When you’re thinking about factors that affect business growth, physical security might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Even from a security perspective, issues like cybercrime tend to be regarded as a more significant threat. Yet while the physical security of a company might not be something you’d immediately think of when it comes to driving business growth, the effects of inadequate security could certainly damage it. The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) states that crimes against small firms cost over £12 billion a year, directly affecting between a quarter and a third of UK businesses and having knock-on effects for many more. Time and money has to be spent on dealing with the aftermath. It could mean having to temporarily close premises. That affects employees and customers and could even damage reputations. Customers might not get the goods they had on order. Employees might have had personal property stolen. Future plans might have to be delayed.  Don’t forget about the risks posed by loss of data that isn’t online too; confidential information on paper or USB sticks could be taken by an intruder and that could have potentially serious consequences. In some of the more extreme instances, crimes against a small business could lead to bankruptcy and ultimately closure. Don’t forget about the emotional impact either. Fear, stress and upset can all result after a crime has taken place particularly if people were around at the time it happened. By taking care of physical security, you’re sending out a really positive message to employees, customers and other visitors that their wellbeing matters. After all, good security means better overall safety. You’re protecting your business operations and ensuring employees, customers and visitors are kept safe. So, along with the obvious deterrents like high-security locking systems and deadbolts, what other measures could you consider? Intruder alarms Even if you have an intruder alarm that sounds to warn people that a break-in is taking place, would you be guaranteed a response? This can be a particular problem if your business is located in a place where there wouldn’t always be people around. If that’s the case, it’s worth considering installing a monitored alarm. If it’s triggered, you’ll be contacted immediately to make sure a false alarm hasn’t been activated. If they can’t get hold of you, or you don’t think it’s been set off accidentally, they will respond appropriately and contact the emergency services if necessary. CCTV security cameras Another option, which can operate on a stand-alone basis or be integrated with an intruder alarm, is a CCTV camera system. Most security cameras can be logged into remotely, so images can be viewed in real time from anywhere enabling business owners to react quickly. Some systems can even include motion, heat and sound detection sensors. All cameras will record footage so in the event of a criminal act it can help with the investigation process and with criminal identification and prosecution.  If you have a system installed, make sure there’s clear signage to that effect to maximise its role as a deterrent. Access control systems Do you know exactly who is coming into and leaving your building? If you don’t, you might benefit from introducing an access control system. There is a whole range of access control options available from keypads to biometric systems to meet varying business needs, layouts and budgets. For example, ID access control cards can be a straightforward way to manage who can enter parts of a building, requiring people to use swipe cards to reach different areas. Photos on the card can help people be clearly identifiable to others too. Training your employees While having these measures in place will improve your company’s security considerably, it’s always important to remember the role your employees need to play. Have you clearly communicated to them what’s required when it comes to their security responsibilities? Do they know what to do if they come across a suspected intruder for example? Are there particular requirements for securing their offices at night? What should they do if they have any security concerns? Even if you don’t have formal policies, you still need to make sure your employees know what to do. If you want your business to grow then you need to look after it in every way possible. Investing in better security now could mean avoiding costly situations in the future. If you’d like further advice about improving security in your workplace then please get in touch with us.