Is your business as well-protected as it should be? Do you really know what goes on when you're not there to see it firsthand? Running your own business is one of the most rewarding ways of earning a living, but it also leaves you with the responsibility of protecting the company and people who help you make it all possible.
One of the best ways to protect your place of business, employees and customers is to integrate video surveillance into your security system, providing a watchful eye to deter crime and keep you informed. Wondering what type of role security cameras can play in your company? Here are 10 ways that you can protect your business with video surveillance.
- Monitor Stock Rooms
Whether you're in retail or just oversee the office supply closet, installing a security camera to monitor comings, goings and product removal can greatly cut down on your losses. Video surveillance can clue you into employees who may be pilfering merchandise when they think no one is looking, or help you zone in on people who stock up on company-purchased pens, paper and printer cartridges for personal use.
Surveillance cameras are also an excellent for use in, and just outside of, remote stock rooms located in the back access hallways of shopping malls. Not only do they allow you to monitor access to the stock rooms, but can also increase employees' safety when they need to make stock runs through these isolated, otherwise unseen areas.
- Keep an Eye on Back Alleys and Rear Entrances
Many restaurants and strip mall retail stores have back doors that open onto alleys or parking areas, and these entrances can be prime targets for criminals looking to gain access to safes and back-office money-handling areas. Installing video monitoring systems near back entrances not only allows you to record any attempt at forced entry, but also lets employees make sure that the area is safe before opening the door to accept a delivery, take out trash or step out on break.
- Increase the Safety of Parking Areas
While customer satisfaction is the top priority of many business owners and managers, it doesn't mean much if your customers and their vehicles aren't safe when they’re on your property. Employee safety is of no less importance, especially if they're required to walk to and from their vehicles in the dark at extremely early or late hours. Video surveillance of parking areas can greatly curb vehicle break-ins and vandalism, as well as increase the personal safety of customers and employees as they enter and exit their cars.
- Monitor Cash Handling and POS Transactions
Concerned that money is being skimmed from bank deposits, cashiers are ringing in unauthorized discounts or that your bartenders are giving away a few too many free drinks? Installing security cameras with a bird's eye view of cash registers, POS terminals and other cash handling areas will let you clearly see when business is being conducted as expected, and when you're losing money.
- Prevent Robberies and Catch Criminals
It's a simple fact: businesses armed with video security systems are far less attractive to potential thieves than those that don't use surveillance. After all, it's a lot safer and easier to commit a crime when you have very little risk of being seen or caught. Because they silently declare "I'm watching you," conspicuous surveillance cameras are a very effective deterrent to break-ins and other illegal activity.
However, cameras aren't always a foolproof safety measure, because while most criminals are wary of being seen on video, a small percentage will still go through with their plans, anyway. But here's the good news: video surveillance helps catch thieves. In many cases, footage from business security cameras has helped police track down criminals and recover stolen property, even in a few instances where the cameras belonged to neighboring businesses.
- Monitor Employee Conduct
Ever wonder what your employees really do when you're not around? Whether you travel frequently or just aren't stationed at the center of the action, video surveillance can be an easy and effective way to monitor on-the-job employee conduct. Placing cameras in common areas and near workspaces lets you see what's going on throughout your facility, and can help to curb excessive on-the-clock socializing and increase productivity.
- Make Sure that After-Hours Cleaning and Maintenance Crews are Doing Their Job
At the end of the day, you and your staff shut down, lock up and go home – just in time for your overnight cleaning and maintenance contractors to arrive. If you're unsure of whether or not after-hours crews are completing all the work you're paying them for, check up from time to time by way of archived video footage, or even keep track remotely, in real-time, with streaming internet cameras.
- Keep an Eye on Loading Docks
Loading docks can be tricky – they not only provide a way for unauthorized items to leave your business, but also become a less-obvious entry point for enterprising thieves. Installing CCTV security cameras gives you an unobtrusive way to monitor what – and who – goes into and out of your shipping and receiving areas.
- Screen Who You Buzz In Through a Locked Front Door
High-end art, jewelry, coin and antique sellers who deal in rare and valuable merchandise often operate on a by-appointment-only basis, or at least keep their doors locked to buzz in customers upon arrival. Going by voice intercom alone can be a risk, as you can't see the person waiting to be let in. Closed–circuit video is a convenient way to verify who is at the door, and whether or not they may be a security risk to you or your business.
- Save on Insurance Premiums
Last but not least, a video security system can save you and your business money – and in more than one way. In addition to preventing loss of property and cash from the inside, surveillance cameras also prevent acts of theft and vandalism by outside individuals, which would require reimbursement payouts from your insurance company. As a result, insurers often grant discount premiums to camera-protected businesses, on account that they are a much lower payout risk than camera-free properties.