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Should your small business invest in manned security?

Criminals don't tend to discriminate when it comes to the size of their targets. Just about every business, whether it's run from a home office or a sprawling corporate campus, can fall victim to burglaries, break-ins and deliberate damage.

However, it's often smaller firms - with thinner budgets and tighter margins - that suffer the most. Plus, a Federation of Small Business survey from May found that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of these firms feel that crimes against them are "often overlooked" in law enforcement.

Should your small business invest in manned security?

This is evidently a market that could benefit from manned security, providing a proactive defence against criminals who generally won't later be caught by police. However, if you're a small business owner, bringing guards onto your premises might seem like too big an investment to consider. Compared to locks, alarms and even CCTV cameras, it's a major outlay for a firm with perhaps a few dozen employees.

Depending on the value of your assets, though, it may well pay off. Here are a few of the factors you should consider.

Calculating return on investment

It may sound obvious, but a decision to invest in manned security should be based first and foremost by an analysis of the cost versus what your business stands to lose to crime. If your assets are of high value and likely to be targeted by thieves, it's logical to deploy commensurate security.

Remember, of course, that manned security isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. As a small business, you've got a few different options when it comes to bringing guards onto your premises. You can hire in-house, work with a provider like Storm Operative Security, or pay for a mobile check-in service rather than a constant presence.

Also, note that return on investment isn't entirely predicated on protecting your equipment and inventory. There are indirect benefits as well, such as increased morale and productivity because staff feel safer and better looked-after. Simple things like having guards escort individuals to their cars after dark can significantly improve your business' image, and employee satisfaction and retention into the bargain.

Serving other areas of the business

Manned security can be profitable for a small business in other respects, too. For one thing, forget the stereotypes - guards often shine in customer-facing roles, dealing with front-desk requests and escorting important clients around your premises in a way that impresses upon them a culture of the utmost professionalism and security.

You'd otherwise need to ask other workers or dedicated reception staff to conduct these duties, and it's often the case that a capable and personable guard will do the better job. As such, don't think that you're just investing in a proactive security presence - you're also increasing your capacity for effective customer service.

Want to learn more about manned security for your small business? Get in touch and we'll talk through your options.


Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of Thinkstock

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