Most business owners or operators know they need some type of video surveillance – whether it’s for inventory protection, IT servers holding sensitive data, or managing day-to-day operations, security is an essential part of running a business. For those who’ve been in business for a while, you may have had a security system in place for some time. But is the equipment still working as it should? Are your employees properly trained to use the system? Is it still in compliance with your local ordinances? And is it actually protecting the business as well as it could be?

For many businesses, that answer may be no – and according to a leading industry survey, security and video surveillance systems are now considered one of the top business priorities. Approximately one-third of business owners say they’re highly concerned with the security of their business, and nearly half say that it’s “very important” to have a good video surveillance system in place.

Of course, there are many factors that have an impact on the success of a security system – including overall business performance, the overall health of the economy, and even environmental concerns. But several key issues came up again and again in this year’s survey, which was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of SSI Systems Inc. (www.ssisysinc.com), a leading manufacturer of security and video solutions. Those top issues include:

Improving overall security to help prevent theft and other types of crime

Ensuring compliance with local and state regulations

Ensuring employees are properly trained to use the security system and security practices are in place throughout the business – not just at entry points or on laptops or other mobile devices.

Improving the performance of the current system to make it more effective in helping prevent crime and keep employees and/or members of the public safe.

The survey also found that more than two-thirds (68%) of businesses that have accepted various security solutions from their vendors are experiencing at least some benefits from those systems. More than one-third (36%) feel they have seen a positive change in overall business performance, while nearly one-fifth (18%) say they’ve seen a change in their bottom line. And nearly one-quarter (23%) say they’ve seen a positive change in employee safety.

But despite the fact that business owners and operators have seen some benefits from these systems, nearly half (46%) of businesses say they’re feeling the pressure to improve their existing security systems. Nearly three-quarters (74%) believe that more attention should be paid to security across the board – citing everything from employee safety to data protection. And four-in-five (83%) believe that business owners and operators need to pay more attention to corporate and personal security – not only because of overall crime trends, but due to new threats like cyber-attacks, online fraud, or terrorist activity.

“The survey results clearly show that businesses do understand the importance of security, but they feel like it’s still not a high enough priority for their business,” said Tom Meersman, director of marketing for SSI Systems Inc. “Business owners and operators have good intentions and want to provide a safe environment for customers. But it’s clear that they need to take proper steps to implement the right type of security system – one that fits within their budget and isn’t a distraction from the rest of their business. And it can be a big distraction if they don’t take the time to properly train their employees and carefully evaluate the options.”

Meersman added that one of the most important things businesses need to remember is that there’s no single system that can provide them with all of the security they need. They should look for systems that have multiple layers of protection, he said – including physical, electronic, and video measures. “For instance, a burglar alarm may not provide enough coverage,” he noted. “A good surveillance system will involve cameras with live monitoring through motion detectors/sensors or even cameras set up around the property. That video can be viewed on a computer, or on a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone, and alerts can be sent out if something’s suspicious.”

Video surveillance is a top priority for any business owner, and the right solution can help provide a wide range of benefits. According to Meersman, those benefits include:

Protecting Your Business from Theft and Vandalism

Video surveillance is a handy tool for helping business owners and operators know who’s coming onto their property or into their business. It can also help ensure that employees aren’t stealing items or breaking other types of company protocols and rules. “A good video system will be able to identify what is happening,” he said. “In the case of theft, it can help catch an employee and stop the problem before it gets out of hand. In the case of vandalism, it can help identify who’s causing problems and where. It’s a great crime deterrent as well.”

Protecting Your Business from Environmental Issues

Weather is one of the biggest issues that businesses face on a daily basis. Freezing temperatures can damage or destroy items like shipping containers or equipment like heating and cooling units. And sunny days can also cause problems – particularly if there’s no way for employees or customers to stay cool.

“It’s important for the business owner to know what conditions are affecting the facility,” Meersman said. “And since a security system is only as good as its ability to detect an issue, it’s important that the system be set up and operating properly at all times.”

Protecting Your Business from Health Risks

A good surveillance system with video capability can also help protect a business from many health-related risks. It can help detect when employees are climbing on roofs or going into unsafe areas of warehouse rooftops. And it can also catch people using their hands to eat or wash dishes, which can be a threat to public safety if done in unsafe places or with contaminated utensils.

“A good surveillance system can also catch people engaging in unsafe behaviors like drug use,” Meersman said. “It can even detect if a person is injured and if so, whether or not they’re getting medical attention.”

Protecting Your Business From Service Calls

An effective security system can help ensure that your business’ customers are safe and secure while they’re there. But it’s equally key to know when a customer has called your business because of an emergency situation – such as someone having a medical emergency – so the right team of employees can respond promptly to help resolve the matter.

“And it’s important to know how your customers are responding to your business,” Meersman said. “If for some reason the volume or type of calls is increasing, or if you’re seeing a pattern that suggests you need to do something differently, it’s important that you investigate and address the situation.”

A complete security system can provide both protection and peace of mind for all of these situations, he added. “You just have to pick a system that fits within your budget and isn’t too much of a distraction from the rest of your business. And then make sure that even though you have a great system in place, you’re still offering more in terms of customer service.

Interested in reading more about video surveillance systems? 8 Advantages of Video Surveillance Systems discusses further the advantages of having a video surveillance system as a business.

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