How small business owners can fight theft and product loss

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

By Brooke Chaplan

As a small business owner, you understand the importance of protecting your company from loss. Especially when it comes to your physical inventory, even small losses can add up to major problems for your bottom line. That’s why you can’t sit idly by and hope that losses won’t occur. Instead, it’s important to take action with some of these tips on how small business owners can fight theft and product loss.

Acknowledge your customers

If you have a physical storefront, one of the easiest and best ways to cut down on theft is to acknowledge each customer as they come in your store. By acknowledging each customer, you’re doing more than making them feel welcome. While this is part of what you’re doing, you’re also letting each person know that you’re paying attention, which will put potential thieves on alert and reduce the likelihood that they’ll take anything. Acknowledging your customers also helps put a face to your business, which can make people feel more guilty about stealing, as they can see the people they are affecting.

Create layers of security

While it’s good to have visible security measures in place, it’s also important to have layers of security, some of which aren’t immediately noticeable. One layer of security you can add is small, unobtrusive security cameras that quietly record every movement in your business. By having cameras that are both visible and hidden, you are more likely to catch criminals in the act of stealing. Additional layers of security can include guards, training for your employees, and fences. The more layers you have, the more likely you are to prevent theft.

Take a thorough inventory

An annual count of your inventory is a crucial task for accounting purposes. If you can, though, it’s a good idea to perform a thorough inventory more often than once a year. This allows you to find patterns of loss that can point to potential causes so that you can eliminate these problems. For example, if you hire an employee and then notice during your next inventory that your loss has increased, you may want to investigate that employee to see if they are stealing. This pattern likely wouldn’t be noticed in an annual inventory, which is why it’s important to perform a thorough count as often as possible.

Use technology

Technology can be a great asset in preventing theft. In addition to the security cameras mentioned above, you can use alarm systems, Bluetooth locks, data encryption, identity verification systems, and more. Though these systems can be fairly expensive, they may be worth the cost if you’re experiencing theft and loss at your business location.

As you seek to reduce the amount of loss your business suffers, it’s important to constantly look at the data. The numbers will tell you if your protection methods are working or if they need to be tweaked. If you notice that changes need to be made, it’s important to be willing to adapt so that you can keep your business safe and viable for a long time to come.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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