- Business security experts agree that small
businesses should ask qualified firms to perform security reviews of their
businesses and premises to find the right system for their needs.
- Before signing any contracts, owners should
walk through their facilities with prospective security firms, who should
understand how the business works to accurately assess the company’s needs.
They should review entrances and exits, vulnerabilities and physical
structures, the number of employees and how they arrive and leave work. They
should know the business’s hours of operation and what happens after closing,
then design a system based on the business’s schedule and who is authorized to
- Small business owners should hire an outside
consultant to perform a security review.
- To insure unbiased advice, they should select
someone with no vested interest, who would not be bidding for the job and with no
incentive to sell anything. The security review should describe what the owner
needs. Based on that information and the consultant’s advice, the owner can
then bid the system with greater certainty.
- Ask for and check security company references,
don’t just leaf through the Yellow Pages or look them up on the Internet. That
improves the odds of choosing the best contractor.
- Owners should request a per door price for their
business’s security system, noting that a typical convenience store might require a
three or four door system.
- Small business owners should seek to install
security systems that are scalable and allow expansion later so they don’t have
to start from scratch when change is needed.
- Security consultants recommend contracting with
local security firms or national companies with local offices, someone
available and accountable.
- Avoid signing long-term contracts. If you don’t
like the service or product, you can switch without fear of legal
- Security experts warn that some firms encourage
business owners to spread out payments for equipment over years, not realizing
until it’s too late that they’ve made interest payments that collectively cost
more than the equipment.
- When building or remodeling your business, hire your
security consultant to work with the architect in the design and construction
process. Security experts said that will save time and money in the long run.
Experts also recommend the non-profit
American Society for Industrial Security, now ASIS International, whose
association website offers useful information on business security trends. The
web site is: https://www.asisonline.org/Pages/default.aspx
Spending on Security
spent $319.1 billion spent on information technology and operational security
products and services in 2013, a figure predicted to grow to $341 billion in
2014 and $377 billion in 2015.
Operations—security equipment and services—accounted for $217 billion in
2014 spending and IT $123 billion.
products segment of the industry, which accounted for $31.1 billion in 2013
spending, is predicted to grow to $34 billion this year, nearly tripling since
1990, which U.S. companies spent $11.7 billion.
companies plan to increase spending on alarms, 14% plan to spend more on
perimeter protection (fencing) and 33% expect to increase spending on the
fastest growing segment of the security products industry, video surveillance.
Spending on surveillance infrastructure and cable are predicted to double by
Source: “United States Security Industry Survey of 2014,” by the
Institute of Finance & Medicine and the American Society of Industrial Security
(now known as ASIS International).