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Better risk management is key

Better risk management is key
11-12-13 / Staff Writer

Better risk management is key

"There are various causes for this trend. With small businesses also increase their stock levels this time of year, which often prove attractive to thieves and shoplifters."

In order to stay safe and avoid losses when profits can and should be maximised, Somers suggests that small business owners ensure they take all necessary precautions to avoid becoming victims of crime

The national crime statistics reported in September this year by the South African Police Services (SAPS) noted an upward trend in commercial crime of 0.6 percent.

Wherever small businesses operate, says Somers, owners would do well to always ensure they have adequate and appropriate insurance in place. In particular, they should ensure their existing policies are updated and inclusive to enjoy maximum protection over the festive season.

Santam offers valuable safety tips to consider for small business owners and operators:

Increased stock and cash on premises

According to Somers, "Businesses should ensure their insurance policy covers the additional stock on their premises and that the stock is stored in a safe place. It is vital to ensure that the full cost of the stock is insured - there is no sense in insuring it to a value that is below its full replacement cost."

She adds, "You will have increased turnover too, so make more trips to the bank if necessary to ensure you don’t have large sums of cash on your premises at any given time"

Security checks in place

"If the core of small business security measures are an alarm system, it makes sense to ensure the system is in good working order and always activated when the business " doors are closed," says Somers.

Wherever possible, increase security measures over the festive season to deter opportunistic criminals by installing security lights, CCTV monitors and putting up signage informing criminals of surveillance on your premises.

"For an extra cost-effective security measure, business owners can consider installing burglar bars on their premises," adds Somers.

Increased lighting in and around business premises also serves as a deterrent.

Some additional considerations

Make sure your fire fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers and hose reels are serviced and in full working order, especially if you are based in the Western Cape with its increased fires during the dry summer months

"Small businesses that own vehicles should also make sure they have adequate cover in the event of hail damage," says Somers

Also, with an increase in business over the festive season businesses face an increased demand for speedy deliveries and one may be forced to use your own vehicle to deliver goods, making it important to ensure that businesses insure goods in transit to the correct level of cover.

"By managing your risk and implementing simple precautions, you can help keep your business safe this holiday and ensure you emerge from this season with your assets and profits protected," concludes Somers.

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