Images_Digital_Edition_November_2019 50 images NOVEMBER 2019 KB BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Watch out, there’s a burglar about Y ou might not want to think about it, but your business is a target for a cast of unsavoury characters and you need to be able to spot them so that you can take the appropriate action to protect your interests. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot a ‘burglar’: they come in various shapes, sizes and disguises, from desperate shoplifters to technically sophisticated and ruthless hackers. They might be employees, customers or strangers; they might be dressed in three-piece business suits or ragged jeans and T-shirts; they might intrude in person, by phone, or online; they might be beautiful, ugly or faceless; they might be rude, crude, or charming; they might be armed or disarming; and they might brazenly appear in broad daylight or skulk about after dark. But there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re intent on victimising your small business. Every asset of your small business is a sitting duck – your petty-cash box, cash register, bank account, inventory, computers, equipment, company vehicle, website, and a host of other items you could probably think of without too much effort. I know of a recent instance where, ironically, the burglar’s haul from When it comes to safeguarding your business, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, says Michael Best Every asset of your business is a sitting duck a screen printing supply company included its closed-circuit television recorder. If the CCTV had been installed as a deterrent, or to help identify burglars, then, in failing, it illustrated an important point – deterrents must be properly planned and executed. Deterrents Before you start thinking about deterrents, it’s important to assess potential threats. You should consider your circumstances and location and determine if you’re vulnerable to break and enters, hold-ups, vehicle jacking, employee fraud, hacking, or any other event. Once you’ve identified all the potential threats, you must consider which assets would be vulnerable should one of these events occur. You can then develop deterrents, which fall into two categories: tangible and intangible. Common tangible deterrents are alarms, lighting, and impediments to physical entry such as locks and steel shutters. Intangible deterrents include internal accounting controls and digital elements such as passwords, codes, and software. You should expect to consult experts about some of the various deterrents your small business will need. You can quite easily source assistance for everything from securing your premises against physical intrusion to securing your online facilities against hackers. But select your advisors carefully and obtain multiple references whenever possible. ■ Common tangible deterrents For most people, an indoor alarm is probably the first measure that comes to mind in the tangible deterrents category. In an ideal situation, outer deterrents would discourage a breach, but much depends upon the nature and quality of these deterrents. Fences, window bars, doors, shutters, locks, outdoor alarms, security cameras, and guard services are available in varying configurations and quality but, given enough time, incentive, and determination, just about any deterrent can be breached. For this reason, an expert can prove useful in striking a balance between cost and an appropriate level of deterrent for your circumstances. ■ Common intangible deterrents Today, intangible deterrents are as important as their tangible counterparts. The digital age has given rise to a whole new range of intangible deterrents