Good security is just as important to a small business as solid marketing and a great product. The Electronic Security Association (ESA) recently hosted a roundtable of four American small business security experts. They discussed how small businesses’ should identify their security needs. Following are a few highlights that can help you get started.
Small Business Security Tips
On Upgrading or Buying a New Security System
According to the experts, having the right perspective is critical. Roger Parks, Executive Director of Business Development for Select Security, says small business owners will need to balance expectations and cost.
“A perfect example in this situation is when a business owner says, “I want to see the license plate on the cars that drive by my business.” That’s great — NCIS makes this look really easy on television, but in the real-world it is a costly endeavor. The question a business owner should be asking is what do I really need to see? Do I need to see the color of the car, where that car is going or the activity of the people in that car?” he says in an Electric Security Association release.
On NCIS Detail
Jamie Vos, General Manager of Security Solutions says a system for $50,000 will capture NCIS detail but a $5,000 system will most likely meet 90 percent of small business expectations.
The first step is to decide how detailed you need the technology to be. For example, you might run a restaurant in a rural location. The make, model and color of a vehicle should be enough to identify it when there’s less likely to be two of the same around your business.
On Picking the Right Technology
Parks also told the roundtable small businesses’ interest in video surveillance systems is cresting. In a media release from the Electronic Security Association, he also says the smartphone is invaluable for making security videos accessible and for other important business functions.
“You can look at archived video, view live video, adjust your thermostat, arm and disarm your system, see when your system was turned on or off, and now you can use the actual smart phone itself as the credential to open the door,” Parks says.
Vos adds that access control to buildings is critical. With the right electronic system, there’s no need to re-key locks when someone leaves. You just delete them from the data base.
These technologies are especially important for small business owners that need to travel. You can see what’s going on at your business even when you’re not there and who is coming and going. Make sure any security provider you’re thinking of using understands video and smartphone technology and can show you how they work together.
On The Most Important Advice
Joe Mitton, Director of Marketing and Communications for Select Security says asking the right questions draws a straight line to the right security system.
“If I were the small business owner, I would ask, ‘What types of security technologies are businesses like mine using? How are they using them? What are the drawbacks and what are the benefits?’” Mitton explains in the release. These three questions can act as a jumping off point for small business owners looking to find security that’s a proven fit.
Lucas Ingala, Owner of Watchmen Security Services adds small business owners should look at buying security like entering a relationship. Ingala says educating yourself and getting two or three quotes is important. Making sure you’re comfortable with the person and company you choose should be at the top of any small business owner’s list.
Small businesses can start by doing some research and getting a few names of security companies in their area.
On Whittling Them Down
Whittling them down is about working through the various systems to determine how detailed they really need to be and how expensive. Work through the advice above and you’ll identify your needs. Finally, make sure security companies are listening to you and not just trying to sell you their products. A good provider will design a system around what you tell them you need.
The Electronic Security Association was established in 1948. It is the largest American trade association representing the electronic security and life safety industries.