Are you wondering how you can guard your business against theft? There are steps you can take to protect your assets and minimize opportunities for both internal and external theft.
Creating an effective theft prevention plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your business. A theft prevention plan helps you assess potential risks and can be used as a tool for training your employees.
External theft is committed by someone outside your business. It could be a fraudulent product return, shoplifting, or a break-in.
Tips for preventing external theft:
- Provide excellent customer service. Attentive and helpful employees can deter shoplifters.
- Make sure that you can easily see all parts of the store. Security mirrors and surveillance cameras will help your employees monitor the premises.
- Keep track of your inventory and investigate any discrepancies.
- Keep security in mind when making bank deposits. It’s a good idea to make your deposits during the day and vary the time and the route you take to get to the bank.
- Install a security system and always respond to security alarms.
Internal theft is committed by someone inside your business. Internal theft includes embezzlement, employee shoplifting and fraud. Although it can be hard to believe that a trusted employee would steal from you, it is important to take precautions.
Tips for preventing internal theft:
- Check references when hiring a new employee and consider requesting a criminal record check.
- Develop procedures that minimize the opportunity for internal theft (such as hiring an independent bookkeeper or occasionally checking the books yourself).
- Separate employees' duties. For example, the person responsible for receiving cash should not be responsible for reconciling receipts.
- Make each employee responsible for his/her own cash drawer.
- Be clear and consistent when communicating your policies regarding internal theft and deal with any issues quickly and fairly.
You may also want to purchase bonding insurance. Bonding insurance is an agreement that guarantees repayment of losses resulting from the actions of an employee.
An effective theft prevention plan can help you identify risks and improve security. Remember to keep your employees involved and provide them with the tools and training they need to protect your business against theft.
(Source: Canada Business Ontario)