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Small Business Security Systems: Is a DIY System Right for You?

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You’ve worked hard to build your small business, and you want to protect it the best you can—but you still need to save time and money. It’s a familiar situation, and out of this need many small business security systems have sprung up on the market, allowing you to take a DIY approach to your security.

Are these DIY solutions truly a safe and cost-effective way to protect your business? The answer depends on several factors, and requires you to weigh the short- and long-term pros and cons.

Consider the Risks.

As a business owner, you are responsible for ensuring protection against a range of threats—and the list seems to be growing every day:

  • Protecting your physical assets and inventory from theft
  • Protecting your data and intellectual property from theft
  • Protecting your facility from arson and vandalism
  • Protecting your employees from workplace violence

Even with the dedicated security teams and resources of larger businesses, managing all of these risks simultaneously can be complex. For small businesses, it can be downright challenging.

So before deciding on a security system, it’s important to take an honest, comprehensive assessment of your risk level. Consider your location (including foot traffic and local crime levels), your industry, the inventory you keep on site, and the employees who work for you (including their access levels).

If you’re in a higher risk category, or if you’re not sure where you fall, don’t risk it. Contact a professional for an on-site evaluation and expert advice on a system that fits your needs.

Consider Your Property.

When business owners consider how to prevent theft in a small business, installing a video surveillance system is usually their first step. DIY camera systems are relatively inexpensive and can be installed quickly—so for some businesses, these might be adequate.

However, you should first consider the complexity of your property (both interior and exterior).

  • Are there tight corners or narrow alleyways?
  • Are there multiple exterior areas that need coverage?
  • Are there lots of trees or bushes that can make it difficult to get a clear picture of your property?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, installing a small business security camera system on your own could be risky.

If you have the time to research surveillance camera placement—and then position, check, and re-position each of your cameras—a DIY camera system could still work for you. However, security professionals are trained to pinpoint the best places for surveillance cameras, ensuring that your property’s most vulnerable points are covered, and maximizing your coverage in general. They’ll have a thorough understanding of your cameras, and adjust their placement in consideration of direct sunlight, night lighting, and weather exposure. For these reasons, many business owners find that an investment in professional installation service is well worth the time and hassle they save.

Consider Your (Actual) Time Restraints.

Small business owners are among the hardest workers we know—you’re multi-taskers, and your time is valuable. That’s why it’s important to consider not just the money you’ll spend or save upfront, but the time commitment your security system will require down the road.

As your business grows, your needs will change. Will your DIY security system be able to keep pace? When your facility expands, you’ll need to purchase new cameras, and that means finding compatible equipment and (hopefully) integrating it with your existing system.

And as your team grows, you might find you need an access control system to give certain employees access to certain areas. A security professional can seamlessly integrate this into your security system, as well as incorporating fire alarms, other environmental alarms, and facility controls such as lighting and heating. These functions can save you money and reduce your liability, but they’re beyond the capabilities of basic DIY systems.

Most significantly for business owner, though, is that professionally installed alarm systems—whether they cover you for security, fire, or more—can also be professionally monitored. With ISG, for example, your system is monitored 24/7, and we can dispatch help immediately when needed—which can be crucial for saving lives and assets in the event of an emergency.

Contact Us to Request a Consultation

You might be tempted to opt for the cheapest, quickest security system for your small business—and certainly, cost and installation time should be factors to consider. However, don’t stop there. The decision you make about your security system can have real-world impacts. Want to talk it through? Contact us to request a consultation.