As part of your business strategy, you must consider loss prevention and take steps to avoid incidents such as shoplifting, theft, robbery, skimming, fraud, and other crimes that can affect your profits. Here we outline 8 loss prevention tips and how to’s for businesses.
Why You Need Loss Prevention
In everyday life, people may be tempted to steal or cheat for different reasons, including easy access to the intended target, lack of known repercussions or simply because the act seems petty or insignificant. For businesses, theft is not always restricted to guests, patrons, and customers; more times than not the theft involves your own employees who may know the ins and outs of the daily operation. Typically, theft occurs because of three things, motive, opportunity, and rationalization.
Motive: Often, people steal due to greed, addictions, financial hardship, lack of incentives/benefits and even revenge.
Opportunity: Many thieves steal because the opportunity presents itself and they think they won’t get caught; it’s easy money. It’s that simple.
Rationalization: Oftentimes, a thief will rationalize that it’s okay to steal because others have more than they do or they deserve it (low salary, lack of benefits, etc.)
Regardless of the reason, as a business owner you must prepare for and expect theft to happen and your best best defense is to have a solid loss prevention plan. Although you cannot prevent all losses, you can follow these 8 loss prevention tips to create circumstances that more effectively deter crime:
Physical Security: Hire trained security officers to monitor the premises and watch for suspicious activity to help prevent crime — position guards at entrances and exits for efficiency. Organize your store, so it is easy for security personnel or employees to see if anyone is stealing. Strategically positioned mirrors can help you with this.
Surveillance Cameras: Installing surveillance cameras can be a solid deterrent to crime. Additionally, if something does happen, your security personnel can review the footage to identify suspects.
Lighting and Security: Install good lighting within your building. Typically, thieves will want to operate in dark corners. Install security systems on products and displays with alarms. You can also use electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags that set off an alarm at the door if someone tries to remove an item without paying for it.
Cash Handling and Policies: Develop security policies and have all your employees and management buy-in. Have specific cash handling procedures that include built-in security and protection.
Employee Training: Train your employees to spot suspicious behavior and report it to management immediately. Deputizing your entire staff expands your security network and offers you better protection.
Security System: Install a high-quality security system with sensors on doors and windows and anti-theft measures. Many systems include product theft prevention, alerts, emergency notifications, etc. Be sure to post notices that a security system protects your premises. That alone may deter some thieves.
Carefully Track Inventory: Use a POS system connected to your registers to carefully track your inventory and watch for any discrepancies between your expected and actual counts.
Carefully Vet New Hires: Carefully vet every new employee with a thorough background check.
As a general rule, be vigilant and look for red flags that indicate there may be a problem. Something as simple as physical things being out of place, employees working after hours on their own or unusual transactions. Contact DMAC Security if you need help securing your business to prevent loss. We have been in the business of securing people, places, and things for more than 30 years.