Although it’s the big corporations that often garner the headlines, the reality is that a small to mid-size business is where most of America goes to work each day.
Statistics show us that 99 percent of independent enterprises employ fewer than 500 workers, yet account for more than half of the American workforce. Drilling down even further, nearly 20 million Americans work in companies with less than 20 employees.
Small business is really big business in the United States and although the scale is diminished, the issues these companies face are not. Like their larger corporate counterparts, they should be placing security concerns on the table alongside healthcare, payroll, and marketing.
Because as we all know, crime doesn’t discriminate by size. A small business is just as vulnerable and is probably less able to absorb the cost of a burglary, act of vandalism or a band of shoplifters.
Consider the example of thieves that recently targeted some car dealerships. These criminals stole wheels and rims from dozens of vehicles, costing these businesses thousands and thousands of dollars. While it isn’t known if these businesses had any type of security system in place, the reality is that small businesses often don’t make the investment because they see too many barriers.
Even if they can afford a system, they ask themselves: Who will run it? There isn’t likely to be a dedicated security director on board, but rather the task goes to someone whose job title involves finance or sales or even to the owner of the business.
And what about keeping up with technology? Again, asking someone to be responsible for managing a security system involving cameras, alarms and maybe even an access control system seems a daunting task, especially if they are dealing with disparate systems that require an individual to look at video, compare it to alarm or card data and then see how it all fits together.
Fortunately, the industry has responded by offering technology platforms that aren’t just enterprise-level systems passed on to small businesses, but rather are security offerings created to address the key concerns of these users: ease of use, minimal training, and the ability for the system to evolve along with the business.
Looking at a typical small business, such as a car dealership, we see that by bringing all the components together — video, intrusion and access control — it is possible for one person to easily move among different applications, especially when the system features a customizable dashboard. What can also make this type of system workable for the small business owner is that it is accessible not just in the office or at a specific desktop, but rather everything can be controlled via phone or a tablet-based app. This means that when an alarm goes off at the car lot in the middle of the night, the owner needs only sign onto his mobile device and manage the situation in real time. Or if an employee needs to get in after hours, he can unlock the door remotely to accommodate this request, but also monitor it via the video system.
Another plus of a system aimed at the small to mid-size market is that it takes into consideration issues such as training and expansion. Keeping operations simple means that even if someone hasn’t created a report or viewed video in a while, it is intuitive enough that they can do it without going through a thick manual or asking for assistance from the installer. And if access control or intrusion isn’t top-of-the-list at first, it’s easy enough to add in those features going forward because the foundation is there. The owner can even get coverage when he expands the size of his dealership, because the system is scalable for adding cameras or cardholders.
Security is important no matter whether a business employs 50 or 5,000. The good news is that now there are solutions that allow everyone to build an integrated system that suits their particular need.
What are the main security concerns of your small business? Are you juggling different systems and interfaces for your video, intrusion and access control systems? Do you integrate security? Please let me know your experience by leaving a comment below.
Source: Tyco Blog