.
Lastly, remember to disable the credentials or door passcodes of your workers when they’re no longer employed.
6. Shred Your Shipping Boxes
Businesses typically get an influx of deliveries during these busy times. They usually stock up on their products, so that they can sell more to customers.
Once you’ve finished emptying your shipping boxes, don’t simply dispose of these containers in a dumpster. Given that many of these boxes have information about their original contents, they serve as an advertisement to thieves, telling them the valuables that you’re getting from the shipper. So shred the boxes and place them all in a garbage bag before throwing them in the dumpster.
Follow these tips to safeguard your business from criminals. Don’t hesitate to go through this list again to keep your establishment secure. Santa checks his list twice — and so should you.