As you're probably aware the economy is in very bad shape and despite whatever the President or anyone else in the government says it is up to you the individual to make things right and help the economy correct itself. Now if you're a small business owner you're all to familiar with the economic situation and for you a slight down turn means losing your home not being forced to buy a smaller yacht.
So while economists try to figure out correct course of action and the government begins taking control of industries your left to do the best with what you have. If you're able to keep theft down you'll find money you never knew you had.
Just recently there was an article in the New York Times citing a number of ways your business can fail, and most of them are easily prevented. They brought up everything from eliminating fire hazards to dealing with customers, and even company policies that could bring you down. All good suggestions, but that isn't even figuring in a study by the U.S.
Small Business Association that says only 2/3 of all small businesses survive their first two years, and of those who do survive only half will make it to their four year anniversary. So now that you've made the sacrifice, planned everything out, and you have the right attitude you need to protect your dream.
When you start a business you need employees and partners you can trust implicitly, because they're the ones who will rip you off regardless of how good of friends they might appear to be. One family friend owned several diners and did very well, but he started spending more time at his largest establishment.
He found out the staff most of which was family were stealing food, money, and other restaurant supplies. He sold the place and recommended to the new owners they higher all new staff, and if you don't think it can happen to you think again. Check references, do criminal background searchers, and talk to experts about procedures you can put into place to keep track of inventory and money.
While employees are responsible for the lion's share of theft shoplifters take more than $13 billion worth of inventory from retailers each year according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. Can you and the rest of your friends in retail afford to lose $35 million a day?
Preventing theft isn't easy especially when thieves are a variety of people, and some will even buy merchandise as they steal. So be as vigilant as you can be without offending people, and find out what the law says you can do as a merchant when it comes to dealing with shoplifters.
Educate your employees on what to look for, and talk to your local police. If caught many thieves will go quietly, but there are plenty willing to fight and at the very least make a run for it if confronted. Self defense training is a good idea for you and your employees, and it will be a skill set they will have with them even after they're done for the day. If there is criminal activity in your area an alarm system and video cameras will make criminals think twice before hitting your store.
Making a business work is probably one of the hardest tasks out there, and for every millionaire there are thousands more hanging up a going out of business sale sign. So, do your best to make it through the hard times, and don't accept theft and violence as part of doing business.
Simply stationing a security guard at your front door or having employees sign tools in and out might not seem like much, but these small actions will save you a lot of money over the years. Sure your employees may never use the self defense training you offer, but one day it might help them save their lives. You put your blood, sweat, and tears into your business, so don't let someone take that from you.
by: Matthew McKernan
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