Chicago. Home of the Cloud Gate, the Bears, the Bulls, the Cubs, and the Blackhawks. Unfortunately it’s also home to 334 robberies, 437 burglaries, and 533 incidents of theft in 2019 alone. Chicago is a wonderful city (and, sure, as locals, we’re a little biased). But when you open a new store in the city, you need to be smart about it.
When you get ready to open a new store, set your store up right. Make sure you have the right security systems in place to protect your business from the minute it opens.
Surveillance cameras are essential to protecting your business. They can be a large deterrent to potential vandals or robbers who would otherwise consider your store an easy target. However, if set up incorrectly, they can also be largely useless.
You want your security camera to be visible, but if it’s within reach of a potential vandal, you’ll find yourself replacing expensive cameras and equipment more often than you’d like. If you’re setting up your own surveillance cameras, make sure there aren’t any obstructions blocking them. Obstructions can include shrubbery, trees, walls, bird nests, and too-bright light sources.
When you first open a new store, surveillance cameras will be one of the first things you’ll want to set up. Not only will they deter potential burglars, but they’ll also greatly increase the chances that if you are robbed, police will be able to apprehend the suspect. Make sure you set them up properly. Otherwise, you’ve just wasted a lot of money on useless cameras that won’t deter theft and won’t provide useful footage in the event of an emergency.
Whether or not you notice it, access control is present in almost all commercial buildings. Even retailers who have customers coming in and out of their stores throughout the day use access control. Those giant metal scanners at the entrances and exits of most retailers provide access control by preventing shoplifters from exiting with their stolen goods.
When you’re looking into access control for your company, make sure you take some time to think about the type of access control you need. We highly recommend choosing keyless access control. Hard copies of keys are easily lost or stolen, which can result in break ins. Keyless entry systems mean employees are unable to forget their keys, and without the proper scanning equipment, no one can gain entry to the building.
How much security do you need? What’s going to be inside your building when you open a new store? Low-value products or easily-stolen and high-value goods? The amount of protection you need has a lot to do with what type of keyless entry system you choose.
Biometric systems are some of the most secure. Biometric keyless entry systems work by using biological traits to decide whether or not to allow someone entry. Examples of these include fingerprint and iris scanners, and voice recognition systems. These are great in several ways. Your employees will never forget their keys- unless they’re in an incident involving fingerprints and a hot oven.
You’ll also be reassured that without the proper biological patterns, no one will be allowed in. Most systems maintain a database of employee records, i.e. the relationship between the fingerprints and the name. This means that you know exactly who is in and out of your building at all times.
Door stations take access control up a level. Axis door stations combine keyless entry control with built-in cameras, push-button calling, and two-way audio communication. Now when someone knocks on your door, you can remotely see and communicate with whoever is asking to come in.
Axis door stations are great when you open a new store in a dangerous area. However, they work best if you’re not a traditional retailer with people entering and exiting all day long. Axis door stations are great for jewelers and appointment-only retail stores that carry high-value products and will not have customers walk in randomly.
Integrated IT Network
When most businesses open a new store, they underestimate the value of a fully-integrated IT network. Your IT network allows your security systems to talk to each other smoothly and seamlessly. With the right IT and systems set up, your surveillance cameras will communicate fluently with your phone or computer system to send you real time alerts should any suspicious activity come up.
But don’t forget that burglaries and robberies aren’t the only crimes you have to worry about. Cybercrime can be a very real threat when you open a new store. Many IT networks are at a disadvantage from the start. Poorly installed IT systems are easier to hack and steal data from. When your IT network is set up with security in mind, you’ll have less to worry about when it comes to cybercrime.
Set Your Store Up Right
Opening a new store is an exciting time. There are leases to sign, build-outs to manage, and customers to tend to. But don’t let your security fall by the wayside.
Medlin Communications is an expert when it comes to systems integration for business owners. We want to make sure you set your store up for success from the start. Having a comprehensive and working security system should be at the top of your priority list when you open a new store.
A great security system can save you time, money, and sanity later on when you have peace of mind and don’t have to worry about dealing with the costs of a burglary. If you’re thinking about opening a new store, call Medlin Communications.
Set your store up for success from the start.