There are many types of home-based business, and not all of them need home security. But if you’re operating an active business out of your home where you’re housing inventory, clients come and go, or employees are working in your home, a security system is critical.
A home-based business also comes with risks of personal injury or cybersecurity attacks. Understanding the risks that face your business and how you can protect against them are essential for keeping your business running.
Here are some security tips you’ll need:
1. Install a Home Security System.
A security system will protect your business from theft, false allegations, and more. At the very least, you should have sensors that set off an alarm – silent or otherwise – to secure against break-ins. It’s best to use a system with security cameras so you have video proof of any problems. A basic intercom system, disaster detectors (carbon monoxide, fire, etc.), and remote access via a mobile device is also recommended.
As a home-based business owner, you have the advantage of qualifying for a more affordable security package. Home security systems are lower-priced and easier to install and maintain than commercial packages, so you can enjoy top security without unmanageable overhead costs.
Alongside your electronic security features, secure the property with strong locks. Don’t leave a spare key lying around, and make sure that only those who live there have access to the home. Instruct any employees and family members to keep windows closed and prevent children from having access to inventory or your office to reduce the risk of losses.
2. Consider Cybersecurity.
In 2017, Inc.com published an article stating that 60 percent of companies fail in the first six months because they aren’t properly secured against a potential cybersecurity attack. The article reports statistics like 50 percent of small businesses have experienced a cybersecurity attack, 70 percent of attacks are targeted at small businesses, and 76 percent of all websites have significant vulnerabilities that increase their chances of an attack.
“In my consulting and the graduate courses I teach on Cybersecurity at Boston University what I have found to be most frightening is the lack of awareness about the magnitude of the cyber threat and the complacency towards being proactive in managing the risk, especially among small businesses,” says Thomas Koulopoulos, author of the Inc.com article and founder of Delphi Group.
He recommends undergoing rigorous cybersecurity updates, including:
- Create stronger passwords for online accounts.
- Have your website tested for vulnerabilities.
- Encrypt your email for sensitive transactions.
- Never use public Wi-Fi with a work computer.
- Limit access to your accounts.
- Train employees to limit mistakes and avoid breaches.
These are just a few of the simplest and most effective methods for avoiding significant breaches that could potentially shut down your business otherwise.
3. Guard Against Disaster.
You never know when disaster will strike. Your home-based business may face inclement weather, such as a flood or hail storm. There may also be a fire or another emergency that leads to irreparable damage and requires you and employees to evacuate.
Of course, there’s usually nothing you can do to prevent these damages, but you can buy the proper insurance to protect against it. Remember that your homeowner’s policy will often only cover the building. It won’t replace destroyed inventory or essential office equipment.
Make sure that your homeowner’s insurance will still cover your property, even though you’re operating a commercial business out of your residence. Some insurance companies will refuse to make a payout on this technicality.
Additionally, you’ll need small business insurance, which is the best way to properly protect your company when disaster hits. You’ll have protection from damaged property, damaged or lost inventory, and more.
One of the most important aspects of business insurance is the liability protection. “People do not realize that if the UPS guy comes to your door with a business package in his hand and slips and hurts himself, there is no coverage for that injury in their homeowner’s policy,” Ryan Hanley, an insurance agent in New York, told Entrepreneur.
Many policies also include an interrupted business policy. This means that if your business is interrupted because of a natural disaster, weather problem, or an accident that prevents you from opening your doors, you’ll still be able to make payroll, even without daily incoming revenue.
Nothing is more important than your business’s security. Don’t think about the initial cost, but rather the overall investment. When disaster strikes, you’ll be glad you made security a top priority!